Kellen Broach,from  left, and Nile C. Kinnick host Kadena, while Luke Robinson, Javon Foreman and Humphreys travel to Okinawa to visit Kubasaki; each kickoff is at 6 p.m. Friday.

Kellen Broach,from left, and Nile C. Kinnick host Kadena, while Luke Robinson, Javon Foreman and Humphreys travel to Okinawa to visit Kubasaki; each kickoff is at 6 p.m. Friday. (Annika Farin/Special to Stripes)

URUMA, Okinawa – Having taken their lumps in their season-opening games, Humphreys and Kadena hit the road this weekend – the Blackhawks for the second straight week – looking to right their ships.

Humphreys jets to Okinawa to take on Kubasaki, a 34-22 winner last Friday at Kadena. The Panthers also take to the air for a visit to Nile C. Kinnick, which rallied in the closing minutes to edge Humphreys 21-17 last Saturday. Kickoffs for both Friday games are at 6 p.m.

Coaches of each of the vanquished squads said they learned some things that they hope will benefit them as they try to level their season records at 1-1.

“To finish strong,” said coach Reggie Meno, whose Blackhawks led 14-0 at halftime only to be outscored 21-3 in the second half. “We had the foot on the pedal and slowly took our foot off the gas and it got away from us. We have to put everything together for the entire game.”

One of the reasons the Blackhawks slowed down in the second half, Meno said, involved two of the most fundamental things about a high-intensity sport such as football:

“Conditioning and hydrating,” Meno said. “You hydrate the whole week, get the boys used to it. And with water. Not soda, not juice, maybe a sports drink before or after practice.”

The Panthers fell behind 26-0 late in the first half, then outscored the Dragons 22-8 in the second half after making some tweaks at intermission, coach Sergio Mendoza said.

“We still have a lot to clean up,” he said. “We needed to make various adjustments offensively and defensively and with personnel. We also learned we could play better football and trust each other more.”

One of the things Mendoza said he and the Panthers talked about at halftime, besides the X’s and O’s, was about the eight-week journey the team is on, which he said helped make for a different second half.

“We talked … about trusting each other, getting back to playing for each other instead of against someone,” Mendoza said. “I think that helped us turn our mentality around.”

While the chase for berths in the Far East Division I title game continues Friday, so, too does the race for Division II title space, with Yokota visiting Matthew C. Perry on Friday at 7 p.m.

On Saturday, Daegu hits the road for the first time since 2019 when it visits Zama at 6 p.m. Robert D. Edgren travels to Korea to face Osan at 10 a.m.

On the cross country courses in Japan, Yokota and Zama visit Edgren and E.J. King and Perry travel to Kinnick for Saturday meets. Yokota’s tennis and volleyball teams also head to Edgren, while King’s tennis and volleyball squads host Perry.

In Korea, Humphreys and Osan’s volleyball teams each play league power Seoul Foreign in the Blue Division, while Daegu travels to Gyeonggi Suwon in the Red Division.

In Red Division tennis, Daegu visits Gyeonggi Suwon and Humphreys is at Seoul Foreign in an inter-divisional friendly.

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Dave Ornauer has been employed by or assigned to Stars and Stripes Pacific almost continuously since March 5, 1981. He covers interservice and high school sports at DODEA-Pacific schools and manages the Pacific Storm Tracker.

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