OSAN AIR BASE, South Korea – Will Schmiedel sparkled as Zama concluded its regular season with its 14th straight win.
The sophomore quarterback rushed for two touchdowns and passed for two more, Denver Dait ran for two scores and Jaydn Parker returned a kickoff 70 yards for a touchdown as the Trojans routed the Cougars 49-16 Saturday at Cougars Field.
“This was truly a game when all three phases of the game came together and we played ball like we needed to,” coach Scott Bolin said of the Trojans (7-0).
It was the longest road trip of the season for Zama. “We started out slowly, but once we got into a rhythm, we started clicking and we came together,” Bolin said.
The Cougars (4-3) ended their season with two straight losses following a four-game winning streak. But coach Tyler Greve said the future is bright for his team.
“Our culture has improved a lot,” he said. “We can continue to build off what we did and we can really take it to the next level. It’s just going to take time. We exceeded expectations. We did not meet our goal. We played an antiquated, old-school style and we played it the right way.”
Leading 21-8, the Trojans put the game away late in the third quarter. Josh Low put the Cougars on the board with a 5-yard touchdown run, but Parker promptly returned the kickoff for a score.
After the ensuing kickoff, the Cougars fumbled, Zama’s Giovanni Joell recovered at Osan’s 5-yard line and Schmiedel got his second 3-yard touchdown run.
Schmiedel finished with 42 yards on six carries and was 6-for-13 for 150 yards. Dait ran six times for 76 yards including scoring runs of 32 and 22 yards. Ayden Helton had an interception and Carson Durst a fumble recovery for Zama.
Eddie Kim had Osan’s other touchdown, a 5-yard run.
Now, the Trojans turn their attention to the Division II championship game, at 6 p.m. Friday, when they host an American School In Japan team which Zama shut out 7-0 on Sept. 22 in a driving rain, also played at Barry Huitema Memorial Field.
“Unbeaten last year, unbeaten this year, but we’ve had no Far East,” Bolin said. “The kids are excited to see if they can take it further and get that banner at our house. We have a great opponent in ASIJ.”