Foster, Misawa earn USFJ football wins
They looked lost on offense in the pouring rain two weeks earlier. On Saturday, quarterback Sanford James returned to the Foster lineup and restored order for the Bulldogs.
James passed for two touchdowns and ran for another and the Bulldogs scored 14 unanswered points in the second half while the defense put the handcuffs on Hansen in a 22-8 victory over the Wolfpack that put the U.S. Forces Japan-American Football League South Division into a three-way tie at 1-1.
The game was played on Gunners Fitness & Sports Complex Field 6, following heavy showers and thunderstorms early Saturday morning.
Meanwhile, in 50-degree weather with chilling rain at Misawa Air Base, the Jets scored the game’s first 15 points and held off a rally for a 15-12 win over Yokosuka. Misawa is 2-0 and alone in first place; the Seahawks fell into a second-place tie with defending champion Yokota at 1-2.
“The way he plays, good things come our way if he stays on the field,” Bulldogs assistant coach Jason Bellavance said of James, who helped power Foster to the league title two seasons ago.
James ran 1 yard for Foster’s first touchdown, then receivers Maurice Jones and Janar Walker took a pair of short James passes into big gains for touchdowns, Jones for 65 yards and Walker for 80.
The Bulldogs rallied from deficits of 6-0 and 8-2; Hansen got its points on a 3-yard quarterback run by Raymond Lile and a safety by Reece Ritter in the first half.
“Our defense is always hungry, always wanting to make plays for our offense to get back on the field,” Bellavance said.
It was a far cry from Foster’s 28-0 season-opening loss at Kadena on April 27, when the Bulldogs were held to minus-42 yards of offense. Sanford’s presence made a huge difference, Wolfpack coach Michael Harris said.
“They (Bulldogs) looked so much improved from their first game,” Harris said. “When Sanford went in, he energized the team. You could see the difference.”
The Jets entered the Seahawks game having gotten their one win via forfeit when Yokota couldn’t make its scheduled journey north for a May 4 game due to transportation problems. Saturday’s game was played on turf, but in bone-chilling conditions, both coaches said.
“Welcome to the frozen tundra,” Jets coach Jeremy Sanders said.
“I think I had hypothermia,” Seahawks coach James price said.
Misawa led from start to finish. Jakai Austin ran 20 yards for a touchdown and Antonio Morales booted a 25-yard field goal in the first quarter, then Douglas Brown capped the Jets’ scoring with a 10-yard third-quarter TD run before the Seahawks swung the momentum in the fourth quarter.
“We were kind of anxious to play,” Sanders said. “We weren’t sure where we stood. The guys did well in the first half; we have to work on adjusting in the second half, on finishing the game.”
Jamaal Moore rallied the Seahawks to within a field goal with a pair of scoring passes to Dewayne Johnson, 63 and 5 yards. In the closing minutes, Moore made it to the goal line but fumbled the ball. Price and the Seahawks argued that Moore crossed the plane; the referees ruled it a touchback.
“It could have gone either way,” Price said.