Hansen, Okinawa again appear to be class of military football league
By STARS AND STRIPES Published: March 31, 2018
They played for the league title last June, and given the outcomes of the first two weeks of the season, the Hansen Outlaws and the defending champion Okinawa Dragons appear to be once more on a collision course.
The Outlaws’ defense forced six turnovers and scored two touchdowns in a 40-0 rout of Kinser on Saturday. The Dragons kept pace but had a tougher go of it, edging Ryukyu University 12-6 and allowing just their second offensive touchdown in their last 10 games.
That left the Outlaws and Dragons unbeaten at 2-0; the teams square off next Saturday at 10 a.m. at Camp Hansen. The Kings and Stingray each fell to 0-2; they play at 4 p.m. Saturday at Kadena Air Base.
Hansen 40, Kinser 0: Bubba Harris spearheaded the Outlaws’ defense, recording two sacks and returning a fumble 29 yards for a touchdown, and Jean Louis Hansen returned an interception 72 yards for the Outlaws’ other defensive TD.
Those came against a Kings squad missing several players due to injuries and duty commitments.
“We already knew the Kings were undermanned, so we wanted to get them tired early, but they refused to just lay down,” said Outlaws coach Dean McCown. “I can’t wait to see what they look like when they have their whole squad.”
McCown also said he and his staff stressed to their players not to look past the Kings in Game 2 to the Dragons in Game 3. “I knew we have the Dragons next week, but I’m proud we could keep our mind on the Kings,” McCown said. “Week 3 will get here when it gets here.”
Aaron Ingram accounted for four touchdowns for the Outlaws, throwing for 140 yards and rushing for 56. He ran for touchdowns of 20 and 5 yards and threw for touchdowns of 20 yards to Jabari Hagerman and 60 to Nick Jackson.
Dragons 12, Ryukyu University 6: Donovan Beasley caught an 18-yard touchdown pass and Forrest Privette rushed for 78 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries for a Dragons squad that “came out flat” against the Stingray, coach Jermaine Baker said.
“I have no problem calling a baby ugly, and this baby hurt my eyes,” Baker said, adding that his hat was off to the Stingray. “They fought hard. The only thing that saved us was some athletic plays, but as a unit, we were flat from kickoff.”
The Dragons defense allowed Ryudai into the red zone four times, and the Stingray finally scored in the fourth quarter on a drive kept alive by two personal fouls against the Dragons.
Were they looking ahead, perhaps, to their Saturday showdown with the Outlaws?
“We need to understand, every game is a championship game, so don’t play down or underestimate anyone,” Baker said. “We played with fire and got burned today, but we learned from this.”