Hansen stays perfect in military football play
Aaron Walker, Mark Gregory and Tim Rupnicki combined for five rushing touchdowns and the defense returned a fumble for a TD as the Hansen Outlaws completed an unbeaten U.S. Forces Japan-American Football League regular season by routing Ryukyu University 40-8 on Saturday.
Meanwhile, coach Jermaine Baker suited up at quarterback for the Okinawa Dragons and accounted for three touchdowns, leading the league runner-ups to a 32-0 shutout of the last-place Kinser Kings. That left the Outlaws a perfect 6-0 on the season, two games ahead of the Dragons (4-2). The Stingray were third at 2-4 and the Kings last at 0-6.
The league now takes two weeks off before the start of the playoffs, featuring the Kings at Hansen at 10 a.m. and the Stingray at the Dragons at 4 p.m. on May 26. The third-place and championship games are scheduled for June 2 at sites and times to be determined.
Hansen 40, Ryudai 8: At the Camp Hansen parade ground, Walker, Gregory and Rupnicki gained a combined 122 yards on 23 carries and found the end zone five times.
The defense also played a major part in the shellacking, intercepting four Stingray passes, recovering two fumbles and recording four sacks.
“My players played a great game,” coach Dean McCown Sr. said. We just need to work on (eliminating) penalties that we keep racking up and we should be good to go.”
The Stingray averted a shutout with a 1-yard third-quarter touchdown pass from Kenta Ogasawara to player-coach Riichiro Shinjo.
Dragons 32, Kinser 0: Baker last played when the Kadena Dragons were a part of the old Marine-sponsored Okinawa Football League in 2004 and 2005. The Dragons won the title both seasons. Baker lined up at receiver in those seasons.
On Saturday at Kadena Air Base’s McDonald Stadium, Baker threw for two touchdowns and ran for another.
“I’m dangerous on the ground still, even at 36 years old,” Baker said.
Tony Queen caught two long touchdown passes, one thrown by Baker and the other by backup Brandon Stokes. Mickael Wilson returned an interception for a TD and Ralphael Jones and E-Quantey Mason each ran for touchdowns to complete the scoring.
The Dragons’ victory was a bittersweet one – a moment of silence was held before both games in honor of former Dragons player Mitch Guerrier, who was killed on Friday in a motorcycle accident in Norfolk, Va.