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CAMP HANSEN, Okinawa – A flurry of defensive takeaways coupled with just enough of a dose of offense gave Camp Hansen an unlikely victory Sunday over Kadena in U.S. Forces Japan-American Football League South Division action.

The Wolfpack defense racked up a safety and quarterback Dustin Moore scored one possession later, rallying Hansen to an 8-2 victory over the Dragons in a game in which the Wolfpack was outgained by more than a 2-1 margin.

“I didn’t see this,” said coach Mike Harris of the Wolfpack (1-0), which assumed the South Division lead with the win. “I thought there would be more scoring. I was surprised how both defenses shut each other’s offense down.” Each offense enjoyed one series in which they generated yards consistently. Kadena seized a 2-0 lead late in the second quarter when a snap on a punting down sailed out of the Hansen end zone.

Midway through the third period, Hansen pinned the Dragons back at their 7-yard line. Two plays later, Kadena quarterback Dishon Harvey was tackled by Hansen’s Christopher Jones, Damian Wright and Seth Newsome in the end zone for a safety.

Following the free kick, Hansen’s offense – held to just 13 first-half yards – finally found itself in the form of Moore, who gained 33 yards on five carries, including an 8-yard touchdown run with 5 minutes, 57 seconds left in the period that proved to be the game-winner.

Kadena, which outgained Hansen 202-82, kept banging on the door without success on five possessions during the game. Late in the fourth period, Harvey hit receiver Devon Cheatham with three passes for 80 yards, pushing the Dragons to the Hansen 3-yard line. But three plays later, Hansen’s Early Neal intercepted Harvey, killing Kadena’s final chance.

Moore accounted for 61 offensive yards on 30 plays. Jones and Norris Avery each had two sacks and Andrew Brown picked off two passes for Hansen.

Harvey finished 7-for-29 with three interceptions for 116 yards, Cheatham had four catches for 93 yards and Emanuel Griffin rushed 21 times for 108 yards for the Dragons (1-1). Kadena’s defense recorded two takeaways and one sack.

Penalties hurt both sides: Kadena was flagged 13 times for 85 yards and Hansen nine times for 55 yards.

“All those penalties,” Kadena coach Robert Friend said. “We’ll get them next time.” The teams play again May 18ornauer.dave@stripes.com

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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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