Jardine rediscovers form; rejuvenated ASIJ blanks Kinnick
TOKYO — After suffering a 39-point beatdown in their season opener a week earlier, Hayden Jardine and the American School In Japan Mustangs looked like their 2009 selves on Friday.
Jardine passed 12 yards for one touchdown to Sam Hopkins and sneaked 1 yard for ASIJ’s other touchdown as the defending Kanto Plain Association of Secondary Schools champion Mustangs leveled their record at 1-1 by shutting out Nile C. Kinnick 12-0.
“A lot better,” coach Craig Karnitz said. “The offense played much better, the defense highlighted the game; they stepped up and played a lot better than we did last week” in a 46-7 loss at Yokota.
Jardine was an economical 4-for-6 for 79 yards. Nathan Kwon ran 14 times for 125 yards. Andrew Stern rushed for 42 yards, caught a 28-yard pass and intercepted a Kinnick pass, while Hopkins recovered a Red Devils fumble.
The performance wasn’t perfect, though, said Karnitz. “The offense made some mistakes. We’ll have to work on that,” he said.
Despite losing twice and being outscored 44-8 thus far this season, the Red Devils did demonstrate some positives, defensive coach Robert Stovall said.
“They wouldn’t put their heads down when things went wrong, they would pick up the sideline, and they played with pride and passion,” Stovall said, citing hard inside runs by Dustin Kimbrell and the defensive play of linebacker Jason Strabers and David Mason.
“Mason had some big hits. Strabers held the defense together,” Stovall said.
Now, Kinnick looks toward its home opener on Friday when the Red Devils entertain unbeaten Yokota. “We’ll continue to focus on ourselves and not worry what anybody else has,” Stovall said.
ASIJ statistician Tom Jardine contributed to this report.