KADENA AIR BASE, Okinawa – Kadena’s defense has been stingy to opponents all season, recording four shutouts and allowing just 56 points, fewest among DODDS Pacific teams.
It came through once more in the Panthers’ regular-season finale, shutting down Singapore’s rushing attack, while backup backs also took their turn in the sun as Jacob Parker and Kortez Hixon each scored touchdowns in Kadena’s 40-0 blanking of the All-Star Falcons.
Kadena’s first unit played the first 1½ quarters and backups played the rest of the way, giving the Panthers “a chance to fine-tune some things and get a lot of our second team in,” coach Sergio Mendoza said. “We found some more players tonight.”
Hixon, the Panthers’ third string running back, rushed for a touchdown, while Parker, a backup receiver, caught a touchdown pass from freshman quarterback Cody Sego – younger brother of Justin Sego, who rushed for two TDs. Barry Mitchell and Jason Bland also ran for scores.
“Kortez did an outstanding job. He had an amazing night tonight,” Mendoza said, adding of Cody Sego, the apparent quarterback of the future: “Cody looked really good.”
Of the play of the defense, which put the clamps on Falcons backs William DiBiagio and Robert Mortiz, Mendoza said: “We had very good tackling and we played much more fundamentally sound, and that made me happy.”
It was a disappointing end for a Falcons team that went 0-2 on its swing through Okinawa after sweeping two games on Guam in a similar trip last year. Singapore lost 34-14 at Kubasaki on Monday.
The Falcons, with six DOD ID card-holding players in tow, are comprised of players from its league’s three teams, sponsored by the Singapore American Community Action Council, their equivalent of military youth services. Most Falcons players attend Singapore American School.
The Panthers ended the regular season at 5-2, their only two losses to defending Far East Division I Kubasaki. They tee it up again at 6 p.m. Nov. 8 in the D-I title game at Kubasaki’s Mike Petty Stadium.