Kadena, Yokota, Yokosuka post football wins
Robert Friend will gladly take a win any time. But he would rather his Kadena Dragons produce more consistently and early on, instead of performing last-second escapes such as the one they did Saturday at Foster.
Dishawn Harvey connected on a 40-yard pass to Devonte Ecford in the final minute to snap a 6-6 tie and lead the Dragons to a 12-6 triumph over reigning South Division champion Foster in U.S. Forces Japan-American Football League action at Kubasaki High School’s Mike Petty Stadium.
“Scary,” Friend said when asked how he felt about his team’s 3-1 record and 1½-game lead in the division. “We have to execute. We can’t wait until the last minute to score. Stupid mistakes. That’s what kills us.” The solution, he said, is getting more people out to practice. “We had quite a few out last week which was good, but we need to get more. More time for the quarterbacks to work with receivers on their routes and the line to build a pocket and protect the quarterbacks.”
Harvey tossed two touchdown passes for Kadena in the victory, the first one a 35-yarder to Brandon Avery. Emanuel Griffin rushed 13 times for 80 yards for the Dragons.
Saturday was the first time all six teams were in action in the same weekend this season. Yokota beat Camp Hansen 30-8 in the first inter-divisional contest of the season, while Misawa traveled to Yokosuka and lost 34-0 in a North Division contest.
Darone Frierson ran for touchdowns of 3 and 2 yards and passed 35 yards to Vick Taylor for another, while Joe Stevens returned a fumble 25 yards for a score as Yokota dominated its opponent for a second straight week. Frierson said it speaks well for the Warriors’ chances at repeating its league title. “We’ve positioned ourselves well,” he said, adding that coach Selwyn Jones outlines three goals for the team at the start of each season: Winning the division, winning home field throughout the playoffs and winning the league title. “We’re on our way to that first step,” Frierson said.
Reese Ritter threw a 45-yard touchdown pass to Jaquan Humphreys for the Wolfpack’s lone touchdown. Despite the defeat, “we improved a lot,” Hansen coach Michael Harris said.
At Yokosuka Naval Base, Jamaal Moore ran for a touchdown and passed for another and Duane Scott ran for a pair of TDs as the Seahawks grounded the Jets, bringing the three North Division teams to 2-2 records in games against each other.
The game at Yokosuka’s Berkey Field was called off at halftime when the Jets, who brought just 16 players from Misawa, suffered a handful of injuries and it was determined the team could not continue playing safely.
Moore ran 18 yards for one touchdown and passed for 18 yards to DeForest Pittman for the other. Scott’s touchdown runs were for 7 and 6 yards. Torri Sims ran an interception back 24 yards for Yokosuka’s other score.