This article has been corrected.

They’re the last two eligible teams vying for the one remaining Far East Division I title game berth and possibly host rights, with enough tiebreaker scenarios to give even the most experienced football numbers crunchers a splitting headache.

Defending DODDS Japan champion Nile C. Kinnick visits last year’s D-I runner-up Kadena, with kickoff at 3 p.m. Saturday at Kadena Air Base. In addition to showcasing the Pacific’s top two running backs, it behaves as a de facto playoff game.

Here’s the revised tiebreaker:

­­-- If Kinnick wins - or loses by four points or less - it hosts Kubasaki.

­­-- If Kadena beats Kinnick by at least five points, it travels to Kubasaki.

Defending champion Kubasaki is in no matter what; just a question of whether they will host or be the visitor in the D-I title game Nov. 8.

All that mumbo-jumbo wasn’t front and center for the Red Devils and Panthers as they prepared for Saturday’s showdown, coaches said.

“We haven’t talked with the kids about it,” Kinnick coach Dan Joley said. “(But) they know what’s at stake. We view this as a playoff. Win and we’re in, lose and we go home.”

“You have to take that into account, but what we’re really trying to focus on is polishing all the mistakes we made in our previous game,” a 15-8 home loss to Kubasaki last week, Kadena coach Sergio Mendoza said. It figures to be a battle in the trenches, as both lines average well in excess of 200 pounds and each team possessing at least two linemen weighing 250 pounds or more.

They’ll lead the way for the top ground gainers within DODDS Pacific thus far this season. Kinnick junior Dre Paylor, with a Pacific-leading 1,465 yards and 18 touchdowns on 133 carries, goes up against Kadena senior Justin Sego, with 999 yards and eight touchdowns on 110 attempts.

Using the Red Devils’ 22-18 home win on Sept. 13 over Kubasaki, Joley said he expects a “hard-fought, physical” game as is the case whenever Kinnick tees it up against any Okinawa team.

“We’re expecting the same kind of team (in Kadena), a detail-oriented, well-coached, physical team,” Joley said.

Kadena’s coaches are all too aware, Mendoza said, that Kinnick is “in the same situation as us; they have to win to move on. So, I’m expecting a tough game. They’re coached well and they’re good kids.”

Two other games with title implications take place Saturday on Guam when Okkodo visits George Washington and John F. Kennedy entertains Father Duenas Memorial; kickoffs are at 7 p.m.

Among Friday’s two DODDS Korea games, defending Far East Division II champion Daegu takes its best shot at a possible first unbeaten season in school history when the Warriors visit Seoul American; kickoff is at 6 p.m., as is Osan’s game at Humphreys.

Correction The tiebreaker formula was incorrect in an earlier version of this article.

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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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