White’s four TDs boost rejuvenated Falcons into D-I semifinals
YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan – Ty White continues to pile up big numbers for a Seoul American football team that’s starting to resemble its Far East Division I title squads of 2006 and ’08.
The senior running back ran 18 times for 121 yards and three touchdowns and returned a punt 70 yards for a score to power the Falcons past Nile C. Kinnick 38-7 in Monday’s D-I play-in game. Most of the second half was played with a running clock.
Seoul American (3-2) scored on the ground, in the air, on special teams and on defense. Still, coach Rydell Wilkins said much needs to be done before the Falcons’ D-I semifinal rematch at Kubasaki on Oct. 29. The Falcons lost 41-17 at Kubasaki in the rain on Sept. 16.
“It was a good performance overall, but we still have some work to do,” Wilkins said. “We have to go back to the drawing board and work on some things, get the bumps and bruises healed and work better as a team.”
It was an emotional defeat for the Red Devils (2-4); junior fullback-linebacker Charlie Cruz’s father, David, a civilian contractor at Yokosuka’s Ship Repair Facility, died over the weekend.
“It was a tough couple of days,” Kinnick coach Dan Joley said. “I don’t think football was on their minds. We hung with them for two quarters, then it all fell apart.”
White leads Korea with 465 yards on 83 carries plus six touchdowns.
Harold Martin went 6-for-9 for 91 yards, five completions going to Tomiwa Akinbayo, including a 33-yard touchdown catch. Martin also returned an interception 20 yards for a touchdown.
Andy Weber and Justin Puegues each intercepted a pass for Seoul American, which also recovered two fumbles.
Quarterback Dustin Wilson accounted for Kinnick’s lone touchdown with a 1-yard keeper, set up by Quinton Holden’s 82-yard punt return.
Holden had 29 yards on 17 carries and 140 yards on five returns. Already nursing leg injuries, Dustin Kimbrell exited after gaining 28 yards on five carries. Aaron Stravers had 15 tackles, a forced fumble and two kick blocks and Holden added 11 tackles.
Kubasaki coach Fred Bales said he’s already begun preparing for the rematch with Seoul American, whom the Dragons beat 38-8 in the first D-I title game in 2005.
The Dragons converted a blocked kick into one touchdown and recovered their own fumble and ran it for another the first time the teams played in September. “They put up 17 on us, they’re a good, physical team with good athletes, a lot of class and determination. I think the next game will be exactly like that,” Bales said.