Yokosuka breaks 15-game losing streak
YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan – After almost three years and 15 games of futility, quarterback Jamaal Moore accounted for three touchdowns Saturday to help his Yokosuka Seahawks end the lengthy slide.
He tossed touchdown passes of 40 and 25 yards to Christian McGee and ran 10 yards for another as the Seahawks rallied from a 14-0 first-quarter deficit to edge U.S. Forces Japan-American Football League defending champion Yokota 24-22 at Yokota High School’s Bonk Field.
“I’m happy we got out of this funk,” said James Price, coach of a Seahawks team that won seven USFL-AFL titles in the 2000s but in recent years fell on hard times, because of deployments and other duty commitments. “To come from behind and win like that. And to win on the road. I’m proud of these guys.”
This season, Price has most of his ship and shore personnel at his disposal, giving him a consistently full team for the first time since the late 2000s. “We feel good. I have a good team this year,” he said.
Saturday’s win was payback of sorts for the Warriors’ 10-9 season-opening win April 20 at Yokosuka in the rain. It was the second straight loss for Yokota; the Warriors had to forfeit their game on April 27 at Misawa due to transportation problems.
“Back to the drawing board,” said coach Selwyn Jones, whose Warriors got their points on two Darone Frierson to Lamon Irvin TD passes, of 35 and 65 yards, and a 65-yard touchdown run by Willy Estinfil. “We have to pick ourselves up, lick our wounds, put this game behind us and move on.”
The game featured a near-altercation in the closing minutes, with coaches from both teams quickly separating the combatants. Newly appointed commissioner Joe Howell was in attendance and witnessed the scuffle, and told Stripes he’s requested a copy of the game tape so he can review it and determine if any suspensions are in order.
League bylaws state that players ejected for misconduct or other non-contact fouls are sidelined for that game and the next. Taking a swing at an opponent warrants a full-season suspension.
Saturday’s South Division game pitting Camp Hansen at Kadena Air Base was postponed due to Ryukyu Middle School’s turfed field on Kadena not being available due to an Okinawa Activities Council high school girls soccer junior varsity tournament.
The game was pushed back to 2 p.m. Sunday at the Camp Hansen parade deck.