Yokota, Kadena bounce back with USFJ wins
Darone Frierson seems to relish the prospect of playing against his former Misawa team.
The Yokota quarterback lit up the Jets’ defense for five first-half touchdowns and the Warrior defense forced three turnovers and held Misawa to 97 offensive yards in a 33-6 romp Saturday in U.S. Forces Japan-American Football League North Division action.
Kadena, meanwhile, rebounded from an 8-2 loss at Camp Hansen two weeks earlier to shut out the Wolfpack 14-0 and seize the South Division lead.
Yokota handed Misawa (2-1) its first loss of the season, evened its record at 2-2 and crept to within a half-game of the North lead. It wasn’t perfect, though, coach Selwyn Jones said; his Warriors didn't score in the second half and had trouble generating offense.
While he was happy his Warriors rebounded from a loss two weeks ago to Yokota, “we just have to put two good halves together,” Jones said. “We still have things we need to improve.” Frierson, who played four seasons at Misawa, went 13-for-20 for 203 yards and the five touchdowns in the first half. He hit Robert Harris – whose father used to coach at Misawa – for TDs of 3 and 5 yards, then turned to speedy Lamon Irvin, tossing scoring strikes of 44, 46 and 38 yards to him.
Irvin finished with four catches for 131 yards and Frierson totaled 15-for-25 for 218 yards; Yokota’s offense generated 286 yards, a league high for the season. Vick Taylor caught four passes for 40 yards and Julius Hampton three for 30. Willy Estinfil rushed seven times for 39 yards.
Two of Yokota’s takeaways, Charles Taggart’s fumble recovery and Cameron James’ interception, led to Warriors scores, as did a blocked punt by Damon Shepherd.
The lone bright spots for Misawa were Davonn McMillan, who accrued 159 all-purpose yards on seven touches, and quarterback Chris Cauthen, whose 1-yard touchdown run was set up by a 14-yard McMillan catch. The Jets defense also forced three takeaways; Julius Landis’ interception led to Cauthen’s TD.
One takeaway figured big in Kadena’s victory on its home McDonald Stadium field against Hansen.
Julian Taylor picked up a fumble and ran it 20 yards for a score that put the Dragons (2-1) ahead 12-0 in the third period. Shawn Avery gave Kadena all the points it would need in the second quarter, catching a Dishaun Harvey pass for a 20-yard touchdown. Jacob Lassiter tacked on a fourth-quarter safety.
“Fewer penalties,” Kadena coach Robert Friend said, comparing the victory to the loss two weeks ago. “We won that last one everywhere except on the scoreboard. They (Wolfpack) did shut down our run, but we opened up the passing game, short but effective, and made fewer mistakes.”
“I’m proud of what our defense did; our offense has to generate some points,” Hansen coach Michael Harris said.