On paper, at least, Saturday’s Guam High at Kadena interarea football battle looks like a gridiron Clash of the Titans:

Defending Far East Division I champion Kadena hosts first-time Guam Interscholastic Football League champion Guam High at Ryukyu Middle School; kickoff is at 7 p.m. They’re a combined 14-0 this season and have outscored opponents 493-98 between them.

From casual observers to rabid fans of Panthers of both schools, this collision of the last unbeaten Pacific teams standing has all the trappings of a championship game; DODDS-Pacific’s offices have fielded phone calls and e-mails asking the kickoff time of the “Far East game.”

As DODDS-Pacific officials have gone to great pains to emphasize that it’s just an exhibition game with no bearing on the Far East Division I playoffs, so Panthers coaches Billy Henry (Guam High) and Sergio Mendoza (Kadena) are treating it as any other game on their schedules.

“My kids are of the mind that we don’t want to go out with a loss,” Henry said of his 8-0 squad.

Though there’s been much celebrating of the school’s first IFL title, the feeling that the team has “conquered a milestone” which a loss at Kadena might somehow taint, “we’re not changing anything” in their approach to the game, Henry said of his coaching staff.

Guam High opted to bow out of this season’s Division I playoffs due to conflicts with its IFL commitment and playoff schedule. That makes the Kadena game its season finale, while Kadena begins its title defense on Nov. 6 vs. Seoul American at Kubasaki High School.

“It’s a shot in the dark, playing somebody we’ve not seen,” Henry said. “We’ll play our game and adjust during the game. I think we’re more the underdog; they (Kadena) have more to lose than us, having to play a playoff game after this.”

For his part, Mendoza says he plans to play people who’ve not seen much playing time, and perhaps add some wrinkles that the Panthers haven’t used to this point. But he doesn’t plan to ease up with the Nov. 6 playoff upcoming.

“We play football one way. That’s the only way to go, all out,” Mendoza said. “And we expect to do that, to go all out and to win.”

Friday and Saturday bring a conclusion to the regular season with Kubasaki going where no Dragon has gone before, to Singapore for a school-first friendship game against the Singapore Falcons All-Stars.

Osan American seeks its first win of the season when it hosts Seoul American for its homecoming game.

In Japan, American School In Japan travels to Zama American to end the Kanto Plain Association of Secondary Schools season, while Nile C. Kinnick entertains Robert D. Edgren to cap the DODDS Japan campaign.

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