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YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — A near monthlong layoff didn’t seem to affect the Yokosuka Seahawks’ potent ground attack.

Kevin Hill, D.C. Preston and James McCullough each rushed for two touchdowns to power the Seahawks to a 56-20 rout Saturday of the Yokota Raiders in Yokosuka’s first U.S. Forces Japan- American Football League action since Aug. 2.

The three-time defending champion Seahawks (5-1) are a victory away from clinching their fourth straight regular-season championship and the right to host the league’s title game.

But despite the apparent ease of Yokosuka’s victory Saturday, coach Isaac Lee refused to take anything for granted. Their next challenge is a visit to Atsugi Naval Air Facility to face the White Dolphins, who could derail the Seahawks’ plans.

“We’re not out of the woods yet,” Lee said. “This was just one of two that we needed to win.”

Atsugi, eliminated from postseason contention, can still knock the Seahawks into a three-way tie for first place with Kadena and Misawa. In that case, playoff position would be decided by point differential. The Kadena Dragons hold that tiebreaker edge, followed by the the Misawa Marauders and Yokosuka.

“We did this one, and now we have to go into a hostile environment,” Lee said. “This was something to build on for next week.”

The Seahawks used their powerful running game to wear down the Raiders, who scored all their points via the pass.

McCullough gained 150 yards on 15 carries, including touchdown runs of 17 and 31 yards. Hill added TD runs of 44 and 15 yards and finished with 125 yards on 10 tries. Preston bulled for TDs of 1 and 3 yards on six carries for 65 yards.

Robert Trisby added a 53-yard touchdown catch, finishing with two catches for 70 yards.

Steven Fox had 12 tackles and a sack and Pat Dixon added five stops and one of three Yokosuka interceptions.

Yokosuka overcame a stellar passing performance by Yokota’s Dwayne Stephens, who was 23-for-38 for 250 yards and three TDs.

Lee was happy with how quickly the Seahawks scraped the rust off their rushing attack, idle since Aug. 2. Yokosuka’s past two scheduled games were cancelled.

“This was huge for us,” Lee said. “With all our commitments, people spread out everywhere, being idle for so long like this was taking its toll. Yokota came to play. But we wore them down with the run.”


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