This article has been corrected
YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan – Yokota continued to spread the ball around Friday and continued to overpower the opposition - this time a 41-0 victory over Nile C. Kinnick that kept the Panthers unbeaten.
Donovan Ball ran three times for 75 yards, including TDs of 35 and 25 yards. Raymond Butler added 55 yards and a score on five runs, and Morgan Breazell caught a 38-yard touchdown pass for Yokota, which has outscored its last five opponents 211-39 and finished each game with a running clock.
The win gave Yokota another checkmark on its list of benchmarks for the season: Beating American School In Japan on the road, sweeping the season series with ASIJ for the first time in five years and capturing the DODDS Japan and Kanto Plain titles for the 12th time on coach Tim Pujol’s watch.
Reaching the D-I title game on Nov. 17, would “put us in a position to reach all of our goals this season, which is nice,” Pujol said.Yokota (8-0 overall, 3-0 D-I) visits Kubasaki on Saturday. Kubasaki would earn host rights with a victory, while Yokota would clinch at least a berth in the title game with a win.
Yokota scored all of its points in the game’s first 17 minutes, after which the running clock took effect.
Early in the game, “we had some negative yardage plays we had to overcome, but it was a good team effort all around,” Pujol said.
Stanley Speed had 48 yards on four attempts, and his lone completion in three tries went to Breazell for his touchdown. James Cortez ran twice for 32 yards and returned an interception 41 yards for a touchdown and backup quarterback Marcus Henagan went 2-for-3 for 40 yards, including a 3-yard touchdown pass to his brother Mikey.
Kinnick (4-5, 1-4) lost for the fourth time in five games after opening the season 3-1; the Red Devils travel to ASIJ on Friday.
Minus six starters, including leading running backs Marcus Boatwright and Quinton Holden, the Red Devils got 84 yards on 14 carries from quarterback Dustin Wilson and 62 on nine attempts from backup running back Alex Banks. Dakota Rogers led Kinnick with 12 tackles.
“I enjoy watching his team,” Kinnick coach Dan Joley said of Pujol and the Panthers. “They’re a very good team.”
Of Saturday’s Yokota at Kubasaki battle, Joley said: “It will be a good game.”
“We’ll have to be at our very best” against Kubasaki, Pujol said of a Dragons team the Panthers beat 34-6 last Nov. 12 for the D-I title. “More importantly, each team would want host rights which they’d believe would give them an advantage in the title game. And if you look at history, they’d be right.”
CorrectionAn earlier version of thisarticle errononeously stated that Yokota clinched a spot in the D-I title game with the victory. In the new Far East playoff format, Kubasaki, Kadena and Yokota are all still alive.