CAMP COURTNEY, Okinawa — Charles Clarke scored touchdowns on offense and defense, powering the Kadena Dragons to a 28-2 victory Saturday over the Futenma Falcons and into a first-place tie with Yokosuka in the U.S. Forces Japan-American Football League.
Clarke, a fullback and linebacker, ran 33 yards for a first-quarter touchdown. He also stripped the ball from a Falcons running back and returned it 88 yards for a score early in the second half. Clarke accounted for 139 all-purpose yards on six touches.
“He had a really good ballgame,” Dragons coach Glen Ballard said of Clarke, a short, stout and speedy back who was coming off jaw surgery. “He’s a force to be reckoned with. He’s mobile for a big man, and he can hit you a good lick.”
Leonard Moses rushed for 90 yards on nine carries, including touchdown runs of 5 yards in the first quarter and 11 as time expired.
The Dragons amassed 280 yards on 37 rushing attempts, and Clarke spearheaded a defense that forced three turnovers, a sack and a blocked punt and held the Falcons to 47 yards.
Futenma got its first points in two games on a third-quarter safety.
Despite being penalized 14 times for 130 yards, the Dragons (2-0) joined Yokosuka atop the league standings.
The Dragons face a tough road ahead. They fly to Yokota Air Base this week for games Wednesday against the last-place Yokota Raiders (0-3) and Saturday against Yokosuka.
Ballard said conditioning and execution will be the keys to the Dragons’ difficult road trip.
“We’ve been running since Feb. 14. We have the talent, the ability and the athleticism to make a strong statement in this league,” Ballard said. “I feel I have skills positions players who can hold their own. We just have to work on execution.”
Misawa 24, Atsugi 6
ATSUGI NAVAL AIR FACILITY, Japan — Herman Coleman rushed four times for 107 yards and caught a 10-yard touchdown pass from Andre Rice as the Marauders (2-1) scored four fourth-quarter touchdowns and avenged a 22-20 home loss to the White Dolphins (2-2) last month at Misawa Air Base.
“We revisited the things that made us sucessful in the past, and we took it to them,” Misawa coach John Hemphill said. “Last time, they [Atsugi] came ready to play. We’d had success against them in the past and we let our guard down.”
Rice also ran 37 yards for a touchdown, Derrick Magee added a 5-yard scoring run and Rodney McCullough a 2 yard TD run. Rice was 5-for-11 for 66 yards and gained 37 yards on six carries.
McCullough and Coleman also intercepted two passes each.
The White Dolphins, losers of two straight, averted a shutout on DeForest Pittman’s 34-yard TD pass to Ryan Romaine in the final two minutes.