USFJ-AFL football: Misawa gets its revenge on Yokosuka, 38-14
Hours after a series of earthquakes rattled east-central Japan, Misawa shook up the U.S. Forces Japan-American Football League standings.
Hazim Glover ran for two scores and Andre Rice threw three TD passes as the Marauders avenged their championship game loss to the three-time champion Yokosuka Seahawks, winning 38-14 Saturday at Marauders Field.
At Courtney Bowl on Okinawa, Kadena (3-2) halted a two-game skid and pulled within a half- game of first place, routing Courtney-Hansen 46-6. The Titans fell to 2-2.
Misawa 38, Yokosuka 14
MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan — The Marauders’ first victory over Yokosuka left the teams tied for first at 3-1.
Misawa holds the tiebreaker edge after beating the Seahawks in their lone matchup this season. The regular-season champion hosts the league title game Sept. 20.
It was only the third loss for the Seahawks in their past 32 games, a span of three-plus seasons. And it was a far cry from Misawa’s 16-6 loss to the Seahawks last Sept. 21 in the league championship game at Yokosuka, in which the Seahawks had a distinct advantage in size and depth.
On Saturday, Misawa suited up 40 players, compared to 21 for the Seahawks.
“This time, we turned the tables on them,” Misawa coach John Hemphill said. “But they came to fight. I respect them for that. They were short-handed, but they were strong.”
The Marauders, behind Glover and Rice, proved to be stronger on an unseasonably cool, misty afternoon.
Glover, who carried 11 times for 170 yards, had TD runs of 50 and 60 yards. Rice, 7-for-20 for 175 yards, hit three-time All-League receiver Terry Lang with touchdown passes of 30 and 40 yards and Adrian Everett for 50 yards. Sylvester Barner had Misawa’s first TD, a 7-yard run.
Yokosuka quarterback Chris Kemph, 5-for-9 for 90 yards, threw a 25-yard TD pass to James Crowell and added a 40-yard TD scamper, as the Seahawks showed signs of life in the final period.
But Glover’s second touchdown increased the margin, and Misawa’s ensuing onside kick was covered by upman Dan Dietz. The Marauders then ran six minutes off the clock, capping it with Rice’s 40-yard TD strike to Lang to complete the scoring.
“That was where the momentum shifted,” Hemphill said. “When we kept the ball for that long, that was what tipped the scales in our favor.”
The Seahawks — who drove to Misawa the night before the game and felt the first of the series of earthquakes while driving past Sendai on Japan’s east coast — were held to 75 yards rushing. League leader Kevin Hill was held to 40 yards on 13 tries.
“They simply outplayed us,” said coach Isaac Lee, whose team has four games left. Yokosuka needs Misawa to lose at least once to have a chance for a fourth straight regular-season title.
“We always have to remain optimistic,” Lee said.
Misawa hosts the Yokota Raiders (1-3) on Saturday, while Yokosuka makes its first Okinawa trip to visit Courtney-Hansen.
Kadena 46, Courtney-Hansen 6
CAMP COURTNEY, Okinawa — A.J. Hickman sneaked 1 yard for a TD and passed 98 yards to James Bridges for another to keep Kadena in the playoff hunt after losing to Yokota and Yokosuka on a northern road trip last week.
“It was a good tuneup,” Dragons coach Glen Ballard said. “It was also a blessing to come back and play with a full squad.”
Leading 8-6 at halftime, Kadena erupted for five second-half scores. Charles Clarke, who scored a first-quarter safety, ran 20 yards for a TD, Leonard Moses added a 25-yard TD run, Trent Beavers scored from 19 yards and Charles Harris recovered a fumble in the end zone.
Hickman went 4-for-8 for 121 yards, Moses finished with 107 yards on 11 carries, Beavers carried 12 times for 83 yards and Clarke ran six times for 43 yards. Nathan Graves and Vedel Poindexter each had two sacks.
Kadena next plays on Aug. 12, when it hosts Misawa at Camp Courtney.