USFJ-AFL football: Yokosuka improves to 5-0 in rare shootout
YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — Northern Division games typically feature bruising defense and low scores. On Saturday, the Yokosuka Seahawks and defending champion Misawa Jets staged scoring pyrotechnics worthy of the Fourth of July.
Bob Docherty ran for a touchdown and passed for another and the Seahawks’ defense scored three TDs as Yokosuka defeated Misawa 53-38 in a record-setting U.S. Forces Japan-American Football League performance.
The 91 combined points is the most in a USFJ-AFL game since the league’s inception in 2000. It was a far cry from the Seahawks’ 7-6 edging of the Jets on June 13 at Misawa.
"That was crazy. Ridiculous," Seahawks coach James Price said. "Nobody played defense. It was who could get into the end zone more."
The victory — witnessed by Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Rick West — propelled the Seahawks to 5-0 while the Jets stumbled to 1-4 despite four TD passes by Deron Frierson.
Misawa will likely open the playoffs July 18 at Yokota. Yokosuka will get a first-round bye and host the July 18 winner on Aug. 1.
Docherty ran 15 yards for a touchdown and passed 15 to Preston Johnson for another score. William Bennett, Adam Crotzer and Lorenz Piper added TD runs of 7, 4 and 2 yards.
The Seahawks’ Glenn Roscoe (65 yards) and William Batten (60) ran interceptions back for touchdowns. Luke Raimo fell on a fumble in the end zone for Yokosuka’s other defensive TD.
The Jets remained in it as Frierson answered by hitting Justin Hampton for touchdowns of 15, 15 and 50 yards and Charles Salter with a 40-yarder.
"We did some quick strikes and moved the ball downfield, but that gave the ball back to them (Seahawks)," Jets offensive coordinator Fred Ellis said. "They were big and strong, and we were small and fast."
Jason Williams (75 yards) and Lorenzo Bookhart (58) returned interceptions for Misawa TDs.
The visits by Roughead and West were believed to be the first by an armed service’s ranking officer and enlisted man to a USFJ-AFL game.