USFJ-AFL roundup: Yokota moves into first
YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — A new team is perched atop the U.S. Forces Japan-American Football League standings.
Quarterback Bruce Turner threw a touchdown pass and ran 30 yards to set up another score in the third quarter Saturday as the Yokota Raiders (2-0) rallied from a 7-0 first-quarter deficit to upend the Misawa Marauders 26-13 and take sole possession of first place.
It’s the first time since 1997, in the old USFJ league, that Yokota has been in first. Yokota had on occasion shared the top spot with four-time defending champion Yokosuka.
“Outstanding. That’s great,” said Yokota’s offensive coordinator Jake Dowdell, who assumed head coaching duties while Rick Young was away on assignment.
“The guys showed great character in coming back. I know Coach Young is going to be happy to hear how we did.”
Yokota 26, Misawa 13: The Raiders capitalized when the Marauders failed to convert on fourth-and-five at their own 25. Turner then found Phillip Rush in the end zone with a 20-yard pass that gave Yokota the lead for good.
Early in the second half, Turner ran 30 yards to set up a first-and-goal at the Misawa 8-yard line. Jason Wilson rammed into the end zone on the next play.
Turner, normally a wideout, was filling in for Dowdell, who was sidelined with turf toe.
Marcus Levias capped Yokota’s scoring with a 20-yard run. John Pappas tacked on a 4-yard run with just over 2 minutes left for Misawa.
Kevin Hill began a rally with a 1-yard scoring run that got Yokota within 7-6, after Misawa had went up 7-0 on Terry Lang’s 55-yard run and David Varnar’s extra-point kick.
Yokosuka 36, Atsugi 0: At Yokosuka Naval Base, Japan, Yokosuka righted itself after a season-opening loss to Yokota. The Seahawks forced four turnovers and recorded six sacks in a shutout of the winless White Dolphins.
Will Hall, having split time at quarterback with Justin Victor, returned to full-time duty and ran 3 yards for one touchdown and passed 20 yards to Robert Trisby for another.
Aaron Stegall added touchdown runs of 1 and 2 yards.
Former longtime White Dolphin Ryan York haunted his former team by returning a fumble 22 yards for a TD.
Trisby and Jamal Wells picked off one pass each, Thomas Curry had two sacks and a fumble recovery, Stephen Fox had 13 tackles and Gary Hicks, with four sacks, ran his season total to seven.
The White Dolphins (0-2), who dressed 19 players, have yet to score a point and have given up 88 this season.