Warriors rally in second half to upend defending champ Foster
Yokota got two fourth-quarter scores, including Fredrick Guild’s 20-yard go-ahead TD pass to Darius Merritt, to rally from a 12-0 first-half deficit for a 16-12 U.S. Forces Japan-American Football League win Saturday over Foster at Yokota High School’s Bonk Field.
The host Warriors (3-0) increased their North Division lead to 2½ games over idle Yokosuka (1-3), while the defending champion Bulldogs (2-2) lost for the second time in three games to fall a game behind South Division-leading Joint Task Force (2-0).
Guild, who entered the game in the second half in relief of Ryan Jones, credited running backs Kevin Fortin and Willie Brown and the line for turning the game around.
“All I did was hand the ball to them, they pounded it, and the line started blocking,” Guild said.
Early on, it looked like Foster might cruise to victory. Frank Bryant tossed a 50-yard touchdown pass to Corey Moore and a 20-yarder to Tony Moses. And Foster’s opportunistic defense forced four turnovers, including two fumble recoveries by coach-turned defender Paul Nuttall.
But as the game wore on, Yokota became more effective, Nuttall said.
“They started executing a lot better with the line and running plays,” he said.
Fortin began the rally with a 10-yard scoring run, and Anthony Showers ran in a pitchout for the two-point conversion. Following Merritt’s game-winning TD pass, Fortin ran in the two-pointer to cap the scoring.