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CAMP HANSEN, Okinawa – Michael Harris waited the entire season for an offensive performance such as Saturday’s. It could not have come at a better time; his Hansen Wolfpack outlasted Foster in four overtimes and clinched the South Division regular-season title as a result.

Quarterback Dustin Moore lunged 1 yard for a touchdown in the last overtime as the Wolfpack edged the defending South champion Bulldogs 20-14 in stifling heat on Camp Hansen’s parade deck. It tied for the longest game in U.S. Forces Japan-American Football League history.

“That was a gut check, playing in the heat for that long,” Harris said of a game played in 86-degree temperatures and 73-percent humidity. “The offense finally got going, the defense did very well. I’m proud of the way we handled ourselves with all those overtimes.”

With the victory, Hansen (4-2) gets a first-round playoff bye and will host on June 29 the winner of Saturday’s first-round game pitting Foster (2-4) at Kadena (3-3). The winner of the June 29 game travels to the North Division champion to play the Torii Bowl on July 13. Though Foster outgained Hansen 309-234, it was the first time the Wolfpack had gone over 100 yards this season.

“The same thing happened to us last year,” said Harris, adding that he has players split between Hansen and Camp Schwab and since most are on deployment from the States, almost none drive cars, so practices must be held in separate locales.

“It takes longer for us to gel offensively,” Harris said. The five days the Wolfpack had for practice to get ready for their May 25 game at Yokota “helped us out a lot. It all came together today.” Hansen was also involved in the previous four-overtime game played in the 14 years of the league. As the Torii Station Wolfpack, they outlasted Kadena 12-6 in four extra sessions on July 18, 2009.

Saturday’s game featured much more scoring. Early Neal enjoyed a breakout game for the Wolfpack, rushing 17 times for 105 yards, including touchdowns of 5 and 32 yards. Moore also went 8-for-24 for 101 yards; Shaquille Garner caught three passes for 40 yards. Jason Jarmond had 145 all-purpose yards on six touches, plus an interception and a fumble recovery for Hansen, which forced five takeaways and recorded six sacks. Kenneth Harris had two sacks and a fumble recovery and Desmond Wright had a sack hat trick. Playing on an injured right ankle, Sanford James went 17-for-34 for 272 yards and tossed a 28-yard scoring pass to Phillip Offord and a two-point conversion to Devante Dudley to knot the game 14-14 with four minutes left in regulation.

Maurice Jones rushed 20 times for 91 yards, including an 8-yard touchdown run, and finished with 140 yards total offense. Columbus Wilson III had 106 all-purpose yards for Foster.

Foster suffered two of those lost fumbles and three sacks in the extra periods. “Missed opportunities,” coach Gerald Sharber said. “Not finishing the game when we should have.”

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Dave Ornauer has been employed by or assigned to Stars and Stripes Pacific almost continuously since March 5, 1981. He served 10½ years in the Air Force, the last 4½ assigned to Stripes in Tokyo, and was then hired by Stripes on Oct. 25, 1985. He covers interservice and high school sports at DODEA-Pacific schools and manages Pacific Storm Tracker.
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