Yokosuka beats all-stars in Sasebo Bowl
SASEBO NAVAL BASE, Japan — With a lethal combination of hard running and opportunistic passing, the Yokosuka Seahawks became the Sasebo Bowl champions Saturday by defeating Japan’s Kyushu All-Stars 30-13.
The three-time U.S. Forces Japan-American Football League champions beat a team made up of Japanese players from Kyushu and Kurume universities.
The Sasebo Bowl, billed as an American-Japanese friendship game, is the first full-fledged American football game played on base. It was part of Sasebo City’s centennial celebration.
The Japanese players were noticeably smaller than the Americans, but were far from pushovers, Yokosuka coach Kerry Harris said.
“The Japanese team came here to play hard. That’s what we expected, and that’s what happened,” he said.
“We prepared expecting a tough game, and they came in here for the Sasebo Bowl very fast and in great shape. They maximized their strongest attributes to offset our advantage in size.”
Harris, the Seahawks’ offensive coordinator in 2000, took over as coach a year later. But this was his final game. A lieutenant assigned to the USS Kitty Hawk, he’s transferring in April.
During Harris’ tenure, the Seahawks went 30-3, a record that featured a 24-game winning streak.
He certainly went out in style Saturday.
Tailback Chris Bolden, an Augusta, Ga., native, gained 175 yards on 21 carries. He also played defensive back, intercepting two passes.
Bolden has submitted several college scholarship packages, and Harris said this performance certainly won’t hurt his chances.
“He’s a fine young guy, married with a small child. We really hope he makes it, and it would add further credibility to our league,” Harris added.
Roy Scott bolstered the Seahawks’ running attack with 75 yards on 11 carries. He turned in touchdown runs of 53 and 3 yards and added a two-point conversion.
The Seahawks scored twice through the air, with quarterback Will Hall tossing TD strikes of 39 and 36 yards.
“This was just a great way to go out, and the whole experience has been an honor and a pleasure for me,” Harris said. “I have learned so much more from these guys than I have ever taught them.”