Running back Damien Williams and quarterback Cameron Haines each ran for third-quarter touchdowns in Saturday’s rain to rally the Yokosuka Seahawks past the Misawa Marauders 12-8.
The victory — against the defending U.S. Forces Japan-American Football League champion at Yokosuka Naval Base’s Berkey Field — vaulted Yokosuka into a first-place tie with Yokota — which the Seahawks are to host July 1. The Marauders, meanwhile, are tied with Atsugi (0-2) in the basement. The Falcons visit Misawa Saturday.
“I’m so proud of the guys. It was a total team effort,” said Yokosuka defensive coordinator James Price.
He was the team’s lone coaching entity Saturday; head coach Robert Cole, the rest of the staff — and several key starters — were at sea.
That left Price a lean roster of 28 to contend with the Marauders, who seized an 8-0 lead on Jamey Crawford’s 2-yard run shortly after the opening kickoff. Misawa’s strong defense, plus rain and mud, wrested Yokosuka from its game plan, Price said. “We couldn’t move the ball.
“But we have a lot of fresh talent and they’re really hungry and disciplined. Plus ... they kept coming to me, saying they’d found this or that weakness and we needed to move the ball this way or that. We went to smashmouth football, the way we used to. We made some adjustments and were able to move the ball downfield.”
Team leader Williams (71 yards on five carries) capped Yokosuka’s first third-quarter possession with a 40-yard scoring run. Then Haines’ 2-yard burst gave Yokosuka the lead for good.
Haines played quarterback, kicker, punter and ran 11 times for 45 yards, a poster-child example of a Seahawks team whose players filled in wherever needed, Price said.
Casey Davis had two interceptions and the Seahawks recovered three Marauders fumbles. Dayon Banks recorded 14 tackles and Davis added six.
Asahi Silver Star 65, Yokota-Atsugi 0
At Kawasaki Stadium, a combined Yokota Warriors-Atsugi Falcons team took a pounding from the Asahi Silver Star of Japan’s premier corporate X-League.
The Silver Star recovered fumbles on Yokota-Atsugi’s first two possessions, converting one into a touchdown. The 18 Warriors and 12 Falcons were “never able to get back into it,” said Warriors coach Jon Pitts.
He called the Silver Star “well-polished. We made some big mistakes early.”
Saturday marked the fifth time since 1999 that a Japanese all-star or X-League team has routed a USFJ-AFL entity in non-league play. Japan’s national team crushed Yokosuka 84-0 in 1999 and Yokota 90-12 three years ago. Asahi roughed up Misawa 35-0 in 2001 and pounded Atsugi 37-14 in 2004.
W L Pct. PF PA
Yokota Warriors 2 0 1.000 28 9
Yokosuka Seahawks 2 0 1.000 32 22
Misawa Marauders 0 2 .000 14 20
Atsugi Falcons 0 2 .000 17 40
x-Kadena Dragons 0 0 .000 0 0
x — will play six games, four home, two away, as non-league entry.
Saturday, June 17
Yokosuka 12, Misawa 8
x-Asahi Silver Star 65, Yokota-Atsugi 0
Saturday, June 24
Atsugi at Misawa, 2 p.m.
x-Kadena at Yokota, 6 p.m.
x — non-league game