YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — Kevin Hill scampered for touchdown runs of 40 and 85 yards Saturday to lift Yokosuka past the Yokota Raiders 22-8 in the Seahawks’ U.S. Forces Japan-American Football League opener.
Hill, who gained 195 yards on 15 carries, quickly eased all concerns over the departure of 2002 league offensive player of the year Chris Bolden, now a scholarship player at Division II Concord College in West Virginia.
“He’s our secret weapon,” Seahawks offensive line coach Trey Fudge said.
Hill put the Seahawks on the board with his first TD run in the opening period, then put the game away with his 85-yarder in the fourth quarter, on third and inches from the Yokosuka 15.
It was a breakout game for Hill, who spent last season stuck behind Bolton, who gained 835 yards on 85 carries in the final five games of the 2002 season.
“I’ve been waiting for my chance,” said the 24-year-old petty officer second class from Atlanta, assigned to Yokosuka Naval Base’s Naval Security Group Activity.
Hill gave much of the credit Saturday to his teammates.
“They did their job. I just ran. The line, the fullback, the receivers, the defense: Everybody gave me an opportunity and did their part. Without all that, all that I did would have gone unnoticed.”
Hill’s heroics powered a Seahawks offense that outgained Yokota 331-91. Will Hall ran eight times for 76 yards and went 3-for-9 passing for 41 yards. Gary Hicks had an interception and one of two Yokosuka sacks. The Seahawks benefited from three Yokota turnovers.
The Raiders (0-3), who are 1-12 since the start of 2001, took to the air to score their only offensive touchdown this season. Backup quarterback Jacob Dowdell, who finished 7-for-15 for 119 yards, found Henry Fountain on a 15-yard scoring pass in the final period.
While Yokota’s passing game racked up 157 yards, the team labored again on the ground, where had minus-19 yards on nine carries. Anthony Thomas recorded two sacks for the Raiders.
Atsugi 22, Misawa 20
MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan — Playing quarterback hasn’t been a problem for former Atsugi White Dolphins wide receiver and defensive back DeForest Pittman.
The five-year veteran, shifted to quarterback this season, threw touchdown passes of 4 yards to Javar Williams and 65 to Ryan Romaine, leading Atsugi (2-0) past the Misawa Marauders and into first place. Misawa (1-1) beat Atsugi three times last season.
“This quarterback business is fun,” said Pittman, who went 7-for-11 for 125 yards. “I’m liking it.”
William Gill returned an interception 45 yards for Atsugi’s other score. Jimmy Cannon led the Dolphins’ rushing attack with 45 yards on 13 carries.
Herman Coleman tossed a 55-yard TD pass to Terry Lang and rushed 30 yards for another score, and the Marauders cut it to 22-20 on a 5-yard fourth-quarter TD run by Andre Rice. Their two-point conversion pass, which would have tied the game, was ruled out of bounds by the officials.
Coleman finished 4-for-10 for 80 yards and ran for 47 yards on eight carries. Derrick Magee led the Marauders with 51 yards on eight attempts.