Yokota beats Zama with familiar attack
After beating Zama American through the air the first time the teams met, Yokota looked more like its old self in Friday’s rematch.
Anthony McNeill, Tony Presnell, Derick Seward and the Panthers’ trademark rushing attack ground out 366 yards and six touchdowns in a 40-6 Japan Football League victory over Zama at Atsugi Naval Air Facility.
It was a vast departure from the teams’ first meeting, which Yokota (5-0) won 50-19 over the Trojans (2-3) on Aug. 31, when quarterback DeEric Harvin debuted with a school-record seven touchdown passes.
“We weren’t unhappy to get so much in the air,” coach Tim Pujol said of the Aug. 31 game, in which starting running backs McNeill and Presnell were down with ankle injuries.
“We were working with a depleted backfield. This time, we were healthy, we spread the wealth, and the kids ran hard.”
Yokota extended its Pacific-record regular-season winning streak to 44 games, and ended Zama’s two-game winning streak.
Edgren snapped its two-game losing streak and got its first road victory under second-year coach Chris Waite, rallying past Kinnick 20-14 to sweep the JFL season series from the Red Devils. Edgren beat Kinnick 20-7 in on Aug. 31 at Misawa Air Base.
Seoul American’s MarQuintez Johnson and Demetrius Johnson combined for four rushing touchdowns and the Falcons (3-0) won their ninth straight game 42-0 over Osan American (0-3).
And the last of the unbeatens fell in Guam’s Interscholastic Football League as Father Duenas (4-1) scored a 35-0 shutout of Simon Sanchez (4-1).
Yokota 40, Zama 6:[/CALENDAR] McNeill rushed for 142 yards, including 1- and 28-yard TDs, on 16 carries. He set up Presnell’s 18-yard TD run with a fumble recovery and also had an interception.
The fumble recovery and Presnell’s touchdown were “important from a momentum standpoint,” Pujol said.
Presnell had 75 yards on nine carries, and Seward ran seven times for 126 yards with touchdown runs of 23 and 75 yards. Harvin intercepted three passes and Aaron Sargent intercepted one.
Zama’s Ken Johnson rushed for 109 yards on 11 carries, including a 7-yard TD. Emanuel Sloan was 3-for-11 for 77 yards but threw three interceptions. Nelson Bishop caught three passes for 63 yards.
“We didn’t stop them,” coach Steven Merrell said. “Giving up long gains, big plays, that came back to hurt us. We have to learn from this and move forward.”
Edgren 20, Kinnick 14: With a key game at Yokota on Oct. 19, Waite called Friday’s victory over Kinnick crucial in Edgren’s bid to lift the program out of the doldrums.
“We’ve made progress (but) we hadn’t won a road game. This was key, to prove we could do it” with the game at Yokota coming up, Waite said.
Despite losing tailback Tyree Hunt to an injury on the first play, Kinnick dominated the first half. T.J. Jones caught a 12-yard TD pass from Jon Bollinger, and then Chad Atchley returned an interception 35 yards to put the Red Devils up 14-0 at halftime.
But Kinnick fumbled the opening second-half kickoff, Luke Nelson recovered and eight plays later, Zach Latimore ran 3 yards for Edgren’s first touchdown.
“That was huge, absolutely,” Waite said. “They (Kinnick) had all the emotion going for them at that point, and that touchdown stripped it from them.”
Latimore added a 15-yard TD run in the third quarter, then Josh McDonald gave Edgren the lead for good with a 12-yard TD run in the fourth.
Replacing Hunt, Donavan Brown ran 15 times for 70 yards and Bollinger was 3-for-7 for 30 yards. Atchley was used in the shotgun formation late in the contest and ran four times for 25 yards, as did Gary Cox.
Seoul American 42, Osan American 0: [/CALENDAR]At Osan Air Base, South Korea, Seoul American’s brothers Johnson did the lion’s share of the scoring. Then the Falcons left it up to the defense to close the door on the Cougars.
MarQuintez Johnson ran 15 times for 94 yards, including touchdown runs of 1, 2 and 35 yards. Demetrius Johnson added a 6-yard scoring run. Daniel Burns ran it in from 8 yards and Eric Whatley scooped up an errant punt snap and ran it 6 yards for the Falcons’ final TD.
“We went in trying to control the ball and we were able to do that,” coach Julian Harden said. “Credit the line for allowing us to control the running game.”
On defense, Justin Stokes and Kawika Feleciano each forced and recovered a fumble, and Feleciano added three sacks. Freshman Lydell Gundy and Feleciano each made six tackles.