Yokota defense leads way past Kubasaki
CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa – Yokota’s defense made two crucial goal-line stands, each resulting in or setting up a touchdown, and the Panthers rode that crest to their second appearance in a Far East Division I football championship game.
Kazden Batey returned an interception 95 yards for a touchdown to end the first half, and the Panthers turned another stop into an 85-yard drive capped by Morgan Breazell’s 6-yard TD run as Yokota downed host Kubasaki, 26-8, in Saturday’s semifinal contest.
“How about that?” Yokota coach Tim Pujol said after his Panthers got their first win over Kubasaki in three tries on Okinawa since 1999.
But it wasn’t easy. The Panthers led by just 12-8 with just under half of the fourth quarter remaining before Yokota put the contest on ice.
“Kubasaski had a good season. They have a strong team. We knew we’d have our hands full. It was tight all the way.”
Josh Chamberlain had 44 yards on 13 carries, including a 1-yard run that put Yokota ahead early. After Batey’s interception-return touchdowns, Kubasaki sliced it to 12-8 on Deon Lewis’ 74-yard touchdown run and Cristian Rivera’s two-point conversion.
Breazell, who had 108 yards on 14 carries and 67 yards on four catches, broke the game open with his touchdown.
On Kubasaki’s ensuing possession, Dragons receiver Brandon Crawford fumbled, Stanley Speed recovered for Yokota and Devin Day (91 yards, 20 carries) capped the scoring with a 14-yard run.
Myles Andrews was 8-for-10 for 124 yards and Scott Hansen and Gabe Huizar each had a sack for the Panthers.