YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan —Yokota football is getting comfortable with the number 56 showing on its side of the scoreboard.
Jack Winkler accounted for three touchdowns, Kishaun Kimble-Brooks and Nathan Rundle two scores each and the Panthers scored eight TDs and 56 points for the second straight game, pounding Zama American 56-20 on Friday at Yokota’s Bonk Field.
The victory came two weeks after Yokota’s 56-0 romp at Robert D. Edgren, and it served as a tuneup for next Friday’s home showdown with defending Far East Division II champion Matthew C. Perry. Panthers coach Tim Pujol said his team refused to get caught looking ahead.
“We practiced really hard all week and turned our attention especially to the defensive side, for things we were expecting from Zama,” Pujol said after extending his school and DODEA Pacific record with his 140th coaching win at Yokota.
“We put in a couple of wrinkles on special teams and worked hard on polishing the offensive, improving our precision, and I think it showed” against Zama, he said.
Kimble-Brooks finished with 180 yards on seven carries, including TD runs of 57 and 50 yards. Marquis Smith-Brown had a 36-yard touchdown catch and three returns for 29 yards. Winkler rushed for 35 yards and two touchdowns on eight carries and returned a pick-six 27 yards.
Manny Mptias had a 52-yard touchdown catch and had a 99-yard interception-return touchdown called back on a penalty. Masaki Takenouchi recovered a fumble in Zama’s end zone for a TD and Daeveon Thompson also had a pick-six, for 22 yards.
Yokota raced ahead 36-0, then the Trojans found themselves, mostly in the second half, and played Yokota evenly 20-20 from there.
Devonte Gabriel returned a kick 80 yards for a touchdown and Nick Canada tossed a pair of TD passes, 6 yards to Sean Sullivan and 20 to Jay Webb, in what coach Scott Bolin called a “story of two halves.”
“We made too many mistakes early,” Bolin said. “They’re a well-coached team and we had to dig ourselves out of a hole.”
After playing its first three games on the road, Zama ends its season with a stretch of four home games. The Trojans next entertain Edgren, at 7 p.m. Friday.
“Hopefully, we can avoid those mistakes and knock the zero out of the win column next time,” Bolin said.