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MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan — For the first time since coach Tim Pujol arrived in 1999, the Yokota Panthers had more yards passing than yards rushing in a game.

Doug Bloom and Tom Gass went a combined 8-for-10 for 190 yards and three touchdowns as the Panthers, playing on the road and being scored on for the first time this season, beat the Robert D. Edgren Eagles 56-7.

Yokota (3-0 overall, 3-0 JFL) usually grinds out its yards and throws an average of four passes per game. Edgren ran 65 offensive plays to 30 for Yokota and moved the ball on the Panthers, though it scored only once.

Yokota averaged 338.5 yards rushing in its first two games to 141.5 yards passing. On Friday, the Panthers rushed 20 times for 165 yards.

“It wasn’t necessarily by design; it’s just kind of the way it happened,” Pujol said. “They [Edgren] moved the ball well between the 20s. They moved it effectively, on the ground, in the air, you name it. Their execution was outstanding. It just didn’t result in points.”

The Panthers scored — in bunches and on big plays — and the six-time defending Japan League champions ran their on-field winning streak to 51 games. Two of those victories, to open the 2002 season, were forfeited when Yokota discovered it had used an ineligible player.

Anthony McNeill ran back the opening kickoff 92 yards for a touchdown. Bloom passed 90 yards for a score to Cameron Cooper and 12 yards for a TD to Jason Ricks, and also scored on a 7-yard run. Patrick Pamintuan, Scott Monahan and Mark Dixon each ran for touchdowns and Tom Gass tossed a 10-yard touchdown pass to Dre Irvin.

The Panthers opened a one-game lead in the league over Nile C. Kinnick (2-2, 2-1). Edgren (1-3, 1-2) slipped to third place.

Though Yokota led 35-0 at halftime, “it wasn’t a happy halftime,” Pujol said. “We had already played 38 plays of defense and saw them march the ball up and down between the 20s. It was a ‘bend-but-don’t-break’ type of defensive game for us.”

Edgren ended Yokota’s streak of 10 shutout quarters when the Eagles drove downfield on the first possession of the second half, with Josh Ray hitting Darren Hall for a 22-yard TD pass. But it was the only time the Eagles found paydirt.

“We just couldn’t finish,” Edgren coach Jim Burgeson said. “We’ve had that problem. We’re great between the 20s. So it was nice to start the second half to drive right down and punch it in.”

Already at a disadvantage, with starting backs Victor Lee and Jacques Moton sidelined by shoulder injuries, the Eagles entered the contest “very intimidated,” and McNeill’s and Cooper’s big-play touchdowns didn’t help, Burgeson said.

“Yokota is Yokota,” he said. “Tim has them always prepared. But our kids finally realized in the second half that if they stand up and play with those guys, they can play with anyone.”

The Panthers remain on the road the next two weeks, against Zama on Friday and then on Oct. 15 at the American School In Japan, off to its best start in four seasons. Edgren visits Nile C. Kinnick on Friday.

Japan Football League

Japan Football League

W L Pct. PF PA

Yokota 3 0 1.000 157 7

Nile C. Kinnick 2 1 .667 21 64

Edgren 1 2 .333 20 76

Zama American 0 3 .000 12 63

Kanto Plain

W L Pct. PF PA

Yokota 2 0 1.000 101 0

ASIJ 2 0 1.000 51 6

Nile C. Kinnick 1 2 .333 7 68

Zama American 0 3 .000 12 97

Friday’s game

Yokota 56, Robert D. Edgren 7

Saturday’s game

Nile C. Kinnick at American School In Japan, 1 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 7

Robert D. Edgren at Nile C. Kinnick, 7 p.m.

Yokota at Zama American, 7 p.m.

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