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YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — Everyone’s getting into the act for Yokota.

Junior quarterback Shawn Novak threw two touchdown passes and sophomore free safety Shamarr Howell had two interceptions to lead the Panthers past the American School In Japan 45-3 in Kanto Plain Association of Secondary Schools football at Bonk Field.

“The fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree,” said Howell’s father, Joseph, Yokota’s junior varsity coach, a former Yokota Raiders defensive standout and the current U.S. Forces Japan-American Football League commissioner.

“He’s been fantastic in the secondary this season,” added Yokota coach Tim Pujol. “That’s a football family.”

Novak was 3-for-3 for 49 yards, including a 13-yard touchdown pass to tight end Corie White and a 30-yarder to Koji Nowell just before halftime, making the score 31-3.

Pujol called it a “breakout game” for Novak.

“The passes he threw were right on the money,” Pujol added. “He’s coming along really well.”

Senior running back Roy Roach continued to pile up yards (15 carries, 171 yards, one TD), and so did the other two cogs in Yokota’s ground machine.

Junior Chris Roach had TD runs of 1 and 27 yards, finishing with 61 yards on six attempts. Senior fullback Jeremiah Pearcey, playing just 2½ quarters because of an injury, carried eight times for 38 yards and two scores.

“Chris really hit for some big plays,” Pujol said. “He’s an elusive open-field runner.”

Pujol also praised reserve fullbacks Shawn Bevett and Kenny Harris, who combined for nine carries and 55 yards when Pearcey sat much of the first half nursing an injured arm.

“I’m tired of seeing my players get hurt,” said Pujol, who suited up just 23 players and went a second straight week without starting center Karl Gerstner, out with a knee injury. “The two guys who filled in for Pearcey did a great job.”

Yokota (3-0, 2-0) owns the best overall mark in Japan, sitting in sole possession of first place in the Kanto Plain, which the Panthers have won four straight years.

The Mustangs fell in their season debut, but coach Aaron Rogers remained optimistic.

“We were quite satisfied with our performance in our first game,” he said. “We executed well, our line held. They [Yokota] just had too many horses.”

Ken Saito broke up the shutout with a 30-yard field goal in the second quarter, which cut Yokota’s lead to 12-3.

The Panthers turn their attention to a Friday showdown for first place in the Japan Football League with Nile C. Kinnick (2-0).

“The place to be Friday is Bonk Field,” Pujol said. “I can’t wait.”

ASIJ next hosts Zama American (0-2) at 1 p.m. Saturday in Mustang Valley.

Okinawa games postponed

CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — Two more Okinawa High School Athletic Association football games have been scratched because of a tropical storm.

Friday’s game pitting the Kubasaki Samurai vs. the Kadena Buccaneers was postponed to 3:30 p.m. Monday, while the Ryukyu University-Kubasaki Shogun matchup, slated for Saturday, was pushed back to 6 p.m. Monday because of Typhoon Choi Wan, school officials said Friday.

All four OHSAA games in the season’s first two weeks were affected by weather.

The Sept. 12 season openers were played Sept. 15 because of Typhoon Maemi.


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