CAMP ZAMA, Japan – David Hernandez’s right arm delivered two touchdown passes on Friday for an American School In Japan Mustangs team that finds itself on a two-game winning streak after opening the season with two defeats.
Haru Kent and Drogin James each caught scoring passes from the junior quarterback and Ken Yajima ran for another as ASIJ won for the second straight week on the road, beating Zama American 24-8 on Friday at Camp Zama’s Trojans Field. Taishi Nishiwaki recorded a fourth-quarter safety for ASIJ’s other points.
“It was a pretty good night,” said longtime Mustangs defensive coordinator John Seevers. “Our offense is moving the ball, our defense is getting better every week, David’s making good decisions at quarterback, our wide receivers are doing good things. Things are looking up.”
The win put ASIJ (2-2 overall, 1-2 league) a half-game back of Nile C. Kinnick for second place in the Kanto Plain Association of Secondary Schools race. The Mustangs also snapped a three-game winning streak for Zama (3-3 overall, 1-3 Kanto).
“We hurt ourselves a lot in the first half,” Trojans coach Steven Merrell said. “We had three fumbles, we only ran 15 plays; we didn’t get things in motion. In the second half, we did OK, but we let them get the jump on us and we had to climb uphill from there.”
Ryuji Van Deusen caught a 44-yard touchdown pass and David Coleman a two-point pass from RayVaughn King for Zama’s only points.
King was 6-for-8 for 68 yards. Andre Encarnacion was held to 40 yards on 11 carries. Mitchell Harrison had 54 yards on seven attempts and Holden Limas 48 yards on three tries.
The Mustangs carry momentum into Friday’s visit to Yokota, which beat ASIJ 27-21 at Mustang Valley earlier this month.
“We’re looking forward to Yokota. I’m sure they are, too,” Seevers said.
Meanwhile, Zama has a road trip of its own, a crucial battle for Division II title-game berths on Friday at Robert D. Edgren.
“They’re a good team, they’ve done a nice job getting their program back on track,” Merrell said of the Eagles. “We have to get things on track and do what we know we can do.”