Yokota evens record by topping Seoul American
YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea – Both sides faced adversity, both sides had opportunities and missed them. The heat and humidity were oppressive. Both sides finished with several players out of position due to injury.
Yokota did just enough to edge out Seoul American, edging the Falcons 21-20 Saturday at Seoul American’s Sims Field. Marcus Henagan’s 80-yard touchdown pass to Shota Sprunger early in the third quarter provided the winning margin.
“It was a matter of survival with the heat,” said coach Tim Pujol after Yokota improved to 1-1 overall and Division I, while handing the Falcons (1-1) their first D-I loss. “It was exciting. Tight all the way.”
“We did face some adversity with the injuries,” Pujol said, one of the key ones exiting being center Christian Sonnenberg. That forced Pujol to rearrange players like chess pieces, in positions they don’t play. “But we survived.”
Yokota might have scored more had the Panthers not turned the ball over a few times, twice in Falcons territory “where we could have at least come away with a field goal,” Pujol said. “It was frustrating.”
Likewise, the Falcons missed some chances, most notably after cutting the lead to 21-20 with 3:32 left on a 7-yard pass from Max Weekley to Eben Sheldon. An illegal procedure penalty on the two-point try sent the ball back to the 8 and the Falcons missed the try; “otherwise, they might have scored,” Pujol said.
The teams matched scoring plays in the first half, with Sprunger running 20 yards and Decorio Perry 35 for Panther touchdowns. Christian Scruggs of the Falcons countered with scoring runs of 1 and 5 yards; the Falcons missed the first two-point try and made the second.
After Sheldon’s TD catch, the Falcons got the ball back one more time, had two passes dropped and were stopped on fourth-and-1 at their 28-yard line. Yokota took over on downs and ran out the clock.
“It was a dogfight and I expected it to be a dogfight,” Falcons coach Jim Davis said.
Myles Haynes carried 33 times for 199 yards and Joab Ramos had 68 on 11 tries for the Falcons. Sani Buckingham and David Davison each had a team-leading nine tackles.
The two teams next travel to Okinawa, where the Falcons face off against Kadena (2-0) at 3 p.m. Saturday and Yokota visits Kubasaki at 6 p.m. Saturday.