Daegu wins shootout with Perry for D-II crown
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan – Just when it seemed Matthew C. Perry was on the verge of a comeback victory, Daegu’s DeMarco Andrews stepped up when it mattered most.
The junior running back scored on runs of 65 and 63 yards in the last four minutes, rallying the Warriors to a record-setting 60-50 win over the Samurai, their second straight Far East Division II football title.
“He absolutely took over that game. What a phenomenal player,” Daegu coach Ken Walter said of Andrews, who along with junior quarterback DeAndre Rosalie accounted for 465 yards and 10 touchdowns in a game in which neither team seemed to be able to stop the other.
“That No. 6. Good night,” Samurai coach Frank Macias added of Andrews.
The 110 combined points shattered the record for a DODDS Pacific football title game; that also involved Daegu, which lost 46-38 in the 2009 D-II championship to Zama.
Daegu (7-1), a four-time Far East champ, is tied with Kadena for most overall titles in either Division I or II.
The subject of titles and what teams have to do to achieve them was a topic of conversation before Saturday’s game, Walter said.
“We issued the boys a personal challenge, not just as a team, but individually, have you played your best game of football or have you yet to play your best game. They stood up and said they would respond to the challenge, and they did.”
Daegu scored every time it had the ball in the first half, leading 34-25 at intermission, then fumbled twice early in the second half, allowing the Samurai to seize a brief 48-44 lead.
Following the fumbles, the Warriors “righted the ship,” Walter said. “No quit in either team. That’s (Samurai) a heckuva a team. They’re well coached. This is probably the best game I’ve been a part of.”
“We got mean and nasty in the trenches, but it just wasn’t enough,” said Macias, who was missing two starting running backs, Caeleb Ricafrente and Mick Carreiro, with injuries.
“We had to patchwork things. I’m proud of the boys giving 100 percent. But there was too much speed (in Daegu). Hat’s off to Daegu. They played a very good game.”
Andrews ran nine times for 228 yards and four touchdowns, giving him 1,353 yards and 20 touchdowns on 72 carries this season. Rosalie had 68 yards and a score on nine carries, finishing with 695 yards and nine scores on 75 carries. He was also 5-for-5 passing for 169 yards and four TDs.
Josh McCaw added 57 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries and Jarvis Stokes ran four times for 66 yards. John McCarty and Hasan Hanslip each caught TD passes in excess of 60 yards.
The win overshadowed a stellar performance by senior back Jarell Davis of the Samurai (5-2); he had 285 yards on 23 carries and three TDs. Zack Brown had 165 yards and three touchdowns on 21 carries, Jason DeGrace 82 yards on 19 attempts and Desmond Moore 52 yards and a touchdown on six tries.
Davis is one of a handful of players who helped Perry restart its program after being shut down after the 2003 season. After playing a non-varsity schedule in 2012 and ’13, the Samurai played as a varsity team this season.
Macias said from the start of the season he had no doubt the Samurai could reach the championship game. “The big unknown was we had no common opponent,” he said. “I knew whoever we faced would be tough. And they were. It’s not going to set well but I’m happy where we are.”