Humphreys hands Daegu first loss
CAMP WALKER, South Korea – Special teams can sometimes be an afterthought, a forgotten aspect of a football team. On Friday, they made all the difference as Humphreys wrecked Daegu’s shot at an unbeaten season.
Jameson Vi kicked three extra points, while Daegu made none of its, helping the Blackhawks edge the Warriors 29-26, spoiling Daegu’s homecoming as well.
“Special teams are special,” said coach Aaron Mundy of Humphreys (4-3). He said the team practiced for 15 minutes on Thursday with Vi, a junior who also plays some center, linebacker, defensive line, “does a little bit of everything,” Mundy said. “And it paid off.”
Daegu (6-1) had been aiming for an undefeated season, which would have been the first in school history. Warriors coach Ken Walter credited the Blackhawks, saying “that team can win Far East.”
“I was impressed with them the first time I saw them,” a 38-12 Daegu win last month, Walter said. “They have playmakers all over the field. I told the guys they are coming in with nothing to lose. They were looking to be a spoiler and they pulled it off. They deserved to win. They outplayed us.”
Those playmakers included junior quarterback Tyreke Slaughter, who ran for two touchdowns, had 150 yards on 25 carries and went 7-for-10 for 140 yards in the air. Dai’Quan Wilson caught a touchdown pass and Bashir Edmonds rushed for another.
But it was the leadership of the seniors, Mundy said, that helped bring about the result. In particular, Osie Cruz, a diminutive skills player and defensive back who led the team with 15 tackles.
At season’s beginning, Mundy said Cruz had the “smallest size, biggest heart” on the team. “They look down to him, but they look up to him,” Mundy said of Cruz.
“My first meeting with the seniors tonight, I said seniors lead, we will follow. The seniors were incredible tonight. They’ve created such a brotherhood on this team. They led. We followed.”
For the Warriors, DeMarco Andrews – “Sensational, as always,” Walter said – had 212 yards and two touchdowns, making him the third DODDS Pacific back with more than 1,000 yards this season. He finished the regular season with 1,125 yards and 12 touchdowns on 63 carries.
DeAndre Rosalie added 144 yards and two scores on 15 carries, giving him 627 yards and eight scores on 66 tries.
Taylor Mendenhal was moved to fullback and “brought us back” from two touchdowns down, Walter said, with 61 yards on nine carries.
While Humphreys’ season is done, the Warriors still have their Far East Division II championship to defend, at 11 a.m. Nov. 8 at Matthew C. Perry.