Finnegan helps Kadena grab military football top seed
KADENA AIR BASE, Okinawa – Thanks to Sean Finnegan’s arm and legs, Kadena has captured the U.S. Forces Japan-American Football League’s regular-season title and top seed in the playoffs starting June 6.
Finnegan went 14-for-21 for 260 yards and three touchdowns and also rushed for a score and Brandon Avery caught two TD passes and returned a punt 60 yards for a score as the Dragons (4-1) won 32-7 Saturday over Hansen (3-2) at Kadena High School’s Panthers Field.
With the win, the Dragons earned the right to play the league’s last-place team in the first of two semifinals scheduled for June 6.
“Finnegan had a huge game and orchestrated the offense like we practiced, picking the defense apart,” Kadena coach J.B. Baker said.
Avery had seven catches for 60 yards, Alvin Stewart had 70 receiving yards and Matthew Woods 63 yards receiving. Ralphael Jones rushed for 63 yards on eight carries and Emmanuel Griffin had 85 yards total offense on nine touches.
Despite missing several key players due to missions, “we have a deep depth chart and guys know they have to step up and play at a high level,” Baker said. “They knew we needed a convincing win” after losing to winless Foster a week ago, “and they made it happen.”
Brian Marquez caught a 45-yard pass from Jesse Swanson for the Wolf Pack’s lone touchdown. David Torza had five tackles.
Foster (2-3) took a huge step toward possibly securing the second playoff seed by winning their second straight game, 38-8 over defending champion Kinser, which fell to 1-4.
William Lane threw a pair of touchdown passes for the Bulldogs, one for 8 yards to Dwayne Chiron. Carl Williams returned a punt 73 yards for a touchdown and caught a 7-yard TD pass from Lane, while James Carrion returned an interception 37 yards for a Foster score. The Bulldogs had three touchdowns called back on holding penalties.
Carl Parcello scored Kinser's lone touchdown.
Kadena hosts Kinser and Hansen plays Foster in the final regular-season games on May 30 at a site to be determined.