Kadena thumps Kubasaki to complete season sweep

News
Kadena's Braydon Frederick tries to wrap up Kubasaki's Omar Garcia in the Panthers' 47-20 victory over the Dragons on Thursday. (Jessica Bidwell/Stars and Stripes)
From Stripes.com
Kadena's Braydon Frederick tries to wrap up Kubasaki's Omar Garcia in the Panthers' 47-20 victory over the Dragons on Thursday. (Jessica Bidwell/Stars and Stripes)

Kadena thumps Kubasaki to complete season sweep

by: Jantzee Ellis | .
Special to Stars and Stripes | .
published: October 29, 2016

CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa -- Although Kadena has already punched its ticket to a fourth-straight appearance in the Far East Division I Championship on Nov. 12, it still had to face off with an all-too-familiar foe Thursday night for a third and final time this season.

The Panthers completed their sweep of Kubasaki with a convincing 47-20 win.

“It feels great. It’s our senior year and it’s the last time we will be stepping foot on this field,” Kadena senior Jericho Williams said. “So we had to bring it and I was excited.”

Williams would lead the Panthers offense with 141 yards on 10 carries and three trips to the end zone.

Kadena got off to a shaky start after mishandling the opening kickoff return, allowing the Dragons to recover the ball in Panther territory.

Kubasaki wasted no time getting on the scoreboard with a 39-yard pass hauled in by junior Alex Ramos, courtesy of senior quarterback Anthony Macaluso.

“We started out really poorly with a lot of penalties and a lot of miscues,” Kadena coach Sergio Mendoza said. “But they made the choice to take it upon themselves and step up, and I’m proud of them for that.”

The Panthers were able to make it to the end zone on a 12-yard dash to the corner by Williams, evening the score at 6-6 as the first quarter wound down.

After forcing a quick three-and-out from the Dragons, the Panthers took advantage of a short field. Junior quarterback Cody Sego punched in a touchdown from the 1-yard line. Kadena began to hit its stride with a 51-yard breakaway scoring run by Williams, pulling away for a 22-6 lead.  

But the Dragons weren’t going to go down without a fight.  After orchestrating an impressive drive via the arm talent of quarterback Macaluso, the Dragons struck the end zone once more in the final seconds of the first half with a 1-yard reception by junior Cameron McCall.

In the second half, the Panthers added four more touchdowns including a 59-yard run by Williams, an 18-yard rush up the middle by Uriah Morris and a 15-yard dash by Marquise Thompson.

Kubasaki’s Macaluso tossed in one more touchdown as the final seconds ticked off the clock to junior Koby Karl, producing the final score. Macaluso would finish his final game as a Dragon 17 of 30 for 210 yards passing, with three interceptions and three touchdowns.

“I want to congratulate Kadena on another great season, they are a great program,” Kubasaki coach Fred Bales said. “They are a really well coached team, and we wish them the best of luck in the big game.”

The Panthers take on American School In Japan in the championship in a rematch of a game the Mustangs won 34-20 on Oct. 15.