Sego-fueled Kadena tops Yokota

News
Kadena running back Barry Mitchell races toward the end zone past Yokota defenders for one of his two touchdowns in Kadena's 41-13 victory Friday night. (Tyler Espinoza/Special to Stars and Stripes)
From Stripes.com
Kadena running back Barry Mitchell races toward the end zone past Yokota defenders for one of his two touchdowns in Kadena's 41-13 victory Friday night. (Tyler Espinoza/Special to Stars and Stripes)

Sego-fueled Kadena tops Yokota

by: Dave Ornauer | .
Stars and Stripes | .
published: September 06, 2014

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan – After coming up short in overtime in last November’s Far East Division I championship game, Justin Sego planned to enter his senior season playing like a man possessed, Kadena coach Sergio Mendoza said.

In Friday’s season-opening game at Yokota, Sego rushed for 275 yards and three touchdowns on just 16 attempts as Kadena rolled to victory 41-13 in the first Division I inter-district game of the season.

“He’s been taking shots since he was a freshman, he’s the only kid I’ve ever had who started as a freshman, he’s a senior now and he and I are on a mission,” Mendoza said.

From start to finish, Kadena held sway. Following Yokota’s first possession in which Kadena held the Panthers to a missed field goal, Sego scored from 70 yards out on just Kadena’s third play from scrimmage. Barry Mitchell scored on runs of 10 and 6 yards to put Kadena up 20-0 at halftime.

Yokota then showed signs of life, putting together an 11-play, 64-yard drive in 6 minutes, 35 seconds, capped by Shota Sprunger’s 8-yard TD run. But three plays later, Kadena answered with Kortez Hixon’s 54-yard scoring run.

Marcus Henagan got Yokota within 27-13 on a 14-yard keeper, but Sego then re-entered the picture, capping the scoring with runs of 11 and 18 yards. He finished with 294 all-purpose yards.

Despite the one-sided appearance, Yokota actually almost ran twice as many plays as Kadena, 52 to 30. But the former gave several short fields to the latter, which scored twice on three-play possessions.

“Those types of possessions are just killers,” Yokota coach Tim Pujol said, adding that his Panthers didn’t help themselves with untimely penalties and miscues on offense. “I was pleased with the way we moved the ball on many of the offensive possessions. We do feel we should stay positive and I saw a lot of positives tonight.”

Sprunger totaled 108 all-purpose yards and Henagan netted 106 of total offense. Neither team turned the ball over and only two sacks were recorded, on Henagan by Kadena’s John McBain and Boysie Gordon.

Yokota next travels to Seoul American, while Kadena hosts American School In Japan for the first time, with each game scheduled for Saturday.

ornauer.dave@stripes.com