Perry gets back on track at the expense of Trojans
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan – It could easily be said that the 2015 football season has resembled a teeter-totter for Matthew C. Perry: A huge victory to open, a lopsided loss to follow.
The pendulum definitely swung back into winning territory on Saturday. Tyson Moore shined on offense and defense, accounting for five touchdowns as the Samurai romped 47-6 over Zama, leaping back into the chase for their second straight Far East Division II title-game berth.
“He was outstanding. He was the star of the day,” coach Frank Macias said of Moore, a junior receiver-defensive back. He caught four passes for 117 yards and four touchdowns and recovered two fumbles, returning them for 59 yards, one of them for a score. He also racked up seven tackles.
It was a day of big plays for Perry, as Moore’s brother, senior Desmond, ran just three times but for 82 yards and a touchdown, Macias’ son, sophomore Garrett, was just 4-for-8 but for 86 yards and three touchdowns.
Michael Perez attempted just one pass and completed it for a 28-yard touchdown and added seven tackles on defense. Caeleb Ricafrente rushed eight times for 86 yards.
“A great day to be a Samurai,” the elder Macias said.
The victory boosted Perry to a 2-1 overall record and 1-1 in Division II. Zama fell to 0-2 overall and 0-1 in D-II.
Saturday’s victory was a far cry from the Samurai’s last game, a 55-7 loss on Sept. 11 at Yokota, where Perry came away “banged up,” Macias said, with injuries, some of which lingered and kept a few of his players sidelined or hobbled.
“But my guys played with heart, we bounced back and played hard,” Macias said. “Our defense was pretty stingy today. But Zama played hard, too. We didn’t have any sustained drives all day.”
Zama’s lone points came on a K.J. Cruz 8-yard screen pass to Joshua Atkinson. Compounding the Trojans’ miseries was a high-ankle sprain suffered by senior Jaelen Baker, one of the team’s key stars.
Next up for the Samurai is a rematch, this time at home, against Yokota; a victory by the Panthers would put them in the driver’s seat for a bid to represent Japan in the Far East D-II title game on Nov. 7. Perry hosted the D-II title game last Nov. 8 and lost 60-50 to Daegu.
“We have a lot of work to do” in advance of Yokota’s visit on Saturday, Macias said; kickoff is at noon. “We’ll try to do a better job of preparing for them and we’ll see what happens.”
Zama has next week off and next plays on Oct. 2 at Robert D. Edgren; kickoff is at 7 p.m.