Kinnick tops Edgren but it isn't easy
MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan – Staging late comebacks is becoming old hat for Nile C. Kinnick football.
For the second straight week, the Red Devils came from behind to win, getting a fourth-quarter touchdown run from junior running back Chauncey Jamerson to beat Robert D. Edgren 9-6.
The game was drenched by rain that quit at halftime, but left Eagle Field a muddy mess.
“The pouring rain gave us some grief, we made some mistakes, a couple of dropped passes, the ball was a little squirmy, we had three or four touchdowns called back,” Kinnick coach Dan Joley said.
“The credit goes to Edgren. They’re a well-coached football team. I like what he’s (coach Jeremy Sanders) done with their guys.”
The Eagles (0-2), playing for just the first time since losing their opener 56-24 to Yokota, went ahead on their first possession, getting a 30-yard touchdown run from Shawn Robinson-Ortiz. Given the gooey, rainy conditions, it appeared the lead might hold up.
But Kinnick got on the board when Edgren snapped the ball into the end zone on fourth down and the punter booted it through, taking a safety rather than risk the Red Devils covering it for a touchdown.
Then it was Jamerson to the rescue in the fourth quarter, racing 22 yards for the game-winner. Tarick Mitchell’s last-minute interception sealed Kinnick’s second straight comeback win, following on the heels of its 19-18 win last Saturday at Seoul American after falling behind 18-0 at half.
“We kind of prepared for that,” Edgren associate coach Bill Schofield said of Kinnick’s propensity for comebacks. “We’re proud of the kids. They’re proud of the way they played. They were disappointed in the end, but those are the breaks of the game.”
Jamerson rushed 18 times for 140 yards and No. 2 quarterback Brad Deibel added 65 yards on 10 carries. Jianna Labato had 11 tackles.
For Edgren, Robinson-Ortiz had 129 yards on 10 carries and Dorian Dillon had two sacks, two fumble recoveries and 10 tackles.
“We’re becoming road warriors,” Joley said. “When it’s all said and done, we’ll have traveled four of five weeks. I’m playing travel agent, coach, tour guide; I’ve got it all going on.”
Kinnick again hits the road – or in this case the air – next weekend, flying to Okinawa to face Kadena for the second time this season; the Red Devils lost to the Panthers at home 35-21 on Sept. 12. Following their homecoming game Oct. 9 against Yokota, Kinnick returns to Okinawa to face Kubasaki on Oct. 17. Kinnick won its season opener 44-14 at Zama.