Kinnick's depth propels it to victory over Zama
YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan – Having two quarterbacks who can get the job done appears to be a nice luxury for Nile C. Kinnick football.
Backup Brad Deibel relieved ailing starter Kasey Walker in the second quarter and threw a pair of scoring passes to Nick Galegher late in the period. The Red Devils rallied from a 14-10 deficit, scoring 34 unanswered points to beat Zama 44-14 in Friday’s DODDS Japan-Kanto Plain season opener.
“We have two very good quarterbacks and I have confidence in both of them,” coach Dan Joley said. “Brad throws a pretty ball and did the job very well.”
Walker had thrown a 67-yard scoring pass to Chauncey Jamerson and rushed 39 yards for a score before leaving with leg cramps. Deibel found Galegher for touchdown passes of 38 and 75 yards as the half came to a close.
Those fireworks came after a particularly rough patch for Kinnick, which turned the ball over just five times last season but suffered five such miscues in the first half alone.
“We were good at securing the ball last year,” Joley said, adding that in the second and third quarter Friday, “we solidified things, secured the ball and it paid dividends. We were able to march the ball up and down the field a bit.”
Jamerson added TD runs of 18 and 53 yards and Daniel Moran booted a 38-yard field goal for the Red Devils.
Jaelen Baker rushed 4 yards for a touchdown and Kevin Groce returned a fumble 50 yards for a score to give the Trojans the early lead before the Red Devils came back.
“It was a game up until half,” first-year Zama head coach Scott Bolin said, adding that Zama was better able to move the ball early on than it had last season.
“We need more consistency in blocking. Other than that, we’re on track.”
The Trojans next host Robert D. Edgren in a Division II game on Friday at 7 p.m., while the Red Devils entertain Kadena at 3 p.m. Sept. 12.