Perry unbeaten no longer as ASIJ romps
TOKYO - For American School In Japan, it was the continuation of a bounceback from a huge loss at Kadena. For Matthew C. Perry, it was an eye-opener on a couple of levels.
Brandon Rogers threw for three touchdowns. Ryan Murphy ran for two and the host Mustangs won their second straight and handed the Samurai their first loss as a varsity team in 11 seasons, 41-0 Friday at Mustang Valley in the first football meeting between the two schools.
Perry fell to 3-1 on the season, and coach Frank Macias said the Samurai were able to take some things away from this game.
“This is all new for us,” Macias said of 14-hour bus rides, getting maybe six hours sleep, playing, then getting right back on the bus and heading home. As a non-varsity program the last two years, most of Perry’s games were Saturday affairs.
“We did have kids step up through adversity,” Macias said. “That’s when you find out what you really are. In the second half, we had kids who didn’t quit. They kept fighting.”
Macias said the Samurai as a team must hit the weight room to keep up with the bigger teams. “It’s very evident that the weight room is the No. 1 factor,” he said.
ASIJ “showed us what it’s like to play a team that lifts. If we are to step into the upper echelon of the Pacific, we have to start lifting.”
Caeleb Ricafrente led the Samurai with 77 yards on 13 carries. Garrett Macias went just 2-for-11 for 65 yards, but Perry also had five dropped passes. “It was ugly,” Frank Macias said. Jason DeGrace rushed 15 times for 55 yards.
The Mustangs, meanwhile, are starting to come into their own, coach John Seevers said, thanks to more physical play in recent weeks.
“We took some lumps,” Seevers said, citing Kadena’s 49-0 win over the Mustangs (3-1) on Sept. 12 on Okinawa. “We’re starting to play more physically than we did at the start of the year and that’s made a big difference for us. We’re getting better every week.”
Rogers was 10-for-15 for 157 yards and Murphy rushed 11 times for 78 yards. Murphy also caught a touchdown pass, as did Alex Dacus and Ray Hotta. Zach Noddin rushed for a score and led ASIJ with seven tackles.
The game was Perry’s final tuneup for next Friday’s neutral-site game against Robert D. Edgren at Yokota, which in all likelihood will decide which team will host the Far East Division II title game on Nov. 7.
Meanwhile, the Mustangs next host Nile C. Kinnick, which is vying for a berth in the Far East Division I title game Nov. 8.
“We’ll have our hands full next week,” Seevers said. “That’s going to be the big one.”