Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Kamiya runs rampant, Kaz gets snubbed as Leafa smash Air Force

Kamiya runs rampant, Kaz gets snubbed as Leafa smash Air Force

By Carol Craftman
The Spirit News
September 20, 2076


Fifth-year cornerback Sebastian Kamiya had the biggest game of his long playing career for Dan Harding's Leafa Spirit Gridiron. Despite just two tackles, Kamiya set a new record for most interceptions in a game with 10, including one returned for a touchdown as the Spirit smashed the Air Force Falcons, 196-3, on Homecoming 2076. Quarterback Shae Katou-Aki passed for 516 yards and ran for 239 yards, scoring 14 touchdowns on offence for the Spirit.

However, there was one downer to this game: Kaz Kasumigaoka had a shocker of a performance, failing to connect on two fourth-down passes with a short field to work with. After the second turnover on downs, the decision was made by Coach Harding to pull Kasumigaoka and bring on Rocky Naoe and Keisuke Natsume to have some reps under center after the margin was 140-0 and the second string had their chance to impress.

"I told Kaz after the game, 'Listen, you'll have to take a long hard look at yourself and ask if you still want to commit your heart and soul to this team,'" said Coach Harding to the press. "He did not look very good under center and rushed his passes, although the receivers were guilty as well for the lack of communication. I told him, 'I'm going to start Rocky under center when the reserves come on because turnovers on downs are not allowed on this team.'"

When asked if Kasumigaoka would sit out the flight to Boise, Idaho, USA in three weeks, he said, "Listen, your job as journalists is to let us make these types of decisions in-house. You don't decide what we do. You leave that work to us and focus on writing about the performances of our players but you never, at any point, try to influence our decision making when it comes to determining our list for away matches. You leave that to us and worry about other things."

Halfback Jack Fukushina ran for 301 yards and six touchdowns while catching nine passes for 116 yards and two more majors. Wide receivers Jarryd Kaizuka and Jiji Petricca each had two receiving touchdowns, while Ledley Aki had a breakout performance with four passes caught for major scores. Kaizuka and Petricca also led the blockers with 21 and 20 pancake blocks, respectively. On defence, Case Tasmin-Jagger and Val Kiryuu-Cranell each had five sacks while safety Geronimo Hikigaya added two interceptions.

Leafa improve to 4-0 and will return to action on Oct. 10 against the Boise State Broncos at Bronco Stadium in Boise.