EAST
富士通フロンティアーズ IBM BigBlue アサヒビールシルバースター オール三菱ライオンズ 明治安田PentaOceanパイレーツ 電通キャタピラーズ
CENTRAL
ノジマ相模原ライズ LIXIL DEERS オービックシーガルズ 富士ゼロックスミネルヴァAFC 東京ガスクリエイターズ BULLSフットボールクラブ
EAST
パナソニック インパルス エレコム神戸ファイニーズ アサヒ飲料チャレンジャーズ アズワンブラックイーグルス 名古屋サイクロンズ サイドワインダーズ
TOP > Game Report > Fast and furious Frontiers cruise past Seagulls, into Japan X Bowl

Game Report

Fast and furious Frontiers cruise past Seagulls, into Japan X Bowl

’15.12.01

Fujitsu running back Gino Gordon stretches out to score on a 20-yard pass in the second quarter.

 

 

 

YOKOHAMA (Nov. 29)—The stats show that Colby Cameron threw three touchdown passes. But what those numbers don’t reflect are the individual efforts made by the players on the receiving end who turned routine catches into scoring masterpieces.

 

“That’s why they’re here, to be the playmakers, not me,” Cameron said of his receiving corps, following the Fujitsu Frontiers’ 27-6 victory over the Obic Seagulls that earned the defending champions a fourth trip to the Japan X Bowl in five years.

“The faster I can get it to them and the more room they have, it makes a world of difference with our guys. They just do a great job of run-after-catch….It makes my life easy and I appreciate them for all they do.”

Running back Gino Gordon, who would later leave the game on a stretcher with a serious leg injury that likely rules him out of the championship game, had a 20-yard touchdown reception, and Junpei Yoshimoto and Teruaki Clark Nakamura each turned catches into 37-yard scores as the Frontiers beat the Seagulls for the second time this season and third time in two years.

 

Fujitsu, which won its first-ever league title last season, will get a chance for a second straight when it faces the Panasonic Impulse in a battle of unbeatens in the Japan X Bowl on Dec. 14 at Tokyo Dome. The Impulse defeated the Nojima Sagamihara Rise 45-17 in the other final stage game Sunday in Osaka.

 

While both Fujitsu and Obic would say the game before 4,582 at Yokohama Stadium played out differently than the East Division clash last month won 41-7 by the Frontiers, Fujitsu’s defense was as rock-solid as always, intercepting three passes, recovering a fumble and recording six sacks.

 

“We have a lot of guys who run well up front, and on the back end, we just have to make sure we don’t mess up anything that they’re doing right,” cornerback Al-Rilwan Adeyami said. “We just contain on the back end, and on the front end, we just rush the passer.”

 

Obic’s lone score came on Takushiro Hata’s 4-yard touchdown pass to Akimitsu Mori early in the fourth quarter (the point-after attempt was blocked). But on the next drive, Obic failed to score on four shots inside the 2-yard line, ending any hopes of a miracle comeback.

 

Obic lost an earlier touchdown when a 98-yard kickoff return by Noriaki Kinoshita in the second quarter was nullified by a holding penalty.

 

“It just came down to we made more mistakes,” Obic defensive end B.J. Beatty said. “We killed ourselves. We didn’t give ourselves a chance. When you play somebody like them, you can’t do that.

 

“That’s what happened in the first game, we had turnovers. Today we had penalties. We had that long kick return that comes back for holding….They just executed when they needed to, and we just couldn’t get it done on our end.”

 

Fujitsu also paid the price for an untimely penalty, as an interception brought back to the Obic 5 was erased in the third quarter due to pass interference. It was one of 14 penalties assessed to the Frontiers for a whopping 120 yards. Obic was flagged seven times for 55 yards.

 

Fujitsu did itself no favors on its first two drives. Hidetetsu Nishimura, who would later kick a pair of field goals, had a 46-yard attempt blocked, and Cameron threw his lone interception of the game. Meanwhile, Obic starting quarterback Shun Sugawara threw the first of his three interceptions before being replaced in the second half, and Takeshi Nagao missed a 50-yard field goal attempt as the first quarter ended scoreless.

 

“That was my fault in the beginning of the game,” said Cameron, who completed 31 of 47 passes for 360 yards. “I don’t like throwing interceptions, I guess everyone knows that.

 

“The main thing is that we bounced back. That’s our team, really even-keeled. Just stay the course, we don’t have to do anything drastic. We know we can score, it’s just a matter of time and we just have to keep doing what we do.”

 

Head coach Satoshi Fujita wasn’t concerned by the lack of early points. “The defense played very well at that time so that helped us,” he said. “If we lost of couple of points at that time, it would have been hard for us. But still, we knew something would happen. We can’t be conservative, we’re going to attack.”

 

Fujitsu broke the deadlock early in the second quarter with a six-play, 67-yard drive helped by a third-down pass interference penalty that put the ball on the Obic 20. On the next play, Cameron found Gordon with a short pass over the middle, and the former Harvard star broke one tackle before stretching over the goal line as he was being taken down.

 

The Frontiers made it 14-0 when Cameron, throwing on the run under pressure, connected with Yoshimoto on their 37-yard score. Yoshimoto, who finished with 10 receptions for 131 yards, took the pass the final 10 yards by slipping past one defender and outrunning another into the end zone.

 

Nishimura kicked a 43-yard field goal with :45 left in the first half to give the Frontiers a 17-0 lead, which is how it stayed going into the break as linebacker Shuhei Takeuchi picked off a Sugawara pass with :08 to go.

 

The second half started out the way it ended—with defensive back Yuki Ishii intercepting Sugawara on the first play from scrimmage. The Frontiers would turn that into a 33-yard field goal by Nishimura.

 

With Hata taking over and mixing passes with opportunistic scrambles, the Obic offense got some traction on its next drive. But on 3rd-and-10 at the Fujitsu 33, Hata lost the ball when he was sacked by Ryota Takahashi and the Frontiers recovered.

 

Six plays later from the Obic 37, Nakamura showed he had recovered from the back injury that kept him out of the last four games by connecting with Cameron on slant pattern and whizzing through a seam of three defenders to make it 27-0.

 

“It was a great [play] call,” said Nakamura, who caught six passes for 69 yards.

 

Hata completed 12 of 16 passes for 134 yards, while Sugawara was 3 for 9 for 33 yards. Kinoshita was held to a single, 40-yard reception, but in a fitting end to a tough day all around for the Seagulls, dropped a sure touchdown pass in the end zone in the final minute.

 

The Frontiers, while in no real danger of losing the game despite failing to score in the fourth quarter, were dealt a big setback when Gordon suffered a severe injury to his lower right leg. He was taken by ambulance to a local hospital after the game. Ironically, Gordon limped off with a left ankle injury in the second quarter, only to return to action in the second half.

 

For Obic, which saw its four-year reign end last season with a semifinal loss to Fujitsu in the same stadium, it marks another early end to the season and brings up questions to be answered next year. The Seagulls finished 3-2 in divisional play, their worst season since 1997, but managed to rebound in the second stage and make the final four.

 

“It was nice to see the guys fight back, I wish we could have kept going,” Beatty said. “But the season’s over. Now we have to take a little break and get ready for next season. I’m proud of them for fighting through, but we still came up short.”

 

Before beating the IBM BigBlue 44-10 in last year’s Japan X Bowl, Fujitsu had been 0-5 in championship game appearances. This year’s game will be a rematch of the Frontiers’ 33-13 loss to the Impulse in 2007.

 

—Ken Marantz for the X-League

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

関連記事
  • 朝日新聞デジタル:アメフット・ニュース - スポーツ
  • 川崎市
  • 一般社団法人 日本トップリーグ連携機構
  • toto公式サイト
  • nikkansports.com
  • 水道筋ゑびす.com
  • NFAオフィシャルサイト
  • 株式会社大澤都市開発
  • A-cial Design
  • 競技強化支援事業 競技強化支援事業助成金
    Xリーグの開催は、トップリーグ運営助成を受けて実施しています。
ページトップへもどる