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TOP > Game Report > Fujitsu batters Asahi Beer from air and ground

Game Report

Fujitsu batters Asahi Beer from air and ground


Fujitsu’s Keita Takanohashi breaks free on a 40-yard touchdown run in the second quarter.


























TOKYO (Nov. 1)—The Fujitsu Frontiers pulled off quite a balancing act.


In storming to their sixth straight victory of the season, a 65-0 rout of the Asahi Beer Silver Star in their second-stage opener, the Frontiers almost perfectly split their 654 yards of total offense—329 yards in the air, 325 on the ground.


“Keeping a balance is very important for us,” Fujita head coach Satoshi Fujita said. “If we stay too much with the pass now, we’re in trouble. We want to run the ball well and throw the ball well.”


Colby Cameron threw for 291 yards and two touchdowns and Gino Gordon and Keita Takanohashi each rushed for a pair of touchdowns—all in the first half—as the East Division champion Frontiers stayed firmly on track for an elusive first-ever league title.


“This was a complete team win and I think that was what we needed,” Cameron said.


Asahi Beer, which finished third in the Central Division, dropped to 3-3 and can only play the role of spoiler as it goes into its final game against the West runner-up Panasonic Impulse on Nov. 9. Fujitsu and Panasonic will clash in the final game of their group on Nov. 16.


After the main players headed to the bench with Fujitsu taking a 44-0 lead into halftime at Tokyo’s Amino Vital Field, the second half became the Kei Goto Show, with the powerful running back rushing for 158 yards on 18 carries and scoring all three of the Frontiers’ touchdowns.


“This game, our running backs and offensive line just played great,” said Cameron, who completed 15 of 20 passes, with both TD tosses going to Teruaki Clark Nakamura. “I think that’s the fundamentals of how teams are good; up front and the running backs block and run well.”


The defense, in chalking up its third shutout of the season, limited the Silver Star to 174 total yards and intercepted two passes. The Silver Star were forced to punt 11 times, with eight of their drives ending at 3-and-out (including one quick kick on a 3rd-and-16 in the second quarter).


“That’s the cool thing about this team, the defense is awesome,” Cameron said. “You can’t talk enough about them and what they do.”


Asahi Beer’s lone sustained drive of the game took the Silver Star from the 19 to the Fujitsu 34, but ended when linebacker Takafumi Urakawa intercepted a pass by Hayato Arima, who was called on to start due to injuries to regular quarterbacks Kazuma Ando and Minoru Tono.


Gordon had touchdown runs of 44 and 25 yards, and finished with 94 yards on five carries—the former Harvard star could have had a 100-yard day, but lost six yards on one play. Both of his scores came on runs off right tackle, where once he got some room, he used his quickness to slip past any potential tacklers.


“It was one of those things where it wasn’t too difficult for me to make the play,” Gordon said in praising the line. “As you can see with all of our running backs doing well, it was situation where our O-line was performing.”


Takanohashi, who scored on runs of 8 and 40 yards, rushed seven times for 74 yards. Junpei Yoshimoto led the Fujitsu receivers with six catches for 100 yards, while Nakamura had touchdown receptions of 1 and 39 yards. Fujitsu also got a 29-yard field goal from Hidetetsu Nishimura in the second quarter.


The 38-year-old Arima faced immense pressure and finished 9 of 20 for 84 yards. Reona Takahashi came on later and had little better luck, completing 8 of 15 passs for 52 yards with one interception.


For the Frontiers, the one-sided victory was a morale-booster after the team was hard-pressed to pull out a 7-0 victory over the Nojima Sagamihara Rise in their East Division finale. Gordon suggested that the team might have been in a lull for that game after having won a 41-13 shootout with the IBM BigBlue two weeks before.


“We’ve learned not to take any team lightly,” Gordon said. “I think, obviously, when we played Rise, I think a lot of the guys didn’t necessarily underestimate them, but when you have such an emotional victory over IBM, it’s kind of hard when you have that letdown.


“I think it was a situation where we knew we had to give [Asahi Beer] our A game, and I think that’s what we did. We essentially took what they gave us. Colby made some plays and then it opened it up for the running game as well.”


—Ken Marantz for the X-League


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