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TOP > What’s New > Flash News: Howard leads Seagulls to rout of BigBlue in Pearl Bowl final

What’s New

Flash News: Howard leads Seagulls to rout of BigBlue in Pearl Bowl final



By Ken Marantz


TOKYO (June 28)—Skyler Howard threw two touchdown passes and the Obic Seagulls defeated the IBM BigBlue in the championship game of the Pearl Bowl for the second straight year, charging to a 28-2 victory on Thursday night at Tokyo Dome.


Howard, in his first season in Japan out of West Virginia, completed 7 of 14 passes for 102 yards and ran for 63 yards on nine carries as the Seagulls won the spring tournament for the Kanto region teams for the fourth time in six years and seventh time overall.


Asaki Mochizuki scored on a 1-yard run in the first quarter and Taku Lee had a 9-yard touchdown run in the third for Obic’s other points before the crowd of 12,338.


IBM’s lone points came when nose guard Charles Tuaau sacked Howard in the end zone midway through the second quarter for a safety.


It marked the third time in the 40-year history of the Pearl Bowl that a losing team was limited to two points. Obic had been the winning team the last time it happened, when it beat the Asahi Beer Silver Star 27-2 in the 2005 final.


Howard, who was named the game MVP, connected with Noriaki Kinoshita on a 30-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter, and added a 10-yard scoring strike to fellow newcomer Holden Huff in the third quarter.


Defensive back Keizaburo Isagawa and linebacker Yosuke Nakanishi each picked off a pass from IBM quarterback and head coach Kevin Craft, with the latter coming on a pass that hit off the intended receiver near the goal line.


In a wild finish to the first half, Tuaau blocked a field goal attempt by Obic’s Takatoshi Hoshino, but was flagged for hitting the center, giving Obic a first down on the IBM 12 with :40 left. But on a scramble, Howard had the ball stripped from him by IBM captain and defensive back Shogo Nakatani, who recovered the fumble himself, sending the game into halftime with Obic leading 14-2.


Penalties took a toll on IBM. In addition to negating Tuaau’s blocked field goal, Atsushi Uehiro had a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown brought back by an illegal block infraction. On its opening drive, IBM had two false start penalties, and ended up taking a shot at a 59-yard field goal, which Toshiki Sato left short.


Yuki Masamoto, who started at QB for IBM, completed 10 of 15 passes for 69 yards, while Craft finished 9 of 18 for 108 yards.


Obic’s rookie safety Bronson Beatty had a game-high seven tackles, while older brother and defensive end B.J. Beatty had one of Obic’s two sacks before being ejected from the game in the fourth quarter for successive unsportsmanlike conduct calls.

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