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TOP > What’s New > Flash news: Kinoshita leads Seagulls to 3rd straight win over BigBlue in Pearl Bowl final

What’s New

Flash news: Kinoshita leads Seagulls to 3rd straight win over BigBlue in Pearl Bowl final

’19.06.17

 

By Ken Marantz

 

TOKYO(June 17)—Veteran speedster Noriaki Kinoshita caught three touchdowns passes, including 66- and 70-yarders, as the Obic Seagulls defeated the IBM BigBlue for the third straight year in the championship game of the Pearl Bowl, winning 31-15 on Monday night at Tokyo Dome.

 

The 36-year-old Kinoshita, who finished with six receptions for 170 yards, was named the game MVP award for the third time in his career as the Seagulls tied a record with their eighth title overall in the spring tournament for the league’s Kanto teams.

 

Skyler Howard completed 11 of 15 passes for 273 yards and Taku Lee had a 29-yard touchdown run for the Seagulls, who piled up 441 yards of offense.

 

The Seagulls got a break early on when a high snap on a punt gave them the ball on the IBM 7. Two plays later, Howard connected with Kinoshita on a 4-yard touchdown pass for the opening score of the game.

 

After the teams traded field goals, Kinoshita hauled in a 66-yard touchdown pass, stiff-arming his way past a defender to make it the final 20 or so yards and give Obic a 17-3 lead.

 

IBM had a chance to cut the gap at the end of the second quarter, but Toshiki Saito’s 55-yard field goal attempt had the distance, only to bounce off the upright.

 

The BigBlue took advantage of the lone turnover of the game, a Howard fumble in which he was stripped of the ball by Kevin Coghlan, with Yuki Masamoto throwing a 6-yard touchdown pass to Hirokazu Maeda.

 

On a day when few things went IBM’s way, Obic blocked the extra point attempt, but was called for a personal foul—then blocked the rekick.

 

On Obic’s first play on the ensuing series from the 30, Kinoshita took a pass in the right flat, cut back and sped all the way for his third touchdown of the game to put the Seagulls up 24-9.

 

Masamoto scored on a 4-yard touchdown run on the first play of the fourth quarter, but safety Bronson Beatty broke up a pass on the 2-point conversion try, keeping the BigBlue from making it a one-score game.

 

That became moot when Lee bulled up the middle for a 5-yard touchdown run—set up by his own 29-yard on the previous play—that put Obic up 31-15 with 8:44 left.

 

After forcing IBM to punt, Obic ate up most of the clock, mainly through the running of team captain Tomomi Chimura, although the drive ended with Takatoshi Hoshino’s second missed field goal of the game.

 

Masamoto completed 16 of 25 passes for 146 yards, while John Stanton caught four passes for 31 yards and Yoshihito Omi had three receptions for 62 yards.

 

The last team to win three straight Pearl Bowl titles before Obic was the now-defunct Onward Oaks, who did it a quarter-century ago from 1992 to 1994.

 

With eight titles, the Seagulls tied the record for most in the 41-year history of the tournament with the Kajima (now Lixil) Deers, whose last title came in 2013.

 

IBM was playing in the final for the fourth straight year. The BigBlue won their lone major championship in 2016 with a victory over Lixil.

 

 

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