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TOP > Game Report > Around the League: Wrapup of Week 4 Action

Game Report

Around the League: Wrapup of Week 4 Action


Nojima quarterback Devin Gardner runs for a 5-yard touchdown in the third quarter of the Rise’s 29-26 loss to Asahi Beer. The Rise have now lost three games by a combined total of seven points.




Bullseyes Tokyo 23, Sidewinders 14: Yuki Kirihara threw two touchdown passes to Eiji Suzuki, including a 71-yarder, and defensive lineman Shohei Nagashima returned a fumble 91 yards for a touchdown for the go-ahead score in the third quarter as Bullseyes Tokyo (1-3) won a thriller over the Sidewinders (0-4) at Osaka’s Flash Field. Sidewinders QB Ryuji Maeda and rookie wide receiver Keisuke Kimura also connected on two touchdown passes—one went for 80-yards—as the game went into halftime tied 14-14. The Bullseyes had four interceptions, one of which set up Akihiro Nakamura’s 39-yard field goal in the fourth quarter that clinched the victory for head coach Mitsuru Okoso in his duel with Sidewinders counterpart and former Kyoto University teammate Yorimitsu Moritshita.


Fujitsu Frontiers 20, Panasonic Impulse 13: Defensive end Trashaun Nixon returned a fumble 41 yards for a touchdown with 3:04 left in the game to lift Fujitsu (4-0) over Panasonic (3-1) in a historic rematch of last year’s Japan X Bowl before 1,603 at Osaka’s Flash Field. Teruaki Clark Nakamura returned a kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter and Colby Cameron threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Takeshi Akiyama in the first-ever regular-season meeting between the two corporate powerhouses. The Panasonic defense limited Cameron to 82 yards on 13 of 20 passing with one interception, and also intercepted a Keiya Hiramoto pass in the end zone. Benjamin Dupree rushed 18 times for 103 yards, including a 64-yard run that set up Shun Yokota’s 2-yard touchdown plunge in the second quarter. Eita Saeki kicked a pair of field goals for Panasonic.


All Mitsubishi Lions 17, Elecom Kobe Finies 14: Shoma Taniguchi threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Kosuke Yoshida and Makoto Hagihara scored on a 1-yard run as All Mitsubishi (3-1) became the first Battle 9 team to top a Super 9 foe by stunning Elecom (2-2) at Osaka’s Expo Flash Field. Rookie kicker Hayato Tanizawa kicked a 19-yard field goal midway through the fourth quarter for what proved to be the winning points as the Lions overcame being totally outgained in total yards (378 to 151) to move closer to a postseason wild-card spot. The Lions’ defense forced three turnovers, one with an interception in the end zone. Keijiro Kasuya threw two touchdown passes for the Finies, who missed two field goal attempts and ended the game on the Lions 31-yard line.


As One Black Eagles 42, Nagoya Cyclones 10: Quarterback Ryota Yabe returned the opening kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown and also threw a touchdown pass as As One (3-1) crushed Nagoya (1-3) at Hikone Athletics Stadium in Shiga Prefecture. Hiroshi Yamagami, Kazuki Okita and rookie Toshiyuki Hisano all rushed for touchdowns as As One amassed 426 total yards and the defense forced three turnovers. Rookie quarterback Hisao Tatsuma came on in the second half and threw a 63-yard touchdown pass to Kazuki Kawabata. Atsuhisa Yamaguchi kicked a 23-yard field goal and Yasumasa Ido scored on a 12-yard run for the Cyclones. As One took a 28-3 lead into halftime after a successful onside kick led to Yabe’s 14-yard touchdown pass to Masanori Yamamoto.


Meiji Yasuda PentaOcean Pirates 28, Keishicho Eagles 0: Quarterback Shotaro Tanoue ran for two scores and Meiji Yasuda (2-2) spread its four touchdowns over each quarter in defeating Keishicho (1-3) at rainy Fujitsu Stadium Kawasaki to keep alive its hopes of making the wild-card playoff. Defensive back Yuji Umishima returned a fumble 60 yards for a touchdown as the Pirates defense held the Eagles to 62 total yards, had two sacks and intercepted the Eagles’ first and last passes of the games. Tanoue’s first touchdown, on a 12-yard run in the first quarter, came after a short punt gave the Pirates the ball at the Eagles 30.  Rookie quarterback Ryosuke Nishizawa had a 12-yard touchdown run in the third quarter, also to cap a short drive, and Tanoue scored from the 8 with :26 left in the game. The Pirates had just 141 total yards as the two teams combined to punt 12 times.


Tokyo Gas Creators 28, Bulls Football Club 0: Quarterback Hidehito Tokushima broke away for a 60-yard touchdown run on the first play of the second half, and Tokyo Gas (3-1) put together long drives that resulted in three short rushing touchdowns to dominate the Bulls (0-4) at Fujitsu Stadium Kawasaki. Fumitaka Obana’s 2-yard touchdown run capped a 75-yard, 11-play drive on the Creators’  first possession. After Tokushima, who finished with 140 rushing yards on 8 carries, made it 14-0, he engineered a 72-yard, 8-play (all runs) drive that ended with Keisuke Shizuya going in from the 1. On the next possession, Tokyo Gas marched 85 yards in 11 plays, with Ryo Murota finishing it off with a 2-yard TD run early in the fourth quarter. The Bulls twice moved deep into Tokyo Gas territory in the second half, but turned the ball over both times, first with an interception then with a fumble. Tokyo Gas piled up 449 total yards of offense in picking up a crucial win ahead of its Battle 9 showdown with All Mitsubishi on Oct. 15.


Lixil Deers 52, IBM BigBlue 48: Shohei Kato followed an interception by linebacker Akira Ando by throwing his sixth touchdown pass of the day with :42 left to give Lixil (3-1) a thrilling come-from-behind victory over IBM at Fujitsu Kawasaki Stadium. Kevin Craft, making his first appearance of the season, threw three touchdown passes for IBM, but had four interceptions, including Ando’s with 1:00 left that he returned to the IBM 19. Kato, who completed 37 of 52 passes for 442 yards, then connected with Yasushi Nakagawa on a 5-yard touchdown pass for the winning score. Nakagawa caught nine passes for 108 yards and two touchdowns as Lixil avenged a loss to IBM in the final of the spring Pearl Bowl tournament. Lixil, which never led in the game and trailed by as much as 18 points, converted four turnovers into touchdowns and ended the game with a fifth—a second interception by Ando on a Hail Mary pass by Craft at the goal line. Tomokazu Sueyoshi ran for touchdowns of 15, 12 and 29 yards for IBM.


Asahi Beer Silver Star 29, Nojima Sagimihara Rise 26: Yoshinori Iijima kicked a tiebreaking 30-yard field goal with 1:03 left and Mason Mills threw three touchdown passes to Yuta Hayashi as Asahi Beer (2-2) held off Nojima (1-3) at Fujitsu Kawasaki Stadium. Mills, who completed 24 of 34 passes for 341 yards, connected with Hayashi on a 75-yard touchdown pass on the first play from scrimmage as Asahi Beer took a 26-10 lead into halftime. Devin Gardner accounted for 378 total yards (299 passing, 79 rushing) as he threw for two touchdowns and ran for another for the Rise, who tied the game midway through the fourth quarter on Gardner’s 14-yard touchdown pass to Eisuke Tomatsu and a second successful 2-point conversion. Iijima also booted field goals of 27 and 48 yards, but missed a 41-yarder early in the fourth quarter. Jeremy Gallon had seven catches for 133 yards as the Rise piled up 442 total yards in their third loss by three or less points this season.


Obic Seagulls 35, Asahi Soft Drinks Challengers 0: Jerry Neuheisel threw three touchdown passes before Shun Sugawara came on and tossed two of his own—all five going to different receivers and all of 6 yards or less—as Obic (4-0) dominated struggling Asahi Soft Drinks (1-3) in an East-West clash at Fujitsu Kawasaki Stadium. Defensive end B.J. Beatty forced Challengers quarterback Yusuke Kano to fumble on the second play of the game, leading to Neuheisel’s 6-yard touchdown pass to Taro Kojima, which came three plays after having a touchdown pass nullified by a penalty. Ryoma Hagiwara and Aruto Nishimura both had six catches for 66 yards and a touchdown, and Noriaki Kinoshita and Kentaro Mori also had touchdown receptions before the holiday crowd of 1,526. The Obic defense had four sacks and an interception in posting its first shutout of the season. Neuheisel completed 15 of 18 passes for 139 yards while Sugawara was 11 of 16 for 172 yards with an interception.


—Compiled by Ken Marantz for the X-League