富士通フロンティアーズ LIXIL DEERS アサヒビールシルバースター 東京ガスクリエイターズ 警視庁イーグルス 富士ゼロックスミネルヴァAFC
オービックシーガルズ IBM BigBlue ノジマ相模原ライズ オール三菱ライオンズ 明治安田PentaOceanパイレーツ BULLSフットボールクラブ
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 クラブホークアイ
TOP > Game Report > Flash news: Fujitsu, IBM advance to Japan X Bowl

Game Report

Flash news: Fujitsu, IBM advance to Japan X Bowl



YOKOHAMA (Nov. 30)—The X-League will have a first-time champion this season after the Fujitsu Frontiers and IBM BigBlue advanced to the Japan X Bowl with close but vastly different victories in the semifinals at Yokohama Stadium.


Colby Cameron completed 28 of 40 passes for two touchdowns and 280 yards and ran for another as the Frontiers officially ended the four-year reign of the Obic Seagulls with a 27-17 win.


The second game turned into an aerial barrage, as IBM’s Kevin Craft threw for a record nine touchdowns and 567 yards and the BigBlue won a shootout with the Lixil Deers 69-54 that was not decided until the final minutes.


The Frontiers will be playing in the championship game for the fifth time in eight years and sixth time overall, but will be aiming for their first-ever win. IBM will be making its debut in the Japan X Bowl, to be played Dec. 15 at Tokyo Dome.


The two teams met earlier this season in an East Division game on Oct. 4, with Fujitsu, the only unbeaten team going into the semifinals, winning 41-13.


On Sunday, Fujitsu’s Junpei Yoshimoto caught 8 passes for 78 yards, including two key 3rd-down receptions for first downs that kept a game-clinching drive alive, which Cameron capped by running16 yards for a score with 27 seconds left.


Fujitsu took a 17-3 lead into halftime, but Obic cut the margin to a touchdown when rookie quarterback Takushiro Hata, taking over for ineffective Shun Sugawara, threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to Noriaki Kinoshita for the lone points of the third quarter.


After Hidetetsu Nishimura’s second field of the game, a 43-yarder, put Fujitsu up 20-10, Kinoshita returned the ensuing kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown to cut the gap to three points.


Fujitsu got the ball back with 5:51 left and used up all but 27 seconds of it, with Cameron’s touchdown run sealing the deal, thanks to Yoshimoto’s efforts.


IBM, which beat Lixil 38-10 two weeks ago in the second stage to clinch a spot in the semifinals, looked like it would run away to a repeat victory when it stormed to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter.


But Lixil never gave up, and Shohei Kato kept the Deers in the game by throwing for seven touchdowns and 501 yards. He was 41 of 61, but also had five interceptions.


With 6:07 left, Kato’s 13-yard touchdown pass to Yasuhiro Miyamoto and subsequent 2-point conversion cut IBM’s lead to 8 points.


But IBM finally put the game away with a three-minute drive that ended with Tomakazu Sueyoshi’s 10-yard touchdown run—the only non-passing TD of the game.


The key play of the drive came on 2nd-and-10 at the 35, when tight end John Stanton wrestled a reception away from a defensive back, preventing a costly interception.


Takashi Kurihara caught 7 passes for 148 yards and four touchdowns, for IBM while Stanton had nine receptions for 82 yards and a score. Defensive back Shogo Nakatani had three interceptions.


(Full game reports to follow)