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TOP > Game Report > Obic runs over Bulls to hit historic century mark

Game Report

Obic runs over Bulls to hit historic century mark


KAWASAKI (Sept. 14)—Obic head coach Makoto Ohashi knows it’s considered bad form to run up a score against a weaker opponent. But with reserves looking to prove themselves during rare playing time and an opponent continually giving the ball back to the Seagulls, there really wasn’t any way to avoid it.


And with the first 100-point game in X-League history in sight, well, who could resist that?


The four-time defending champion Seagulls got 14 touchdowns from 12 different players in exploding to a 100-0 victory over the overwhelmed Bulls Football Club at Kawasaki Fujimi Stadium, shattering the league record for most points scored in a fall-season game and the biggest margin of victory.


“It’s not the regular manner in the U.S.,” Ohashi said after the Seagulls finished up the annihilation by scoring 35 points in the fourth quarter. “But we didn’t have so much time for practice. The game time is a big chance to get in practice. I’m sorry to the Bulls guys, but we need the playing time.”


Starting rookie quarterback Takushiro Hata threw for two touchdown passes and Shun Sugawara passed for three as Obic piled up 539 total yards of offense while scoring on every possession, save for a missed field goal. The defense forced five turnovers, including three interceptions over the final five minutes that all led to touchdowns, and held the Bulls to 8 total yards.


Obic easily exceeded the previous records for most points, set by the Onward-Skylarks with a 91-3 rout of the Huskies in 2004, and victory margin, the 89 by which the Panasonic Impulse crushed the Fuji Xerox J-Stars in 2011 with a 89-0 win. The Seagulls opened the season with an 86-0 shellacking of the X1 newcomer Taiyo Building Management Cranes.


“Coach Ohashi was explaining it to us in the huddle after the game, on why we went for 100 instead of kneeing the ball down,” defensive end Kevin Jackson said. “He said we came here to finish a certain job, so why let up?”


The Seagulls hit the century mark with 12 seconds left in the game when, after their fourth interception of the game, third-string QB Manabu Tatsumura threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to Koji Yamazaki and Yosuke Kaneoya added the extra point.


That drive followed a head-shaking succession of three plays, in which defensive lineman Seiji Kurawaki returned an interception 23 yards for a touchdown, Kenta Tojo intercepted a pass on the next play, and on the play after that, Hiroki Kato rambled 55 yards for a touchdown.


“We tried to run the ball at the end, but the second-to-last touchdown, the guy broke off a long one,” Jackson said. “It’s like, what do you do, right? Defense, I think we did a better job today than we did the first game. Because our biggest thing is turnovers. We want to get turnovers. For us, getting those turnovers today was kind of huge.”


In addition to the knocks he took as the Bulls quarterback, Keita Fujiwara had a nightmare of a day as the team’s punter, with a combination of errant snaps and Seagulls pressure leading to 16 points for Obic out of punt formation.


Jackson twice wrapped up Fujiwara in the end zone, one time forcing a fumble that Obic’s Yo Sawada recovered for a touchdown, and the other resulting in a safety. On another punt, Fujiwara was on the run after a breakdown in protection and Keizaburo Isagawa caught his short, line drive kick and returned it 21 yards for a touchdown.


“There were some where we were trying to put pressure and some we weren’t,” Jackson said. “But they had couple of missnaps and it kind of happened that way. We really did a good job…He was kind of back there flustered, wondering if the snap would be OK. Even if the snap was good, there was pressure.”


Hata completed 6 of 19 passes for 126 yards in the first half, while Sugawara was 7 of 9 for 139 yards and one interception in most of the second half. Tataeru Nakanishi rushed for two touchdowns and Yuki Hirano had two touchdown receptions. Noriaki Kinoshita excelled as a deep threat, hauling in three passes for 138 yards, including a 40-yard TD.


—Ken Marantz for the X-League


Biggest margins of victory in league history

        Pts           Score                                                              Date

1.  100 Obic 100, Bulls 0                2023/09/14

2.    89 Panasonic 89, Fuji Xerox J-Stars 0 2023/09/19

3.    88 Onward-Skylarks 91, Huskies 3 2023/10/23

88 Panasonic 88, Nishinomiya 0 2023/09/23

5.    87 Fujitsu 87, Hurricanes 0 2023/09/14

6.    86 Obic 86, Taiyo Bldg. Management 0 2023/08/31

7.    85 Kajima 85, Fuji Xerox AFC 0 2023/09/05

8.    83 Lions 89, Dinos Kintetsu 6 2023/10/22

9.    81 Nojima 84, Hurricanes 3 2023/09/15

10.  80 Onward-Skylarks 80, Huskies 0 2023/10/19

80 Panasonic 80, Nishinomiya 0 2023/09/29

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