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TOP > What’s New > Around the League: Rise clinch place in final four; Seagulls, Deers win to stay in chase

What’s New

Around the League: Rise clinch place in final four; Seagulls, Deers win to stay in chase


Obic’s Takuya Furutani dives in for a 2-yard touchdown in the first quarter against Asahi Soft Drinks.



Super 9 2nd Stage, Week 2 wrapup


Obic Seagulls 52, Asahi Soft Drinks Challengers 9: Shun Sugawara threw two touchdown passes in the first quarter and Asaki Mochizuki had two short rushing touchdowns as former champion Obic continued its late-season surge by routing Asahi Soft Drinks at Fujitsu Stadium Kawasaki to finish the second stage 5-2 and remain in the running for a semifinal spot.

Takuya Furutani and Tataeru Nakanishi also ran for touchdowns and defensive end B.J. Beatty, leaping to block a pass, caught the ball—one of Obic’s four interceptions—and returned it 57 yards for a touchdown.

Sugawara, who completed 15 of 22 passes for 183 yards with two interceptions, connected with Shono Takagi on a 39-yard touchdown pass for Obic’s first score.

The play of the game came in the first quarter when Obic offensive tackle Kai Malaiva, lined up as backfield blocker in punt formation at the Challengers 40, took the snap and rambled 17 yards for a first down. That led to a 10-yard touchdown pass from Sugawara to Ryoma Hagiyama to make it 21-0.

The Challengers (4-2) avoided a shutout on Yusuke Kano’s 1-yard touchdown pass to Kiminori Yokoyama in the third quarter and Shinji Kageyama’s 47-yard field goal as time expired.


Lixil Deers 35, Elecom Kobe Finies 8: Shohei Kato overcame the wet conditions to throw for 263 yards and four touchdowns, including two to Naoki Maeda, as Lixil rolled over Elecom at Kobe’s Oji Stadium to improve to 5-1 and keep its hopes alive of advancing to the semifinals.

Kato, who completed 18 of 28 passes, threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to Maeda on Lixil’s first drive, which was highlighted by veteran Yasuhiro Maruta ‘s 37-yard run to the Elecom 12. After Lixil missed a field goal and the offense stalled, Kato brought it back to life with a 58-yard touchdown pass to Katsuya Nagakawa early in the second quarter.

The Deers took advantage of the lone turnover of the game, a fumble recovered at the Elecom 25, to set up a 4-yard touchdown run by Maruta. Kato threw an 18-yard touchdown pass to Maeda with 3:45 left in the first half, and connected with Kento Suzuki on a 32-yarder for Lixil’s lone score of the second half.

Elecom got on the scoreboard late in the second quarter on Tomomi Hase’s 13-yard run to cut Lixil’s lead going into halftime to 28-6. After the Finies were stopped on 4th-and-goal from the 1 in the fourth quarter, Elecom linebacker Hirotoshi Kayama tackled rookie Tomoya Okada in the end zone for a safety and the finals points of the game.


Nojima Sagamihara Rise 14, Asahi Beer Silver Star 7, OT: Rookie Yuki Tomizawa scored on a 16-yard run in the first tiebreaker, and Nojima (5-1) prevailed in a defense-dominated clash with Asahi Beer at rainy Fujitsu Kawasaki Stadium to clinch a place in the final four for the first time since 2012.

Tomizawa also scored the Rise’s lone touchdown in regulation, a 1-yard plunge set up by linebacker Yoshiki Tanaka’s interception at the Asahi Beer 35 as the defense limited Asahi Beer to just 152 total yards.

The Silver Star, who finished the season 4-3,  scored on the first drive of the game, with Mason Mills throwing a 20-yard touchdown pass to Kazuya Togura. But Asahi Beer would not cross midfield again until their final drive in regulation, and only because a short punt gave them the ball on the Rise 43. Mills, the league’s top passer this season, was under pressure all game and completed just 9 of 25 passes for 80 yards.

The Rise had a pass intercepted in the end zone in the second quarter and another at the Asahi Beer 3, the first of two picks on back-to-back series in the third quarter by defensive back Yuto Omori.