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TOP > What’s New > Seagulls storm to record-setting victory

What’s New

Seagulls storm to record-setting victory


More than trying to intimidate the opponent, Obic Seagulls defensive end B.J. Beatty had other motivation for terrorizing the Asahi Beer Silver Star and inadvertently knocking their starting quarterback out of the game. His father, who also was his high school coach, was in the stands.


“From my standpoint, it’s never to intimidate; I was always taught to play one way—a hundred miles an hour,” Beatty said after helping two-time defending champion Obic obliterate the Silver Star 69-7 in their second-stage opener on Saturday at Tokyo’s Amino Vital Field.


“Today I had my parents in the stands, so I had a little bit more motivation. My dad was my high school coach, so you kinda have to be on the ball a little bit more,” said Beatty, who led the team with 6.5 tackles and had a sack.


Quarterbacks Shun Sugawara and Manabu Tatsumura combined to complete 20 of 21 passes for 339 yards and five touchdowns as Obic set records for the most points scored and biggest margin of victory in the second stage since the current format was adopted in 2009. The previous records for both came when the Fujitsu Frontiers routed the Nihon Unisys Bulls 61-0 in 2009.


Obic, which went 5-0 to win the Central Division, started the destruction when Masashi Fujimoto intercepted a Minoru Tono pass on the opening series of the game and returned it 25 yards for a touchdown. The Seagulls followed by scoring touchdowns on all but one of their 10 drives the rest of the way.


Sugawara, who went 9 for 10 for 177 yards and three touchdowns, started the barrage with a 44-yard scoring strike to Ryoma Hagiwara 10:21 into the first quarter.


On the first play of the second quarter, Takuya Sugitani scored from the 1, then went over again a little more than two minutes later from the 4 after Obic recovered an onside kick. On the next two drives, Sugawara hooked up with Yuki Ikei on nearly identical scoring passes over the middle, the first from 17 yards and the second from 31 to go up 41-0.


Asahi Beer (3-3) got the ball with 56 seconds to go, but managed to put together their lone scoring drive of the game. But it came at a price. Their 6-play, 56-yard drive was supplemented by a personal foul penalty when Beatty leveled Tono, knocking the 38-year-old out of the game. Hayato Arima finished off the drive with an 11-yard pass to Kenjiro Horikawa as time expired, making it 41-7 at halftime.


Tatsumura replaced Sugawara in the second half, which he started with a 2-yard touchdown pass to Kazuya Okada, and Takuto Hara scored on a 6-yard run with two minutes left in the third quarter, putting Obic up 55-7.


Early in the fourth quarter, Asahi Beer drove to the Obic 3, but were stopped two yards short. The Silver Star defense, however, held for the first and only time, forcing the Seagulls to punt from their own end zone. They got the ball back at the Obic 41, only to lose it on downs.


Koji Yamazaki joined the touchdown club with a 4-yard run and Tatsumura, who completed all 11 of his attempts for 162 yards, finished up the scoring with a 20-yard TD toss to Ken Shimizu, who had a game-high six receptions for 116 yards.


Beatty, a Hawaii native who starred at Colorado University, said the one-sided victory was not a surprise. “The Seagulls, we do a lot of mental preparation,” he said. “So as far as execution-wise, I’m never surprised. A lot of what we do is mentally preparing, imagining the game and how we want we want it to go.”


Obic, which has not lost since being beaten 23-20 by the Panasonic Impulse in the 2009 second stage, next faces the West Division runnerup Asahi Soft Drinks Challengers on Nov. 18 in Block B. Asahi Beer and Asahi Soft Drinks will clash on Nov. 10.


—Ken Marantz for the X-League

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