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American Football in Japan

Impulse prevails in Rice Bowl

(January 4, 2016) - X League champions Panasonic Impulse captured their first japanese championship since 2007 and fourth overall with a 22-19 win against the Ritsumeikan University Panthers in the Rice Bowl. More than 31.000 fans at the Tokyo Dome saw a thrilling finish. Coming back from a 12-point deficit the Panthers scored 16 unanswered points and took their first lead of the game (19-15) with a 54-yard touchdown pass from QB Yuto Nishiyama to WR Seiya Inokuma with four minutes and 19 seconds left in the game. But with one minute and 31 seconds left the Impulse answered with a 55-yard pass play to recapture the lead. It was the fourth meeting of the two teams in the Rice Bowl with the Impulse winning for the third time.

Early on it was a battle of the kickers with Panasonic's Eita Saeki and Ritsumeikan's Yuki Tochio providing the only points for a 9-3 halftime lead for the Impulse. Midway through the third quarter RB Shun Yokota, who was named the game's MVP, gave the Impulse a 15-3 lead with a 1-yard touchdown run. Ritsumeikan's comeback began with a 13-yard touchdown run by RB Nanato Nishimura in the final minute of the third quarter.

Game Report at www.xleague.com

Game Report at The Japan Times Online

Game Statistics Impulse vs Panthers


(Text: Dieter Hoch / Photo: Huddle Magazine)

Impulse knocks off Frontiers

(December 15, 2015) - Panasonic Impulse advanced to the Rice Bowl for the first time since 2008 by beating defending national champion Fujitsu Frontiers 24-21 in the Japan X Bowl on Monday. On January 3rd Impulse will face the Ritsumeikan University Panthers who won the college championship on Sunday with a 28-27 Koshien Bowl win against the Waseda University Big Bears. It will be the fourth time that the Panthers and Impulse will face each other in the Rice Bowl. Impulse won the first two meetings in the 1994 and 2004 seasons, the Panthers won in 2008 when Impulse came into the game as defending japanese champion.

QB Tetsuo Takata was voted the game's MVP after throwing two touchdown passes in the final minutes of the game. The Frontiers had taken a 21-10 lead with little over seven minutes left in the game with the third touchdown pass from QB Colby Cameron. Two minutes later Takata cut his team's deficit to five points with a 42-yard touchdown pass to WR Tatsuya Tonka. About four minutes later Impulse took the lead for good with a 15-yard touchdown pass from Takata to TE Yuji Mizuno. The Frontiers had four turnovers, two of them leading to 13 points for Impulse.

Game Report at www.xleague.com

Game Report at The Japan Times Online

Game Statistics Frontiers vs Impulse


(Text: Dieter Hoch / Photo: X League)

Rise upsets Seagulls

(September 18, 2015) - Nojima Sagamihara Rise provided the early stage of the 2015 X League season that saw an unprecedented number of extremely lopsided games with a much needed spark. K Kohei Mochizuki kicked a short field goal at the end of the first overtime period to give the Rise a 20-17 win against record japanese champion Obic Seagulls. The game was dominated by the defenses with Nojima's defense having a few more big plays at crucial stages of the game. The Rise intercepted four passes including one that was returned 37 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter by american newcomer Manu Ngatikaura, who played college football at San Jose State in California (2009-2012), and another one to end the Seagulls' possession in overtime.

Game Report Seagulls vs Rise at www.xleague.com

Game Statistics Seagulls vs Rise


(Text: Dieter Hoch / Photo: X League)

Improved Silver Star beats Deers

(August 30, 2015) - The Asahi Beer Silver Star did send a clear messsage that with offensive newcomers Mason Mills (QB) and Roman Wilson (WR) they are no longer the team that was ripped apart regularly in second stage play in recent years. Mills threw three touchdown passes, two to Wilson and one to TE Yasuhiro Hashizume, leading Silver Star to a 31-24 win against the LIXIL Deers at the end of the first weekend of the 2015 X League season.

Silver Star never trailed and twice took 10-point leads but with a touchdown late in the third quarter and a short field goal early in the fourth the Deers tied the score at 24. With all of the new offensive firepower it was the defense that provided the game-winning points for Silver Star when DB Yuto Omori scored with a 55-yard interception return two minutes and 30 seconds before the end of the game.

In other action on Sunday the Bulls Football Club surprised the Tokyo Gas Creators 27-17. RBs Shunsuke Kikuchi and Keita Saruwatari and QB Keita Fujiwara each scored a rushing touchdown. DL Yohei Yamada added a fourth touchdown with a 48-yard interception return early in the third quarter. On Saturday defending champion Fujitsu Frontiers opened the season with a 76-7 win against the Meiji Yasuda Penta-Ocean Pirates. QB Colby Cameron, last year’s X League Rookie of the Year, was responsible for the first five scores throwing three touchdown passes to WR Teruaki Clark Nakamura and two more to rookie TE Yuji Mizuno.

Game Report Deers vs Silver Star at www.xleague.com

Game Statistics Deers vs Silver Star


(Text: Dieter Hoch / Photo: X League)

Japan finishes second at World Cup

(July 19, 2015) - Japan moved back into the number two spot in international amateur football behind the USA at the IFAF World Championship in Canton, Ohio. Four years after finishing third in Austria Japan reached the gold medal game for the fourth time in five tournaments. But that is likely the biggest positive for Team Japan head coach Kiyoyuki Mori. "We need to improve more physically and technically. I’m very proud of our players, but Japanese football has to improve more. We have to improve everywhere, offense, defense and special teams", Mori was quoted after the 59-12 defeat in the gold medal game against Team USA in the official game report on the tournament website. It was Japan's second big loss to the US within a week after losing 43-18 in group play on July 12.

Team Japan travels back home with a 1-2 record. The lone win came against Mexico (35-7) in group play, and that was good enough to qualify for the gold medal game. A potential fourth game against Canada had to be canceled when Canada withdrew from the tournament in May. Japan placed ten players on the all-tournament team but only three players - WR Takashi Kurihara, OL Akira Katsuyama and DB Keizaburo Isagawa - made it to the first team. Kurihara was Japan's most productive offensive weapon with 13 catches for 187 yards and two touchdowns.

Gold Medal Game official game report

Game report at The Japan Times Online

All-Tournament Team

Schedule and Scores


(Text: Dieter Hoch / Logo: IFAF World Championship)

JAFA announces world cup roster

(June 17, 2015) - On Monday the Japan American Football Association announced the 45-man team for the 5th IFAF World Championships in Canton, Ohio (USA). The 7-team tournament will be played from July 8 through July 18.

Head Coach Kiyoyuki Mori and his staff will take a very experienced team to Canton. 18 players - 40 percent of the roster - played in previous world cups, nine of them multiple times.

Story on www.xleague.com

Roster Team Japan


(Text: Dieter Hoch / Photo: X League)

All X League Class announced

(February 22, 2015) - On Sunday the X League announced the 2014 All X League Class. X League and Japanese Champion Fujitsu Frontiers and their predecessors, the Obic Seagulls, combined for 16 of the 24 players on the all-league team. Representing the Frontiers are QB Colby Cameron, RB Gino Gordon, WR Teruaki Clark Nakamura, G Shun Mochizuki, OT Yutaro Kobayashi, LB Shoichiro Suzuki, DB Al-Rilwan Adeyami, DB Shinya Miki and K Hidetetsu Nishimura. The Seagulls had a second best seven players selected: RB Takuto Hara, WR Noriaki Kinoshita and G Yusuke Yamamoto on offense and DE Kevin Jackson, DT Shota Tomita and DBs Takeshi Miyake and DB Keizaburo Isagawa on defense. Kinoshita was also selected as return specialist while Jackson set a new record with his tenth selection.

The remaining eight slots on the all-star roster went to five different teams: the LIXIL Deers (DE Shuhei Suzuki, LB Kenjiro Odate and P Daisuke Aoki), IBM BigBlue (TE John Stanton and DE James Brooks), Nojima Sagamihara Rise (C Derek Faavi), the Elecom Kobe Finies (LB Mutsumi Takahashi) and the Asahi Soft Drinks Challengers (OT Haruhisa Kurokawa).

(Text: Dieter Hoch / Photo: X League)

Frontiers win Rice Bowl

(January 4, 2015) - About three weeks after claiming their first ever X League championship the Fujitsu Frontiers also won their first National Championship by beating college champion Kwansei Gakuin University Fighters 33-24 at the Tokyo Dome. Playing without injured QB Colby Cameron RB Gino Gordon became the primary weapon for the Frontiers' offense rushing for 95 yards on 23 carries and two touchdowns. His second touchdown, an 11-yard run two and a half minutes into the fourth quarter for a 30-24 lead, provided the game winning points. Gordon, who was later voted the game's MVP, scored his first touchdown (3-yard run) early in the second quarter for a 10-7 lead.

The Frontiers added ten more points in the second quarter for a 20-10 lead at halftime. But the Fighters came back in the third quarter scoring two touchdowns on consecutive possessions. First RB Seija Hashimoto cut the Frontiers' lead to 20-17 with a 1-yard run and at the end of the Fighters' next possession QB Kei Saito threw a 23-yard touchdown pass to WR Takato Kido for a 24-23 lead with ten seconds left in the third quarter.

Game Statistics

Game Report at www.xleague.com

Game Report at The Japan Times Online


(Text: Dieter Hoch / Photo: X League)

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