Deers trample Skylarks

by Kaz Nagatsuka

Kajima quarterback Yosuke Ozaki ran for 125 yards, while completing nine passes in 13 attempts, to guide the Deers to a 27-6 victory over the Onward Skylarks in Monday’s first round game of the X League Final 6 at Tokyo Dome.

Kajima took a 7-0 lead when running back Naohisa Ikeba, who rushed for 71 yards in the game, had a 12-yard touchdown. The Deers expanded it to 21-0 when defensive back Tadanari Sano picked off a pass from Onward quarterback Yuichi Tomizawa for a return touchdown with 44 seconds left in the first half.

Onward committed several turnovers and could never gain much momentum throughout the game, ending up with just one kickoff return touchdown by Masatoshi Sugihara in the first play of the third quarter.

“I always tell him (Ozaki) to make a play when we want to make it, no matter what his personal stats are,” Kajima head coach Kiyoyuki Mori said. “He deserved the status as the ace signal-caller today.”

The Deers will take on the Matsushita Denko Impuluse in the second round on Dec. 3.