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Takata, high-powered Panasonic Impulse offense cruise past IBM Big Blue

by Hiroshi Ikezawa

Staff Writer

Tetsuo Takata completed 21 of 27 for 288 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Panasonic Impulse to a 55-24 rout of the IBM Big Blue on Saturday at Amino Vital Stadium in Tokyo on the opening day of the X League second stage.

The Impulse, who finished in first place in the West Division with a 5-0 record, stayed undefeated while the Big Blue, third in the Central Division, dropped to 3-3 in overall win-loss record.

The Impulse dominated the game in all three phrases. The offense scored five time out of its six second-half possessions — the only possession the Impulse did not score was when it kneeled own to run out the clock. Meanwhile, David Motu returned a punt for 33 yards for a score in the first quarter and the defense held Big Blue quarterback Kevin Craft,a former UCLA player, to modest 175 passing yards.

The Impulse got on the scoreboard first when Takata hit Taiji Koyama with 34-yard scoring strike with 3:39 into the game and extended their lead to 17-0 on Motu’s touchdown and a field goal.

The Big Blue countered with Craft’s 5-yard touchdown pass to Hirokazu Matsuo with 5:43 remaining in the first half, but the Impulse quickly answered when Shun Yokota rushed 13 yards for a touchdown, making the score 24-7. The Big Blue added a field goal in the closing seconds for a 24-10 halftime lead.

In the second half, the Impulse scored a touchdown on each of their first four possessions while the defense forced two lost fumbles to deny the Big Blue’s comeback effort. That helped the Impulse take a 52-17 advantage early in the fourth quarter and play third-string quarterback Takashi Ohara in the final 11 minutes to wrap up the victory.