KAWASAKI – Gino Gordon rushed for 183 yards and two touchdowns as the Fujitsu Frontiers defeated Asahi Beer Silver Star 48-7 on Saturday at Kawasaki Fujimi Stadium.
With the victory, the Frontiers finished the Pearl Bowl Tournament group stage with a 2-0 record and advanced to the semifinals, setting up a showdown against the Lixil Deers in a rematch of last year’s final, on June 7 at the same venue.
The Frontiers also had a big game from newcomer Colby Cameron, former Louisiana Tech quarterback and the brother of Cleveland Browns tight end Jordan Cameron. Cameron completed 20 of 27 passes for 208 yards and two scores in his second game with the team.
Neither Gordon nor Cameron were on the team’s roster a year ago. Gordon joined the Frontiers last fall and Cameron is spending his first year in Japan.
“Gino is getting better than last fall when he joined us after being away from playing football for two years,” Fujitsu coach Satoshi Fujita said. “He is putting off the rust and is in better football shape now. But he can play better.
“On Colby, we saw same communication mistakes with the center in the game. But it’s not bad that we find the issue in the early stage of the season. We have time to correct them,” Fujita added. “Our receivers are not prepared enough to make the best of having Colby. We’re a little bit behind schedule and we have to fix it before the semifinals.”
Despite the final score, the Frontiers offense started slowly, and could not find the end zone in the first quarter. The Silver Star’s pass rush forced Cameron to throw quickly or abandon the pass by scrambling. The Frontiers, however, wasted no time to adjust and turned to their running game, featuring Gordon.
The Frontiers started their lone first-half touchdown drive at their own 2-yard line. During the six-play, 98-yard drive, Gordon had 24- and 45-yard rushes to set up a 1-yard scoring run by Keita Takanohashi that established a 10-0 lead.
The Silver Star (0-1) responded with a six-play, 50-yard scoring drive with 29 seconds remaining in the second quarter when Kazuma Ando threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Yuta Hayashi. But the Silver Star failed to score again.
Gordon’s biggest highlights came in the third quarter. On the first play of the Frontiers’ second possession in the second half, Gordon rushed for 31 yards to the Silver Star 45. He appeared to be stopped way before the line by defenders but gained extra yardage by moving the pile. On the next play, Gordon utilized several cutback moves to break tackles and dived into the end zone headfirst to complete a 45-yard scoring rush.
“The offensive linemen did a very good job, and that is the reason why I was successful,” said Gordon, who was a school teacher in the United States before arriving in Japan last fall. “My performance is generally based on them and I just made the right cuts.”
In Saturday’s other game, the IBM BigBlue (1-0) routed the Taiyou Building Management Cranes (0-2) 72-13.