/

Miyako shines as Rise tame Lions

by Hiroshi Ikezawa

Staff Writer

Nojima and Japan running back Takashi Miyako rushed for 166 yards and five touchdowns to lead the Nojima Sagamihara Rise to a 62-21 victory over the All Mitsubishi Lions in the Pearl Bowl Tournament at Kawasaki Stadium on Sunday.

The Rise finished the preliminary round with a 2-0 record and advanced to the semifinals, where they will take on the winner of a matchup between the Obic Seagulls and the IBM BigBlue.

The 29-year-old Miyako had 14-, 7-, 64-, 2- and 2-yard scoring runs in the Rise’s nine-touchdown attack.

“I didn’t count how many touchdowns I had because I just concentrated on running in my own style today,” Miyako said. “But I regret making a mistake with a lost fumble in the game.”

Miyako was called up to the national team for first time this year when Japan played the Philippines last month in the Asian qualifiers for the world championship.

“I learned a lot by playing in the national team,” Miyako said. “I have a habit of turning outside soon when I can’t find a hole in the running play. But with the national team, I learned to be patient and wait until the blocking develops and the linemen open up a hole. That helped me a lot.”

The Rise got off to a good start offensively by scoring on six of seven possessions in the first half for a 42-0 halftime lead. The no-huddle offense had the effect of building a quick tempo and rhythm.

Defensively, the Rise did not allow the Lions to go past the halfway line until the midway through the second quarter. They intercepted once and forced two lost fumbles.

The Lions finally woke up in the final 16 minutes, scoring two offensive touchdowns and a kickoff return touchdown. Wide receiver Takato Kurihara scored twice on a 5-yard reception and a 90-yard kickoff return in the fourth quarter.