OSAKA (Kyodo) Quarterback Hiroshi Matsuda threw two touchdown passes as Ritsumeikan University beat Hosei University 19-8 Sunday to win the Koshien Bowl collegiate championship for the first time in four years.
Ritsumeikan took a 16-0 lead on Matsuda’s touchdown passes before Hosei struck back in the second quarter with a 7-yard touchdown return on a blocked punt at Nagai Stadium, which filled in for Koshien Stadium to stage the annual championship as the latter is undergoing renovations.
Hosei made strides on defense to shut down Ritsumeikan after halftime until Shinichiro Sunahara’s 32-yard field goal in the fourth quarter sealed victory for the champion of the Kansai western Japan bloc.
Defensive back Ryohei Imanishi was named MVP of the game for Ritsumeikai, which captured its sixth overall title.
Ritsumeikan will face Panasonic Electric Works, the champion of the X. League made up of corporate and club teams, in the Rice Bowl national championship on Jan. 3 at Tokyo Dome.
In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.