Senior quarterback Kanji Maeda completed 7 of 9 passes for 231 yards and a 66-yard touchdown pass to freshman wide receiver Yoshihito Omi, leading the Ritsumeikan University Panthers to a 41-7 rout of the Hosei University Tomahawks on Sunday at Amino Vital Field in Chofu, Tokyo, in the newly established Tokyo Bowl.

Kohei Hasegawa scored two rushing touchdowns and the Panthers defense held the Tomahawks high-scoring offense to only one touchdown and 163 offensive yards.

“Finishing this season with a victory is significant for our team and senior players who retire after this game. We appreciate the Kanto Collegiate Football League for giving us the opportunity to play one more game in this bowl game,” Ritsumeikan head coach Akira Yonekura said. “Despite the win, we found a lot of things to improve. We’re still looking for an answer to beat (archrival) Kwansei Gakuin University in the Kansai League.”

The Tokyo Bowl was launched this year to boost the popularity of American football in the Kanto area. The runner-up of the Kanto League will play host and invite the second-place team of the Kansai Collegiate League.

This year, the Nihon University Phoenix won the Kanto championship by defeating the Tomahawks while the Kwansei Gakuin Fighters clinched their fourth consecutive Kansai title with a win over the Panthers. The Phoenix play the Fighters for the collegiate national championship in the Koshien Bowl on Dec. 14 at Koshien Stadium in Nishinomiya, Hyogo Prefecture.

The Panthers scored two touchdowns in a two-minute span on Gen Tamai’s 21-yard run and a blocked punt return by Kenshiro Oe in the opening quarter.

Those were just first two of five straight unanswered scores by the visitors, who built a 34-0 lead midway through the third quarter.

The Tomahawks’ only score came in the final quarter, when reserve quarterback Takafumi Suzuki hit Koki Tsuneyoshi with a 2-yard touchdown strike with 11:32 remaining in the game. But the Panthers quickly rallied back on Maeda’s 66-yarder 90 seconds later and held on to win the first Tokyo Bowl championship.

The Tomahawks struggled on passing offense and Suzuki and starter Arou Kondo threw for only 49 yards combined.

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