KAWASAKI – Colby Cameron threw three touchdown passes and ran for another to lead the defending national champion Fujitsu Frontiers to a 41-7 rout of the Obic Seagulls on Saturday at Fujitsu Stadium Kawasaki.
With the victory, the Frontiers (5-0) finished the season’s first stage in first place in the East Division. The Seagulls (3-2), meanwhile, finished in third place. The Nojima Sagamihara Rise, who defeated Meiji Yasuda 16-3 at Tokyo’s Amino Vital Stadium, sit in second place with a 4-1 record.
In the West Division, which also ended its first stage on Saturday, the first-place Panasonic Impulse (5-0) shut out the Elecom Finies (3-2) 27-0. The Asahi Soft Drinks Challengers (4-1) won 24-14 against the As One Black Eagles (2-3) to secure second place. The Finies are in third.
The Central Division wraps up its first stage on Sunday.
The top three top clubs in each division advance to the second stage, where they will play in the “Super 9” division. The other nine teams (the bottom three in each division) will compete in the “Battle 9” category.
Despite a runaway victory, it was not a perfect start for the Frontiers. Cameron fumbled and turned the ball over when he was sacked on the opening drive. The Seagulls made the best use of the takeaway, scoring on Asaki Mochizuki’s 5-yard touchdown run.
The Frontiers, however, wasted no time to regroup, mostly because of their strong defensive effort, which included five sacks and three interceptions.
After forcing the Seagulls to punt on their next possession, the Frontiers ended the opponent’s next two offensive drives with back-to-back turnovers — an interception by Shoichiro Suzuki and a lost fumble.
Cameron, who was 18 of 29 for 260 yards, capitalized on both first-half takeaways with two touchdown drives en route to a 24-7 halftime lead.
With 2:39 left into the third quarter, Fujitsu defensive back Al-Rilwan Adeyami picked off a pass by Obic quarterback Shun Sugawara and returned it 86 yards for a score. Adeyami had another interception, setting up Cameron’s third touchdown pass of the game, an 89-yarder to Sei Kyo with 7:29 remaining to put the game away.
“(Having two interceptions in a game) was my first time in Japan,” said Adeyami, who is in his third full season with the Frontiers. “My picks came off our linebackers doing their jobs. It was not just me stepping in front of the ball, other guys were doing their jobs to help me get the picks.
“You should see the way our guys are working at practice, the ways the coaches game plan,” Adeyami continued. “From the top to the last guy in the roster, everyone really buys in and works hard. Our coaches spent a lot of time and a lot of nights and make sure we’re ready. Once we see the game plan, our job is to try to do the best we can.”
“We never expected this much gap of the score,” Frontiers coach Satoshi Fujita commented. “Our players focused on the game really well and kept focused until the end of the game. Our defense played well. It was significant to be able to force the Seagulls to lose yardage by sacks because they have a really powerful offense with strong offensive linemen and talented receivers.”
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