Despite being in the X League championship game for a fourth straight season, the Fujitsu Frontiers and ace quarterback Colby Cameron entered this year’s contest with a chip on their shoulders.
Last year, Cameron threw three interceptions, and the Panasonic Impulse were able to pull off a 24-21 come-from-behind victory in the title game.
“I still think about it all the time,” said Cameron, who was named the 2016 Japan X Bowl Most Valuable Player after the Frontiers’ 16-3 victory over the Obic Seagulls on Monday night at Tokyo Dome. “So this year, we had no turnovers, I think that was a big help for this win.”
Cameron threw for 116 yards and ran for another 56. He had no touchdowns, but most importantly, committed zero turnovers this time, part of the reason the Seagulls didn’t have too many good scoring opportunities.
“Last year, we had a bad taste in our mouths from the game (against Panasonic), we didn’t finish,” the 26-year-old California native said. “So this year, we wanted to prove everyone wrong, that we are the number one team even though we did lose last year.”
Speaking about being named the game’s MVP, Cameron humbly said it was a team win for the Frontiers and the honor could’ve gone to any player.
“Game MVP in football is kind of hard to get because it’s such a team sport,” said Cameron, who was named offensive player of the year in the Western Athletic Conference and won the Sammy Baugh Trophy in his senior year at Louisiana Tech University in 2012. “It could’ve gone to every player on our offense, it could’ve gone to the special teams. But more than the MVP, I’m happy to have won, I think that’s the most important thing. MVP is just a cherry on top.”
When he landed in Japan two years ago, Cameron probably didn’t know how high the level of play was in the country . But playing in his third year, he definitely knows now and is glad to see it’s grown so fast since he’s been here and been part of it.
“Japanese football has just skyrocketed since I’ve been here,” said Cameron, who amassed 1,276 yards passing and 11 TDs (four interceptions) in the seven games he played, including the playoffs and X Bowl, this fall season. Fujitsu went undefeated.
“I think they bring in right people. I think the Japanese coaches and teams are learning the right schemes and doing it right. I think the big step is doing it right. You can play football, maybe not doing the right techniques. But the Japanese level of play is growing and growing every year, and I think that’s what will make the X League more exciting for years to come.”
Cameron and the Frontiers have one more game to play, the Rice Bowl on Jan. 3 at the Big Egg. They will take on the Koshien Bowl collegiate champion (Kwansei Gakuin University or Waseda University), which will be determined this Sunday.
Cameron’s older brother, Jordan, who plays for the Miami Dolphins as a tight end, visited Japan for the Rice Bowl two years ago, but didn’t get to see Colby play because he had hurt his right shoulder in the Japan X Bowl a few weeks before.
The Dolphins are currently competing for a playoff spot with a 8-5 record, but Cameron said that he would like his brother to come over again.
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