KAWASAKI – Sunday turned out to be a memorable day for Obic rookie quarterback Ikaika Woolsey. The same could be said for veteran defensive line Byron Beatty Jr.
Former Hawaii quarterback Woolsey made his X League debut as the Obic Seagulls trounced the Meiji Yasuda Pirates 65-0 at Fujitsu Stadium Kawasaki in the Pearl Bowl Tournament.
Woolsey completed 6 of 10 passes for 134 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for another before leaving the game at halftime. He made 17-, 9-, and 35-yard scoring passes in an impressive debut.
“The first game was fun. I played pretty well and more importantly the offensive linemen did a great job today, protecting me to give me the time to deliver the ball. My receivers on the outside made big plays for me and they made my job easy,” said Woolsey, who joined the Seagulls in February after playing for the Warriors for four seasons.
“I love my teammates,” he said. “They are like brothers and family to me. I came here about two months ago, they took me with open arms, they showed me Japan, and they showed me the culture. I definitely feel good being around these guys.”
Woolsey’s fine performance was followed by a surprise. Beatty, who recorded two sacks and was named the team’s MVP, proposed to his girlfriend Shiena Ishihara during the post-game ceremony.
Ishihara was supposed to appear as a secret guest and give her boyfriend a flower during the ceremony. But instead, it was her who received the surprise.
Beatty’s teammates surrounded him after Ishihara gave him the flower, and when they dispersed, Ishihara found her boyfriend down on one knee holding a ring.
After Beatty asked her, “Will you marry me?” a tearful Ishihara answered “yes.”
Earlier in the day, wide receiver Yoshimasa Iwamatsu received three touchdown passes to lead the Fujitsu Frontiers to a 49-0 shutout win over the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Eagles at the same venue.
Second-year player Iwamatsu caught five passes for 79 yards, both team highs. His best reception of the day came in the third quarter when quarterback Tsubasa Takagi found him running along the sideline near the Eagles 13-yard line.
Takagi’s pass sailed a little too high and Iwamatsu needed to leap to beat the Eagles’ Yasuhisa Iwashita for the grab. After landing, Iwamatsu regained his balance and ran into the end zone for his third score of the game.
Fujitsu kept several starters, including quarterback Coby Cameron, running back Geno Gordon and linebacker Tashaun Nixon, on sidelines and used rookies and younger players, but was still able to gain 426 yards and score at least one touchdown every quarter against the Eagles, who managed to get only four first downs.
“It was good that I could watch a lot of newcomers, including rookies, play,” Fujitsu head coach Satoshi Fujita said. “We have got some good rookies but they need to get used to the level of the X League. We will take this spring season to strengthen and improve them so that they can contribute in the fall.”