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Frontiers set new points record in Japan X Bowl rout of BigBlue

by Kaz Nagatsuka

Staff Writer

No team would have been able to match the Fujitsu Frontiers on this day.

The Frontiers racked up a Japan X Bowl-record score in their 63-23 win over the IBM BigBlue in the X League title game before a crowd of 22,953 at Tokyo Dome on Monday night.

The Kawasaki-based club captured its third X League title, all of which came after it claimed its first championship in 2014.

The points record for the X Bowl previously belonged to the Matsushita Denko Impulse (now Panasonic Impulse), who scored 54 points against the Obic Seagulls in 1995.

Fujitsu’s American quarterback Colby Cameron and wide receiver Teruaki Clark Nakamura guided their team to the title and a spot in the Rice Bowl against Koshien Bowl collegiate champion Nihon University on Jan. 3 at the Big Egg.

The BigBlue were competing in the Bowl for the first time since 2014, when they lost to the Frontiers 44-10. They came up short once again in their second attempt in the biggest game in the semi-pro Japanese top league.

The Frontiers amassed 506 offensive yards, which included 306 yards in the air.

“I’m surprised myself, too,” Frontiers head coach Satoshi Fujita said about his team’s offensive surge. “I think luck played a part, but our players did a great job.”

Asked about the team’s third title, Fujita said, “We had a tough year this year and didn’t expect to get here. So I don’t feel like we’ve really done it. (But) we have been given one more chance to play a football game. We want to raise our level going in (to the Rice Bowl).”

The Frontiers quickly grabbed the momentum with an opening kickoff return touchdown by Seiya Inokuma and added three more touchdowns to claim a 35-19 lead at halftime.

Fujitsu continued to control the game in the second half, steadily adding points to the scoreboard.

Nakamura also set a new record in receiving yards. The 29-year-old wideout had a monster game, accumulating 203 yards, and was selected as the game’s Most Valuable Player.

“I didn’t know about the record. I’m surprised and pleased about it,” said Nakamura, who will face his alma mater Nihon University in the Rice Bowl. “Throughout the season, our offense often struggled to be on the same page. But having been able to come through in such a big game like this, we are thrilled.”

Before its first Japan X Bowl title in 2014, Fujitsu had lost in all five attempts before that.

Cameron said that the Frontiers are now “trying to build the winning culture,” which they had for the last four years.