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Japan routs China in college football tournament

by Hiroshi Ikezawa

Staff Writer

Kyoto University quarterback Daisuke Tanaka threw three touchdown passes and ran for another to lead Japan in a 70-0 rout of China on Saturday at the World University American Football Championship.

Japan had established a 49-0 halftime lead before adding three touchdowns in the fourth quarter after a scoreless third at Harbin University of Commerce Stadium in Harbin, China,

The Japanese defense held China to minus 8 yards of total offense.

Yoshiki Takamatsu of Kwansei Gakuin University added three rushing touchdowns while Kansai’s Wataru Fujiwara and Waseda’s Kazuki Matsumoto each returned an interception for a touchdown for Japan,which improved to 2-0.

“We made our game plan simple and it helped our players concentrate on the game. This was Tanaka’s debut in an international competition, but he showed poise and played well,” Japan head coach Akira Yonekura said in a statement released by the Japan American Football Association. “Against the U.S., we’ll introduce some new strategies, but the key is everybody is on the same page.”

Japan faces the U.S., also 2-0, on Tuesday at the same venue. South Korea and Mexico are also participating in the five-nation competition.

The team’s four players from Nihon University, which the Kantoh Collegiate Football Association suspended for the 2018 season because of the illegal tackle controversy, are eligible to play because this is an international competition. The suspension can be lifted when Nihon University develops preventive measures and the KCFA approves it.