Kawasaki – The Fujitsu Frontiers have a chance to cement their status as an X League dynasty, after earning their eighth consecutive trip to the Japan X Bowl with a 34-3 victory Sunday over the Elecom Kobe Finies in their regular-season finale.
The Fujitsu defense stood tall all game, keeping the Finies out of the end zone. The Frontiers sacked Elecom quarterback Cody Sokol seven times and picked him off three times.
Frontiers quarterback Michael Birdsong steer the offense, completing 15 of 21 passes for 186 yards and leading the team with 81 yards rushing. The big, 195-centimeter American threw for one touchdown and ran for another.
The Finies converted 15 first downs but only got into the red zone twice. Sokol, who struggled to handle the pressure the Frontiers brought, threw for 195 yards.
Next up for Fujitsu is a date with the Obic Seagulls, who clinched their spot in the X Bowl on Saturday, for the league title on Dec. 15 at Tokyo Dome. Because the 2020 campaign was shortened due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Fujitsu only played three times during the regular season while Obic had two games.
Despite the unusual circumstances, Birdsong said getting to the championship game was still the ultimate goal.
“This is our goal. It’s our goal every year,” the Tennessee Tech alum said. “And we’re back at it again, getting another chance, to go up against Obic. It’s going to be a big-time game and we’re ready for the task.”
The Frontiers have won the last four X Bowls. Despite having reached the title games so many times recently. Birdsong said the feeling of playing on the biggest stage “never gets old.”
“Winning is the best thing in the world, and we want to win every time we touch the field no matter what we get, no matter who we’re playing,” the third-year player said. “So, winning never gets old.”
The 27-year-old has good reason to be excited. Birdsong had to watch last year’s game from the sidelines after tearing his Achilles in last season’s regular-season finale against the Seagulls.
“I’m very excited,” Birdsong said. “Last year was a tough year for me personally. (Backup Tsubasa) Takagi stepped up. He played awesome down the stretch (and) won us the championship. But myself, I’m ready. I want to play in this game. I’m ready to lead this team to whatever it is now, five in a row.”
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