Japan: Fujitsu Frontiers dominate IBM Big Blue in XLeague opener

The Fujitsu Frontiers opened the 2019 XLeague season with a superb, dominating 55-13 win over their 2018 XBowl opponents, IBM Big Blue.

It was an impressive performance as the XLeague enters a new phase with a revamped structure.

In the game, played at Fujitsu Stadium Kawasaki, the Frontiers took charge early and never let up using all three quarterbacks.

Frontiers WR Clark Nakamura Photo: MI Planning

Starter Michael Birdsong tossed two touchdown passes to Clark Nakamura while running backs Samajie Grant (2 TDs), Dereck Williams (1 TD) scored., Linebacker Kenshin Takasaki recovered a fumble and back up quarterbacks Tsubasa Takagi and Keiya Hiramoto also threw touchdown passes.

IBM actually took the lead when Toshiki Sato kicked a 27 yard field goal, but Fujitsu responded on the next series when Birdsong found Nakamura for a 31 yard touchdown to give the Frontiers a 7-3 lead.Sato

The Big Blue came back, driving into Fujitsu territory again with Sato adding another field goal to narrow the gap to 7-6.

And that was it for the IBM offense until late in the game as the Frontiers found another gear.

Frontiers RB Samajie Grant Photo: MI Planning

Williams scored for the Frontiers to extend the lead to 14-6 and then the Fujitsu defense rose up, jarring the ball loose from a receiver. Linebacker Kenshin Takasaki recovered and Grant stepped up scoring on the next drive and then added another before the break to extend the lead to 27-6 at the half.

The third quarter opened much the same with Birdsong finding his receivers. He hit Nakamura for his second touchdown reception of the game to boost the lead to 34-6 and then handed his duties over to his backups.

Takagi and Hiramoto capitalized on great field position throwing three more touchdown passes as the Frontiers defense snagged five interceptions.

In other action, the Panasonic Impulse downed the Nojima Sagamihara Rise 24-0, the Obic Seagulls overwhelmed the All Mitsubishi Lions 48-16 and the Elecom Kobe Finies defeated the Tokyo Gas Creators 21-16.

Source: Misako Fukunaga, XLeague.jp

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