The Panasonic Impulse (1-0) take on the 1-0 Fujitsu Frontiers Saturday, September 7 as Japan’s XLeague enters the second round of play.
The Frontiers opened the season with a 55-13 shellacking of the IBM Big Blue while Panasonic blanked the Nojima Sagamihara Rise 24-0.
These two teams played each other once in 2018 with the Frontiers coming away with a 17-10 win.
Fujitsu, the defending and four time XLeague champions, enter the game healthy following their lopsided win over IBM two weeks ago. In that game, quarterback 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.
For Panasonic, quarterback Anthony Lawrence leads a balanced attack. In the game against the Rise, the Impulse scored three second half touchdowns to break open a tight game. Wide receiver Daniel Wise scored one of those touchdowns on a jet sweep and displayed his speed in doing so. Running back Victor Mitchell rushed for 127 yards.
This is a tough one to predict this early in the season, but the way the Frontiers manhandled IBM two weeks ago they already seem to be in championship form. Still, Panasonic is the only team to have won the X Bowl other than Fujitsu since 2014. The Impulse defeated Fujitsu in the 2015 X Bowl 24-21.