The 4-2 Panasonic Impulse face the 3-3 Elecom Kobe Finies in the final game of the X League regular season Sunday, November with third place up for grabs.
The Impulse pushed the unbeaten Obic Seagulls in late October losing 14-7 but then struggled against the winless All Mitsubishi Lions, beating them only 17-7. They had looked solid going into the Obic game beating the Rise 24-0, IBM Big Blue 42-28 and Tokyo 27-0 although they dropped a 45-27 decision to the unbeaten Fujitsu Frontiers.
For Panasonic, quarterback Anthony Lawrence leads a balanced attack. He is the second leading passer in the league having thrown for 1,214 yards and six touchdowns. His top receiver is Tatsuya Tonhana with 27 receptions for 395 yards and five touchdowns while Daniel Wise has 295 yards receiving and a touchdown.
Elecom has been the surprise of the XLeague so far racing out to a 3-3 record with wins over the Tokyo Gas Creators (21-16), All Mitsubishi Lions (37-6) and IBM Big Blue (45-38). Tow of their three losses were to the Obic Seagulls, 38-3 and powerful Fujitsu Frontiers, 27-10 but the Nojima Sagamihara Rise brought them down to earth beating them 14-12.
The shocking 45-38 victory over IBM a month ago was a real confidence builder for this team.
Quarterback Cody Sokol is the third leading passer in the XLeague having thrown for 1,106 yards and 10 touchdowns. His favorite receiver, Alfonso Onunwor, has 26 receptions for 439 yards and seven touchdowns. Yuki Shirakami leads the Finies in rushing with 52 carries for 275 yards although he has missed a game. Defensive back Sean Draper and defensive lineman Cardell Rawlings lead a defense which is fourth best in Japan.