Monday, January 03, 2011

Obic Seagulls beat Ritsumeikan Panthers, 24 - 0 to win 64th Rice Bowl!

The Rice Bowl is the annual game between the winners of the Koshien Bowl (甲子園ボウル) and the Japan X Bowl (ジャパンXボウル). The Koshien Bowl determines the national collegiate champion and the Japan X Bowl is for the X League championship. The Rice Bowl, then, is a kind of plus one to determine the best team in Japanese football for 2010.

You'd think that the corporate teams (i.e. the X League and it's predecessor) would have the advantage over collegiate teams and for the most part it's true. Since 1983, the corporate teams have won 16 (including this year) Rice Bowls to the college teams 12. Still, the last two years have been close and one of today's participants won the Rice Bowl in 2008.

This year, however, it wasn't even close. The Ritsumeikan Panthers 立命館大学パンサーズ were never able to mount much offense against the Obic Seagulls オービックシーガルズ. The Panthers were able to get consistent pressure on the Obic quarterback and force him out of the pocket but he was often able to use his legs to get out of trouble and even scored a touchdown out of a busted roll-out. Both teams couldn't force any turnovers until the fourth quarter where Ritsumeikan recovered a fumble and Obic got three interceptions. The Ritsumeikan quarterback could not get the ball downfield at all. He only threw ten to fifteen yard passes at the most, not what you want when you are down by 24 points.

Congratulations to the Obic Seagulls!

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