Cameron Flings Fujitsu To National Football Title

Cameron flings Fujitsu to national football titleRiding the accurate arm of quarterback Colby Cameron, the Fujitsu Frontiers regained the national title by rolling to a 30-13 victory over Kwansei Gakuin University in the Rice Bowl on Tuesday night at Tokyo Dome.
Cameron threw for three touchdowns, including a majestic 51-yarder to Teruaki Clark Nakamura, as Fujitsu extended the X-League’s dominance over the collegians in the national championship game to eight straight years and 22-12 overall.

No play better showed the difference in level between the corporate and collegiate champions than the combination of Cameron’s accuracy and arm strength and the speed of Nakamura, when he beat the defense and hauled in the long touchdown pass in the second quarter that gave Fujitsu a 20-0 lead going into halftime.

The game was a rematch of the Rice Bowl from two years ago, when Fujitsu won its first-ever national title with a close 33-24 victory over the Fighters. The big difference between that game and Tuesday’s was that Cameron had missed the former due to injury.

This time, Fujitsu surged into an early lead with a Hidetetsu Nishimura field goal that it never relinquished. The Frontiers finished up the first quarter with Cameron and Nakamura hooking up on a 30-yard touchdown pass, leading the speedy receiver to comment with a grin, “I was aiming to get the MVP award.”

That honor would go to Cameron.

Fujitsu’s path to a second championship was anything but easy, as a change in the X-League’s scheduling format meant the Frontiers had to face more powerful teams during the season.

While the presence of Cameron and running back Gino Gordon became a factor, the new format also led to marked improvement of the rest of the team, particularly the defense, through the experience of facing stiffer opposition. In addition to honing their skills, they became tougher both physically and mentally.

“This year, it was a season in which we won on total strength,” Fujitsu head coach Satoshi Fujita said.

For Kwansei Gakuin, the trick plays that the school came up with to offset the Frontiers’ size and experience were no match for the individual skills of the opponent, although the Fighters were able to scrape together enough offense to get a touchdown run from Seiji Hashimoto and a TD pass by quarterback Mitsuhiro Izu in the second half.

“The three long touchdown passes really hurt,” Kwansei Gakuin head coach Hideaki Toriuchi said.

“On offense, we weren’t able to have success when it counted most. I couldn’t make the players understand the way to get around that.”