Japan played their first game in the tournament, and came out with a strong running game. It took only two plays before Shin Takasaki put the first six points the board.
Finland had no success running the ball, which worked very well in their game against China, but Japan had done their homework and dominated both sides of line of scrimmage. That led to another easy TD by Sho Inoue and Japan continued to show no mercy.
After another three and out from Finland, Inoue danced through the Finnish defense and scored on a 60 yard run and the game was more or less over in less than eight minutes. The first quarter ended with 28-0, and Japan showed that they also had a nice passing attack, although Tomoya Okabe carried the ball into the endzone for another TD.
Keita Suzuki scored on a passing play, Mueyuki Kinoshita did the same and Sho Inoue added his third score before Kazuki Takaguchi run in for the last score of the first half, making it a total of 56-0 for Japan.
So far we hadn’t seen a single first down for Finland and the only thing they could be happy about was an interception from Ville Rontu. And the second half didn’t bring much joy either. Inoue started with a 70 yards run for a score. But at least Finland got a first down with a nice catch from Markus Häkli.
Japan could rotate on all players and still keep on scoring. Aruto Nishimura caught another pass for a TD making it 70-0 after three quarters.
Inoue and Routila MVP:s
Nishimura scored another quick sixpointer after a turnover in the fourth quarter, and Keita Suzuki finished the scoring, since the referees kept the clock running for most of the second half.
The final score was 84-0 and MVP’s where 200 yard running back Shu Inoue from Japan and brave Henri Routila from Finland who did a great job playing both ways.
Japans coach Yaishi Mizuno were proud of his team afterwards although they had short time for preparation before the tournament.
Coach Tero Virtanen said that Japan were on a totally different level than Finland and it felt like they where boxers in totally different weightclasses. Routila said they expected at real tough game, but where still a bit surprised with the speed of Japans team.
By: Garry Nilsson