Devin Gardner and Jeremy Gallon led the Nojima Rise to a convincing win, 69-7, in their final game of the 2016 season. Dubbed the "Copper Bowl", they easily defeated the Tokyo Gas Creators [really] in a rematch of a game earlier in the season.
Gardner was 15-24, 317 yards and four TDs in the air, adding two more on the ground.
When asked his plans for the evening, Devin said he'd try to get some sleep and then make it to the gathering of Michigan and tOSU alumni and fans at a sports bar in Tokyo for the 2AM kickoff of The Game.
[More details later- like Devin, I need to do the same]
The Nojima Rise fell to the Asahi (Beer) Silver Stars 29-26 in another game that came down to the final minute. Nojima is now a disappointing 1-3 on the season, and in danger of missing the playoffs.
Trailing 26-10 at halftime, Devin Gardner began to bring the Rise back late in the 3rd quarter, when he ran the ball in from the 5-yard line, and passed to Jeremy Gallon for the two-point conversion to bring the score to 26-18. Midway through the 4th quarter, Garner scored on a 23 yard scramble, but Gallon was called for a block in the back. On the next play, Gardner hit Eisuke Tomatsu for a TD, and with Gardner on a QB draw for the extra point, the game was tied.
A five minute drive by the Silver Stars set up a 30-yard field goal to make it 29-26, and after the kickoff went out of bounds, the Rise took over from their own 35 with 1:03 remaining. The Silver Stars had missed an earlier field goal from 31-yards and one extra point; while Nojima had two FG kicks blocked
Gardner was able to move the ball into Asahi territory with a combination of throws and runs, but was unable to complete the 4th down pass and the ball was turned over on downs with 5 seconds remaining. Gardner missed on his last four passes, and said he had fallen on the ball at one point and was coughing up blood, but seemed fine when talking with fans after the game.
Once again Gardner was the leading rusher in the game,carrying it 14 times for 79 yards. He was 18-34 passing for, 299 yards, 2 TDs for the Rise (including their first, a 25 yard strke to Gallon), and 1 interception. Gallon had 7 catches for 133 yards.
Gardner's counterpart Mason Mills was 24-33, 341 yards and 3 TDs.
The Rise next face perrenial league power the Panasonic Impulse in a game next Sunday in Osaka.
Prayers for Japan!
That is all...no need to comment.
In case you hadn't heard, an 8.9 magnitude earthquake struck off the northern coast of Honshu, the main island in Japan, this morning. It triggered a tsunami that is heading east across the Pacific, and has apparently already struck Hawaii (they had a lot of warning, so loss of life should be minimal). It also swept much of the Japanese coastline well inland of the coast.
Hundreds are already reported dead, and severe damage was reported as far away as Tokyo. I think I speak for the entire MGoCommunity when I say that our thoughts and prayers are with those in Japan.