KG NEWS  &  EVENTS

Fighters Fall to the Phoenix at Koshien

Public Relations Office        December 18, 2017

RB Yusuke Yamaguchi RB Yusuke Yamaguchi rushes in from the backfield

RB Yusuke Yamaguchi rushes in from the backfield

At the 72nd Annual Koshien Bowl, the Nihon University Phoenix defeated the Kwansei Gakuin University Fighters in a close game, 23-17, to become Japan’s college American football champions. The Fighters persevered until the final whistle, but were unable to seize their second straight national title.
 
Soon after kickoff, the Fighters made their way to their opponent’s two-yard line, where quarterback Koki Nishino (junior, School of Sociology) scored a touchdown. The ensuing kick was made to give Kwansei Gakuin a 7-0 lead. With two minutes to go in the first quarter, the Phoenix scored a touchdown, but the Fighters blocked the extra point. In the second quarter, kicker Kosuke Ando (sophomore, School of Business Administration) scored a field goal to stretch the lead to four, but the Fighters gave up a touchdown just before halftime to surrender control.

The Fighters bow to the crowd to end their season

The Fighters bow to the crowd to end their season

Kwansei Gakuin gave up another touchdown and a field goal to Nihon University in the third quarter, and entered the fourth quarter down 23-10. However, running back Yusuke Yamaguchi (junior, School of Business Administration) scored a touchdown one minute into the fourth quarter to keep Kwansei Gakuin in the game. With one minute remaining, the Fighters gambled everything on a risky throw. The pass was intercepted by a Phoenix defender, and Nihon University ran out the clock to win.