Silver Star Smother Pirates’ Unorthodox Offense
Asahi Beer opened their Pearl Bowl with an easy 28-3 victory over a Penta Ocean Pirates team that unveiled an offense that started out as novel, but quickly degraded into one-dimensional futility. QB Ryosuke Nishizawa is the only QB on the Pirates’ roster; however (despite standing on the sidelines in uniform) being injured meant all snaps under center went to tight end Hiroyuki Akatsu who handed the ball off or kept it himself on every play until halfway through the third quarter. You read that right, the Pirates attempted zero passes in the first half. The Pirates’ first drive looked promising as they marched down the field on a ten minute, 16 play drive that befuddled the Silver Star defense and resulted in a field goal. The field goal was kicked by none other than today’s makeshift wildcat operator, Hiroyuki Akatsu.
Silver Star quickly made adjustments to their defensive scheme after the first drive and kept the Pirates from ever getting close to scoring again. Asahi had an unorthodox approach to this game as well, as every kick off they attempted was an onside kick. They fooled the Pirates on the first kick and using their extra possession went up two scores. They continued to kick onside kicks for the duration of the game, even when they were up by four scores. The Pirates never adjusted their formation, choosing instead to line up in a traditional return formation and increase the possibility of a successful Silver Star onside kick. Luckily for the Pirates, only the first kick was.
Jerry Rice-esque player of the Game: The odd play calls overshadowed what was a masterful performance by Silver Stars wide receiver Yuta Hayashi who snatched nine balls for 155 yards and four touchdowns in a clinic of the position. He caught every ball that was thrown to him, excluding one where he jumped back into the defender who never turned his head. Hayashi missed the seven yard catch, but his high football I.Q. got the pass interference call and netted his team 15 yards. He will be a man to watch as the group rounds are coming to a close.
- C.J. Ryan: May 7th 2017
Asahi Beer Silver Star (28) - (3) Meiji Yasuda Penta Ocean Pirates
Photos: Chris Pfaff - May 7th 2017: Fujitsu Stadium