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Monday, June 21, 2004

Rose shines in Ivy-Samurai Bowl

Staff writer

Quarterback Neil Rose rushed for four touchdowns and completed 16 of 17 for 187 yards, leading the Harvard Crimson (mixed with Japanese college players) to a 35-21 victory over the Yale Bulldogs (also featuring Japanese college students), in the Ivy-Samurai Bowl on Sunday.

News photo
Harvard Crimson quarterback Neil Rose (center) scores a touchdown during the first quarter of the Ivy-Samurai Bowl against the Yale Bulldogs on Sunday at Tokyo's National Stadium. Harvard Crimson won 35-21.

The game was held to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Kanto Collegiate Football League before 12,100 at National Stadium.

"It was a great college football game," Harvard head coach Tim Murphy said.

"This was all about Japanese American football. One of the reasons we wanted to win today is for our Japanese coaches, who worked very hard for this game.

"Japanese players and coaches can learn from us," Murphy continued. "But we also learned a lot from them. Their work ethic and intensity levels were incredible."

The Crimson took the initiative on offense. In the first possession, Rose completed passes to Takuya Hasumi of Nihon University and Kotaro Kihara of Senshu University for consecutive first downs, setting the tune for the Crimson. Then Rose rushed in three consecutive plays for his first touchdown 2:02 into the first quarter.

After exchanging punts, Rose found open space and scored again 10 minutes later. Running back Nick Palazzo set up the score with 27-yard run during the drive.

The Bulldogs, on the other hand, struggled at the beginning, and it took 14:20 before getting their first, first down of the game. They got on the scoreboard when Yoshiaki Ito of Hosei University ran 59 yards for a touchdown with 5:30 to go in the first half, cutting the Crimson's lead to 14-7.

"It was great honor to be able to come here and play a football game," said Rose, whose mother is Japanese and whose parents live in Beppu, Oita Prefecture.

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