In case you forgo sleep last Friday night/Saturday morning to watch the Pacific Rim Bowl, we're here to fill you in on the game's most unique rivalry.
Ashland High School in southern Oregon was able to defeat a team of Japanese high school all-stars, 32-30, in Japan. The Grizzlies were cruising to what appeared a comfortable win in a defensive battle with a 12-2 lead through three quarters. Six touchdowns later, Ashland recovered an onside kick with less than a minute to play to secure a 32-30 victory.
Players stayed with host families, ate Japanese food, took subways and trains to practice and attended the 1,000-year old Tenjin Matsuri Festival in Osaka. Outside of practice, Ashland took field trips to temples in Kyoto, a samurai movie studio, and took a bullet train ride in Hiroshima where they toured the Atomic Bomb Museum and Peace Park.
"After the game both teams gathered for handshakes, hugs and photos with host families and alumni of other Pacific Rim Bowl games," Ashland head coach Charlie Hall told us. "When all the players met for one final break someone asked, 'What do we say?' The reply was 'brothers 1,2,3...brothers.' It was a fitting end to a to a week designed for competition, culture and camaraderie."
The win gives the Grizzlies a 7-6 all-time lead in a rivarly dating back a quarter century. The Japanese All-Stars will visit Oregon for Pacific Rim Bowl XIV in July 2015.
The teams gather for a post-practice photo.
A moment of silence at the Hiroshima Atomic Bomb Museum and Peace Park.
The teams gather for one last photo until 2015.
Photos courtesy of Charlie Hall.