SOU to face Japanese college football team in 5th Mills Bowl

ASHLAND, Ore. – The Southern Oregon University Football team is taking on Japan’s Kwansei Gakuin in the historic Mills Bowl Saturday evening.

Kwansei Gakuin held a practice at Raider Stadium in Ashland Friday morning and the players and coaches are excited to continue the historic game.

Kwansei Gakuin became the first Japanese university to play a college football game in America back in 1986, thanks to a relationship spearheaded by SOU hall of famer coach Chuck Mills.

This is the 5th Mills Bowl.

They played back and forth in Japan and Ashland from 1985 to 1987.

It was then resurrected last year.

“Coach Mills is the one I want to thank. He’s the father of Japanese football,” Kwansei Gakuin Football Director Hiromu Ono said, “because of his friendship and love, Japanese football developed. So we are now here because of him.”

Coaches from Kwansei Gakuin said there is a big difference in the physicality and speed of the game in America.

This year’s game kicks off at 6 p.m. Saturday at Raider Stadium with a tailgate starting at 3:30.

General admission is $12.

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Former NBC5 News reporter Derek Strom is from Renton, Washington. He recently graduated from the Edward R. Murrow College of Communications at Washington State University with a degree in Broadcast News and a minor in Sports Management. He played in the drumline with the WSU marching band. These days, he plays the guitar and piano. Derek is a devoted fan of the Mariners, Seahawks, and Kraken.
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