AYFS Week No.2: continues exciting action
During the second week of this year’s American Youth Football of Samoa’s football season, the crowd witnessed some of the best played games in the history of this league, along with some crucial dominant match ups that saw the Raiders, determined to be unstoppable this year, along with the Chiefs, who are really making a name for themselves, recording their second victory with numerous points.
Each week features four matches, with the normal ten minutes per quarter of regulation.
AYFS kicked off last Saturday’s match up with the Bengals and the Steelers, who had quite the match up that boosted the energy of the stadium — the Bengals, last year’s champions, turned around to a tie situation with just seconds left on the board, for what would have been their second loss of the season.
Bengals 12 - Steelers 12
Two weeks ago, the Bengals suffered a bad loss to the Raiders as their season opener ended with not only a shut out, but a blow out game brought on by the Raiders. The Steelers on the other hand, had quite the competition, as they too recorded victory, but there was nothing quite like this past Saturday’s match up between the Bengals and the Steelers, the two teams that practice right next to each other at the Lions Park in Tafuna.
The Bengals recorded their first touchdown of the season this year and for this game, with just 6:48 remaining in the first quarter, as Nephi Sewell pitched out the ball to Leti Paaga on a second down situation from the Steelers 10-yard line.
Then, later on in the first half, with 7:58 remaining in the second quarter, the Steelers managed to trick the Bengals into their first touchdown of the game with a inside counter hand off to Luteru Ah Loe from Elise Seui to tie the game, heading into half time.
The third quarter became a crucial defensive competition on both sides of the ball, as the Steelers rejected the Bengals from their goal line, with the Bengals returning the favor of not allowing the Steelers to pass their end zone.
Suddenly, just when the Bengals thought they would punch in their second touchdown of the game to claim their first victory of the season, they were wronged when their offense was threatening inside the Steelers red zone, and the Bengals fumbled the ball with a snap infraction between Sewell and Muao, that was recovered by the Steelers’ Sili Galeai to spot themselves on offense with a tight situation inside their territory.
Seui, one of the very unique run and gun quarterbacks in this years AYFS league, managed to pull his offense all the way out to the Bengals side of the field, and tested the Bengals running defense once again when Seui couldn’t find an open receiver, and decided to keep the ball in the end zone for their second touchdown of the game that sent the Steelers up with a 6 - 12 lead in the fourth quarter.
The Steelers, determined to record their second victory of the season, were totally surprised when the Bengals fought back strong, to try and tie up the ball game with just 43 seconds remaining in the game, and the Bengals recovered a fumble inside their own territory by Laisene Sewell.
Nephi Sewell, the smallest quarterback in the AYFS league since his appearance as quarterback back in 2010, then led the Bengals to the promise land when he coordinated some great offensive reception that put the Bengals back into the Steelers red zone, with no time outs remaining. Nephi, spiking the football on first down with 18 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, struggled trying to look for an open receiver, but as small as he is, Nephi’s body size, did not match the size of his heart and will, when he took the ball into the end zone getting smashed on his way in to record his first touchdown of the season, and tie up the ball game 12 - 12 with just 8 seconds remaining on the clock.
These seconds became pivotal to a Bengal win or tie, when Nephi sent off an onside kick that bounced off a Steelers player, and fell straight into the hands of Fautuga Autele of the Bengals for another daring offensive opportunity to try and pull off a winning touchdown.
It was not to be —their last play of the game saw a reverse hand off in the back field between Pa’aga and Autele encounter a major set back when the Steelers were all over the ball in the back field, closing off the game with the regulation time down to zero, for the first tie of the season between the Steeler and the Bengals, 12 - 12.
Raiders 44 - 49ers 8
The second game of the day featured the Raiders who are determined to take this year’s AYFS Championship title with the pain of losing the title last year to the Bengals. They are really putting on a show for the league, as this non-stop team is running with some of the best players in the league that will surely determine the spotlight on them later in the season.
Perfecting their game last weekend was the Raiders Unstoppable Ueseli Mamea who recorded the Raiders first touchdown of the game with a 5-yard inside hand off with just 7:32 into the first quarter. Their two point conversion was no good.
Still in the first quarter, Mamea, carrying the Raiders out to the Niners territory again, took a break after a hard running game, to bring in their super fast running back, Folasa Vili on the field. Vili turned a simple sweep play, into a huge turn out from the Niners 34-yard line, as he recorded the Raiders second touchdown of the game. Their two point conversion was good after a counter inside hand off to Mamea again.
Not too long after that – with only 9:17 into the second quarter, Mamea again spots another touchdown situation from a sweep play that almost settled him in the backfield after being raided by the Niners defensive unit; but luckily for Mamea, he was able to muscle his way into the end zone for his second touchdown of the game that spotted the Raiders with a 20 - 0 lead. Their two point conversion out to Tavai Tuitasi was good enough to send them up 22 - 0.
Suddenly, a shocking play set up by the Niners with just 20 seconds remaining on the clock in the first half, saw the Raiders for the first time letting down on defense, as the Niners went for a fake reverse hand off that totally caught the Raiders defense off guard, when Marvis Vaiaga’e stormed down the sideline to return a 55-yard touchdown play, their first touchdown of the game that brought the Niners back to trail 22 - 8 after a good two point conversion in the hands of Malachi Peko-Vai.
In the third quarter, the Niners continued to suffer a severe offensive domination from the Raiders offense, lead by Eric Steffany, as they continued to work out the clock with their running game, and gaining big yardage with their continuous running game.
Raiders dominant offense, continued onto the end zone again with Tipasa Sagote recording another TD to extend their lead. Their two point conversion in the hands of Mamea again was good enough to send them to a 30 - 8 lead.
9:19 into the fourth quarter and the Raiders execute an inside counter hand off to Vili from the Niners 35-yard line that saw him storming out to the sideline, to turn on his boosters to see nothing but the end zone in his sight, as he punched in his second touchdown of the game, sending his team to a 35 - 8 lead.
Then, just when everyone thought that was it, the Raiders thought otherwise when Ching Chang Laung walked into the end zone to record a 42 - 8 lead over the Niners with under two minutes remaining in the game. Their two point was good when Steffany dove into the end zone with a quarterback keep to extend their lead to 44 - 8, the final score of the game, as they recorded another blow out victory.
Chargers 34 - Buccaneers 0
The third game between the Charger and the Bucc’s saw the Chargers recovering from their loss to the Chiefs from week No.1, and come back to record their first huge victory of the season.
Opening up the game was a tremendous quarterback keeper from the Chargers Utumoe Va’a on a second down situation on the Bucc’s 5-yard line, spotted the first TD of the game with just 2:29 remaining in the first quarter of play. Their two point conversion hand off to Samuel Taliva’a was good to spot the Chargers on top with 8 - 0.
In the second quarter, the Buccaneers brought the heat on defense, as the Chargers had a very hard time trying to break through the Bucc’s very well adjusted defense to their running game. But suddenly, as the quarter was coming to a close, with just 1:22 remaining before half time, the Chargers managed to unlock the key to the hard defensive strategy of the Bucc’s, when the Chargers were pinned deep in their own territory.
Chargers first down situation on their own 5-yard line, a play that was determined to see the Bucc’s defense all over to force a safety, were totally wronged when the man with a plan, Taliva’a, turned a simple pitch play into the longest receptions featured in this year’s season, as he floored the pedal to the metal from their own 5 to record a 75-yard touchdown run, the longest run since the season started two weeks ago.
Taliva’a, the hard runner for the Chargers, also starred in the second half of the game, as he spotted two more touchdown conversions for the Chargers to spot themselves up 28 - 0, heading into the fourth quarter of the game. Then, with just 1:56 remaining in the game, Taliva’a spotted another huge conversion for the Chargers, as he recorded another touchdown reception for the Chargers with a 24-yard run that sent the Chargers home with their first victory of 34 - 0.
Chiefs 44 - Bears 22
This match up was determined to be the main event of the day, as the Bears, coming into the match up from a victory two weeks ago, along with the Chiefs who also came in with a victory from week #1 of the season. In the first quarter, both teams tested out their offensive units, putting their defensive squads on the line, as both teams came out scoreless in the first quarter.
Then, in the second quarter, with the Chiefs having possession of the ball on their own 23-yard line, a reverse hand off to Fernendez Petersen, who juked two defenders, and bolted out to the sidelines to his first shot at the end zone, to record the first TD of the game. The two point conversion was no good.
The Bears came back hard on defense, but struggled again as the Chiefs had possession of the ball on the Bears 33-yard line. The Chiefs executing a counter hand off to Petersen again, who found the seam on his route through the middle of the Bears defense, and just boosted out to the end zone, for his second touchdown of the game, with 1:22 remaining in the second quarter.
Not too long after that — a stunning play by the Bears with just 30 seconds remaining in the second quarter, as the Bears audible from an “I” formation to a Spread that had all receivers activated for the Bears, as Gabriel Meredith found the speedy Fred Feleti on the inside who caught that perfect floater from Meredith, to record his first touchdown of the game with under a minute to go in the first half, Chiefs 12 - Bears 6.
In the third quarter, the Chiefs came in with no holding back, as they sent Tupufia Shalhout with the sweep play from the Bears 19-yard line to add another six points to the Chiefs side of the scoreboard. But that wasn’t enough either, with the following touchdown of the Chiefs coming again in the hands of Petersen, who added another six points for the Chiefs, as they extended their lead 32 - 6, after the good two point conversion by Ambrose Isaako.
Right after that TD from the Chiefs, as they sent off the kick off to the Bears, the kick was received and returned by Saulo Vaise, which saw him dodging one defender, and running over one more Chiefs defender on his way to the sideline, and boosting out to the end zone recording another touchdown for the Bears, the first kick off return for a touchdown this season since week No.1. The Bears are brought back to trail 34 - 12.
It’s five minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, and the Chiefs settled for another touchdown conversion in the hands of Shalhout again with a 4-yard reception. But that favor was returned immediately by the Bears on a first down situation on the Chiefs 12-yard line, with a sweep play out to Wayne Filiga who rammed his way into the end zone to record the Bears third touchdown of the game.
But the Chiefs would not lie down. Closing off week No. 2 was an astounding finale touchdown conversion by the Chiefs Petersen, who walked into the end zone on a sweep play from the Bears 14-yard line, as the match closed off with a Chiefs 44 - 20 win, recording their second victory of the season, as the Bears saw their first defeat since week No.1.