ASHSAA Week No.7 concludes with no surprises
Last weekend, the ASHSAA football league had no surprises in Week No. 7, with the Tafuna Varsity Warriors concluding its Thursday evening’s match against the Nu’uuli Wildcats with a blow out win, 56 – 0 win; and under Friday night lights — the Junior Varsity match up of the Leone Lions versus the Marist Crusaders saw a blow win by the Lions, 61 - 0; while the Kanana Fou Stallions and Marist Crusaders Varsity Friday night game was a heated affair, which almost came to fist-a-cuffs, but ended well for the Crusaders with a 38 - 6.
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TAFUNA 56 – NU’UULI VOC TECH 0
The first quarter saw three of the unanswered touchdowns by the Warriors against the Wildcats, the first of which saw Warrior Daniel Fereti in the shotgun formation making a 50-yard reception out to Ryan Pa’aga. Warriors two point conversion was a hand off to “Vicious” Vena Umu spotting them the first eight points of the game.
The second touchdown was second down possession on Nu’uuli’s 14-yard line, and Fereti fired another solid pass out to Pa’aga again for his second touchdown of the game, and with the extra point conversion punched in by Filoiali’i, it gave Tafuna a 16 point lead.
The 3rd touchdown was Tafuna spotting a first down situation from their own 20-yard line after a punting situation from Nu’uuli. Fereti had Pa’aga drawing defenders, leaving Umu wide open for the simple quick slant pass that took Umu all the way down field for an 80-yard touchdown reception to extend their lead 24 – 0, after a two point conversion by Filipo Matai’a.
Opening up the second quarter of the game was another connection between Pa’aga and Fereti on the Wildcats 35-yard line after Umu carried a big gain for Tafuna, and Fereti fired out another hot pass to Pa’aga who took that to the end zone for his third touchdown of the game. Their two point reception was good with the hand off going to Umu to spot them on top by 32 points.
The next 8 points to spot them 40 on top, was a draw hand off to Umu, who ran over a defensive lineman for Nu’uuli, taking him out of the game with a “Vicious” running attack, which put six more points on the scoreboard for the Warriors, including a successful two point possession by Lauina Futi that followed.
A 48-point lead followed from a punt from Nu’uuli that had Tafuna’s Rico Letuli blocking it, and when the ball rolled back to the end zone, Shaun Maiava of Tafuna was there to recover it for Tafuna’s first defensive touchdown of the game. The two point reception by Futi was good again.
Just when everyone thought Nu’uuli would spark things up when they were consistently coming back with their running game, they were surprised on a second down situation on their own 14-yard line, when Nu’uuli’s Felise Enoka missed the sweep play from their quarterback, causing the ball to bounce back field, which a host of Warrior defenders recovering on Nu’uuli’s 1-yard line.
With just 34 seconds remaining in the first half Umu was sent again up the middle to record another Warrior touchdown. Their two point conversion was the same play to Futi, and it worked every time with the Warriors going to half time with a 56 – 0 lead.
Nu’uuli paid no attention to the scoreboard in the second half of the game, as they played out a defensive strategy that they should’ve used in the first half of the game. Fereti was rested and Tafuna’s offense was in control under the command of back up quarterback AJ Filoiali’i. The Warriors did not score a touchdown in the second half of the game, with Nu’uuli bringing the non stop pressure on Filoiali’i.
The game concluded with the same score, and Nu’uuli went home thinking they could’ve done better in the first half of the game, as they lost to the Warriors in a 56 – 0.
SAMOA NEWS PLAYER OF THE GAME: “Vicious” Vena Umu
Samoa News selected the Senior Running Back from Kokoland as the Player of the Game after averaging 13 yards per carry, 7 Broken Tackles, 2 ground touchdowns, 1 receiving touchdown, and three two point conversions.
FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS
Leone 61 – Marist 0
Junior Varsity Division
Leone sure didn’t win with the same points when they defeated Marist last weekend with their 22 – 0 victory, after all “Frost” Folasa Vili was out of the game. This past Thursday, no such luck for the Crusaders as it had “Frost” featured from start to finish for a blowout victory by the Lions.
“Frost” put up the first six points of the game early in the first quarter of the match, as Marist were still trying to figure out how to stop this uncatchable juke machine. Then, with just 47 seconds remaining in the first quarter of the game, Leone’s Jeremiah Pritchard pounded his way into the end zone on a sweep play for his 1 -ard touchdown reception that had the Lions on top 12 – 0.
9:23 in the second quarter, the Crusaders Paul Collins sent over the four and out punting situation. Folasa received that punt, and returned it all the way back to spot Leone’s first down situation on the Crusaders 2-yard line, where Tagaleo’o hooked up with wide receiver (#85) for another Leone touchdown that had them leading with 19 points.
Folasa again returned a 75-yard punt with just 8:09 remaining to play in the second quarter of the game which confirmed Leone on top 25 – 0.
5:34, still in the second quarter of the game, and Leone spotted themselves with a first down situation on the Crusaders 4-yard line after a hard running situation by Quinn Solo Chanel, the SN Player of the Game from week No. 6, as he was sent up the middle on the first down situation to score his first touchdown of the game. Their two point conversion out to Sione Moeaki was good enough to spot the Lions with a 33 point lead.
It’s 5:20 in the second and Tagaleo’o with the hot shoulder decided to fire out a long pass to Chanel again who caught that connection, and turned it up field for a 45-yard touchdown reception that had the Lions extending their lead to 41 – 0 after the two point insertion by Tagaleo’o.
At the start of the third quarter of the game, the “Mercy Rule” was in effect with Leone wasting no time, and getting right back in the scoring mode with Folasa in the back field.
Early in the third quarter, 10:36, and the opening kick-off for the second quarter was in the hands of Folasa, who returned it all the way to the Crusaders 3-yard line, recording an 86 yard reception that almost went back for a touchdown, until Vili ran out of gas and was taken out of bounds by Paul Collins of Marist.
Leone’s first down situation there saw Moeaki working his way up the middle again for his first touchdown of the game that had Leone leading by 49 points.
Late in the third quarter, 1:52 remaining, and Leone’s Chanel bangs his way up the middle again for a 3-yard touchdown reception, his third touchdown of the game.
Not too long after that, closing off the match early in the fourth quarter, Leone with a first down situation on the Crusaders 2-yard line, and Tagaleo’o decided that he would close off the game with a 2-yard quarterback keep that sent six more points to the Lions side of the scoreboard, as they went home to celebrate their 61 – 0 victory over the Crusaders.
SAMOA NEWS JV PLAYER OF THE GAME: “Frost” Folasa Vili
This is the fourth time that Folasa Vili, the Freshmen from the village of Sogi has captured the SN Player of the Game title. He recorded 2 touchdowns, one ground TD, and a 75-yard punt return. Vili racked up over a 100 rushing yards on offense and special teams. He averaged 11 solo tackles and 8 assists on defense along with 2 tackles for losses to help Leone with thei victory.
Marist 38 – Kanana Fou 6
The Crusaders probably wished they played the Lions varsity squad in revenge of their JV’s loss, but it was the Stallions they had to face on Friday night, with Kanana Fou coming in full effect during the first half of the game.
Being the only team in the league who hasn’t won a single game yet this year, Kanana Fou sure didn’t play like it during the first half of the game against the Crusaders this past Friday evening.
Crusaders just spotted their second down conversion on their own 48-yard line, in the second play of the game, and Marist sent Edward Peters off to the end zone with the first touchdown, a 52-yard reception by Peters that stunned the Stallions early in the ball game that had Marist leading by six.
Kanana Fou adjusted on defense very well, and made sure that the mistake they made when Peters entered the end zone, would never happen again. And they kept their promise, when they held the Crusaders to their only six points of the game, all the way to half time with the score still remaining 6 – 0.
It wasn’t until the late in the third quarter, when the Crusaders Masela Afoa boosted the Crusaders pace with his 45-yard punt return that was taken all the way back for a touchdown, which allowed Marist to get things going.
30 seconds remaining in the third quarter and the Crusaders’ Iki Tuileta handed off the third down situation counter attack to Uluao Letuli who turned his 19-yard reception up field for his first touchdown of the game. Their two point conversion saw Letuli again in the end zone to have Marist on top with a 22 point lead.
Suddenly, early in the fourth quarter with 9:38 on the clock, and the Stallions surprise the Crusaders with their first touchdown of the game, when Kanana Fou was running a third down situation on the Crusaders 4-yard line, and quarterback Pale Filoiali’i decided to use his juking skills to put Kanana Fou on the scoreboard for the first time in the game, bringing them back to trail Marist 22 – 6.
Tensions started to rise in both teams, after continuous Personal Foul penalties against both teams, that almost broke out a into fight late in the fourth quarter of the game. But that didn’t distract the Crusaders from their on-going rhythm.
3:32 remaining in the ball game, and Crusader Joe Mano came in for Tuileta at quarterback. With Marist on first down on the Stallions 4- yard line, the Crusaders sent in the hard hitting James Migo to play running back, and in his first play of the game he appeared in the end zone for his first touchdown of the game. Their two point conversion out to Migo again was good.
1:46 remaining in the ball game, and Mano sent a perfect pass out to Poutasi Meredith who scored the last touchdown of the game, to send Marist home with the 38 – 6 win for the Crusaders in week No. 7, with still no win for the Stallions.
SAMOA NEWS PLAYER OF THE GAME: Julius Fitisemanu
The Junior Linebacker/Cornerback who transferred from Tafuna High School to Marist this year racked up the game on defense, as he recorded 2 sacks, 16 solo tackles, 14 assists, 2 tackles for losses, and a pass deflection on defense.