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Raiders and Chiefs play for the AYFS Championship

sports@samoanews.com
AYFS Charger Traemaine Savea racing off with a kickoff return to to rack up yardage against the Chiefs, during one of last week’s AYFS play-off game. Unfortunately, the Chargers suffered a loss against the Chiefs, losing the berth to the Championship. [photo: TG]

This past Saturday featured the play-off match ups for the American Youth Football of Samoa season Three — determining who would be the teams for the Championship Game, to be played this Saturday.

The play-offs sorted out the top four teams in the league, which edged off with the undefeated in regular season Raiders claiming a resounding victory over the Bears in the first game, keeping their record immaculate.  It was followed with the tough match up between the Chiefs and the Chargers, which almost saw the Chargers make it to the Championship game.

This is the second time the Raiders have made it to the Championship game, while for the Chiefs — it’s a first.

This Saturday, at the Veterans Stadium , the AYFS will hold two great games, beginning with the All Star AYFS  Red & Blue Game in the morning, followed by the Championship Game.

Raiders 34 – Bears 8

The Raiders, who still remain the top seed in the AYFS league with an undefeated title, managed to pull off some amazing stunts in the first half to get things going. But, it wasn’t an easy walk in the park, with the Bears defensive unit, led by Defensive Coordinator Sa Suluai, stopping the Raiders at below 30 plus points — a first for the Raiders this season, as the team has consistently blown their opponents off the field by the end of the first half.

The first quarter of the game saw the Magnificent Folasa Vili, who clearly put the Raiders in front early in the first quarter after another stunning start to the game led by Vili, as he inserted the first six points of the game that sent the Raiders over the Bears. Their two-point conversion was no good after an incomplete pass out to Vili.

Still in the first quarter, the Bears make their only TD of the game.

With the Raiders defense starting to pound their running game, the Bears are forced to a passing situation, as they headed out to their popular spread formation. The Bears, on third down, with Gabriel Meredith as quarterback, bombed out a long one to the wide open Sinapati Uti, who caught the pass in the end zone for the Bears tying touchdown of the game with just 3:22 remaining in the first quarter. Their two-point conversion was no good either.

A two-point safety for the Bears is the next score to make it up the board, which gave them the only time in the game they led the Raiders.

It was early in the second, the Raiders were pinned in their own territory. Deep in trouble, they had third down possession on their own 4-yard line, and Eric Steffany mishandles the ball, forcing him to try and recover it in the end zone, but unfortunately he was immediately tackled in the backfield by Va’atofu Sauvao for a safety, that had the Bears over the Raiders.

In a toughly fought 2nd quarter, the Raiders finally are able to punch in another six points with just 1:21 remaining in the first half, with a play the Bears read as a running situation, but instead had Raiders’ Steffany dropping back to air out a bullet to Vili who caught it in the end zone, and brought the Raiders back to the lead with a 12 – 8 going into half time.

In the third quarter, the Raiders brought in two more TDs, taking a 28- 8 lead over the Bears, in unanswered plays from the Bears.

Vili playing quarterback brought the first one in for the Raiders, while a sweep play out to Tiupasa Sagote, for his first touchdown in the game and a two-point conversion by Blenni Manning brought the second one in.

8:37 remaining in the fourth quarter, and the Bears defense decides to pressure the Raiders perfectly, as they moved them back with a second down and twenty five to go, as the Raiders were locked on their own 4-yard line.

The Raiders decide to bring Vili into this dangerous situation. The play is a well blocked sweep play out to Vili, who clearly danced his way around the defense, and boosted out to the open field for a 76-yard touchdown run that sent the Raiders over the Bears with a 34 – 8 lead.

It was the final score of the game — sending the Bears home, and the Raiders to the AYFS Championship game.

Chiefs 22 – Chargers 12

The Chiefs and the Chargers match up was a tough one, as this was the first time that the Chiefs won a game, with less than 30 points since the beginning of the league.

The Chiefs, who experienced their first loss of the season two weeks ago against the Raiders after 30 unanswered points, managed to lick their wounds, and pick up the pace this last weekend, coming back to record another victory for the books, as they clinched a championship spot in this Saturday’s Main Game.

The Chargers, who have been very competitive throughout this year’s AYFS regular season, played one hell of a defensive game; and, despite falling short, they were not dominated on the field.

Opening up their match up of the day was an unstoppable drive from the Chiefs, led by Ambrose Isaako, who took the Chiefs down to the Chargers 9-yard line for a threatening third down situation. Their series in the red zone featured a sweep play out to Tupufia Shalhout who immediately bounced to the corner of the goal line for the first touchdown of the game. Their two-point conversion was a good reverse hand off to Fernando Petersen to spot the Chiefs on top 8 – 0 — with just 6:19 into the first quarter of the game.

The Chargers offense couldn’t answer back immediately, as they were locked down with the Chiefs bringing on the pressure to force Utumoe Va’a to get rid of the ball during their passing situations. The Chiefs offense on the other hand, came back hard in the second quarter.

7:33 in the second, and the Chiefs play a risky fourth down situation on the Chargers 10- yard line that saw a reverse counter hand off going to Tinei Te’i, who spotted another touchdown conversion for the Chiefs. Their two-point conversion saw a quarterback keeper by Isaako that sent the Chiefs on top of the Chargers 16 – 0.

It’s 3:12 remaining in the first half of the game, and the Chargers demanded a touchdown with a crucial running game that took them out to the Chiefs red zone, playing a threatening fourth and goal situation after a hard running game by Samuel Taliva’a. Fourth and goal of the Chargers on the Chiefs 8-yard line, consistently stopped in their running game, they decided to fake the run to Taliva’a, as Va’a rolled out to find the wide open Michael Tuimavave in the end zone for the Chargers first touchdown of the game, heading into half time with the Chiefs up 16 – 6.

The second half opens with a Chiefs TD in a 77-yard TD return of the opening kick off by Hernandez Peterson for a 22- 6 lead.

Answered back with just 5:12 remaining in the third quarter of the game, the Chargers play out a risky fourth down situation on the Chiefs 23-yard line, in a sweep play going out to Gene Leatigaga, who bounced out to the side lines, and saw nothing but the end zone as he scored six points for the Chargers, 22- 12 — their final TD of the game.

The fourth quarter featured a tough defensive battle on both sides of the ball, with neither side able to take it into the end zone. The hard fought battle ended with the 3rd quarter score as final, and the taste of victory for the Chiefs that takes them for the first time into the a AYFS championship game.



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