Raiders are undefeated AYFS champs
The third season of the American Youth Football of Samoa program closed this past Saturday morning, with the final two matches held at the Veterans Memorial Stadium, before a packed crowd that came to see the Red and Blue All Star Game, as well as this year’s AYFS Championship Game between the undefeated Raiders, and the first time to the championship field Chiefs.
For the Raiders, it was the first time they have clinched the Championship title for an AYFS season, adding to their perfect season of no losses. In fact, the Raiders were never in trouble once against any opponent the entire season. This match up, while played out to be the toughest defensive game the Raiders faced all season — was still won by two touchdowns, the Chiefs unable to run it into the zone.
RAIDERS 12 - CHIEFS 0
Going onto the field for the first time without Head Coach Pat Maulolo, who traveled off island last week, the Raiders still had three coaches to anchor the Raiders sidelines, last Saturday, Fonz Pereira, Jerome Fiatoa, and Alvin Mamea, who pushed the limits of their team, as they faced the Chiefs for only the second time in the season.
The first match up in regular season matches, saw the Raiders beat the Chiefs 30 - 0.
Two weeks later, they met again in the Championship Game, but this time, the Chiefs defensive unit performed — holding the Raiders to only two touchdowns in the game. It was the Chiefs’ offensive that just couldn’t answer back against Defensive Player of the Game Ueseli Mamea and the Raiders defensive unit.
7:24 in the first quarter, and the Raiders were spotted a first down possession on their own 12-yard line, after a good punting situation by the Chiefs. Their first down play saw a huge defensive effort by the Chiefs, as the Raiders suffered a bad shot gun snapping situation that sent them to play second down from their own 1-yard line.
Second down and long to go, Raiders’ Folasa Vili sounded the snap, faked a pass, and took it himself through the middle of the Chiefs defense, bounced out to the sidelines, and he was gone for an 82-yard touchdown return. (AYFS Regulations, upholds that the field span is 80 yards, unlike the high school divisions 100 yard span — with a 10-yard end zone span counted separately.)
Folasa “the Magnificent” is the offensive player that has recorded the most touchdown situations in the league for this year’s season.
Raiders two-point conversion saw another quarterback keeper by Folasa, but he was immediately laid out in the back field by Tupufia Shalhout and Edward Manase, that held the Raiders to their only touchdown in the first quarter.
The Chiefs came back to try and answer the Raiders with their consistent running plays, but were interrupted in their first passing play of the second quarter, with an interception by Young Mamea, who brought the Raiders out for another fighting first down situation from their own 10-yard line.
Leading the drive for the Raiders offense down the field was Eric Steffany, who marched his offense all the way down to the Chiefs’ 5-yard line, where the defense expected a play to Folasa again, but were totally surprised with the quick dive up the middle by Ching Chang Laung, who scored the second and last touchdown of the game, sending the Raiders home victoriously — with a perfectly sealed undefeated Championship season — a 12 - 0 win.
Awards For Championship Game
Four players awards were announced during the ceremony for the Championship game.
For the Raiders:
Offensive Player “Magnificent” Folasa Vili
Defensive Player “Unstoppable” Ueseli Mamea.
For the Chiefs:
Offensive Player Fernadez Petersen
Defensive Player “Furious” Fred Mauigoa
AYFS All Star Game
BLUES 42 - REDS 0
The American Youth Football of Samoa Red and Blue All Star game was a lobsided match that concluded in a beating of a 42 - 0 in full time.
The Blue All Star Team consisted of players from the Bears, Bengals, and the Buccaneers.
The Red team comprised players from the Chargers, 49ers, and the Steelers.
The Blue All Star team, scored three touchdowns all in the first quarter, under the great leadership of quarterback Gabriel Meredith of the Bears.
7:29 in the first quarter, and the Blue team’s Tauasosi Harry blocks a fourth and long punting situation for the Red team, with Harry picking up the fumble that saw him in the end zone for the first touchdown of the game. Their two-point conversion was an inside hand off to Irae Filiva’a, sending the Blue team on top with the first eight points.
Not too long after that – the Red team sets up on a shot gun formation from their own 15-yard line, and the Chiefs Ambrose Isaako, finds himself in trouble, when the shot gun snap went over him, and rolled to the back field, as Fautua Leota of the Blue team stormed in the back field, and recovered the live ball in the end zone for another Blue team touchdown. Their two-point conversion saw a reverse hand off from Meredith out to Marty Dutchak, who sent the Blue team to a 16 - 0 lead still in the first quarter.
Still in the first quarter with 3:40 remaining, the Red team, in a third and long situation, with Utumoe Va’a as quarterback, sought out their shot gun formation with this third and long play trying for a first down situation, as Va’a tried to air the ball out to his receiver, but was immediately picked off by Fred Fereti who returned that interception all the way back for a touchdown. Their two-point conversion out to Matthew To’omalatai was good enough to send the team up 24 - 0.
2:04 in the second quarter, and the Blue team’s defense continues to dominate over Va’a and his running game out to Samuel Taliva’a. Second down and 5 to go for the Red team on their own 8-yard line, and the Red team found themselves in trouble with the snap again failing to connect with Utumoe, as he tried to recover the ball from inside the end zone, but he was immediately sacked in the backfield by John Patea of the Blue team for a safety that took the Blue to 26 - 0.
The next TD by the Blue, is with 50 seconds remaining in the second quarter, and the Red team plays out a sweep play from their own 10-yard line. The sweep out to Taliva’a was untouched, as it rolled into the backfield and into the end zone, and was immediately recovered by Iverson Moana defensive lineman from the Bears, who scored another touchdown conversion for the Blue All Star team.
Late in the third quarter, and Harry of the Blue team inserts another touchdown situation for his team, with a 14-yard counter hand off that sent the Blue All Star team home with the win of 42 - 0.