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ESYFL closes its regular season this Saturday

tony@samoanews.com
Ferrin Manuleleua of the Lauli’i Patriots burning out his opponent, on his way to gaining big yardage for the Patriots last Saturday, leading them to an 8 - 6 victory over the Buccaneers in the big boys division of the ESYF. [photo: TG]

This upcoming Saturday, will feature the closing of this year’s Eastern Star Youth Football League’s regular second season, with a double header that will see the kick off with the Pagai Buccaneers facing the Utumea 49ers for the first game at 8:00 a.m., followed by the main event of the day — the reigning Champions of last year’s season, the Aua Redskins, going up against the still undefeated Lauli’I Patriots.

Games will be at the Onesosopo Park Saturday morning.

During last Saturday’s second round games, the crowd saw some heart stopping matches, as the skill level of the league continues to climb the bar of experience, on their way up to the ‘big’ leagues.

During the opening match between the Redskins and the 49ers, Aua clinched victory, by a 13-point margin, as they sought revenge against Utumea after defeating Aua in their first round game.

On the other hand, the Patriots who whooped the Buccaneers in the first round with a 40 – 0 victory, saw a very tough Pagai team this past Saturday, as their undefeated record almost vanished in the front of their eyes, after Pagai pulled off one of their greatest ESYF games this season, holding onto a two-point trail, but unfortunately, fell again in the hands of the Patriots, with a two-point loss of 8 – 6.

Redskins 13 — 49ers 0

The Redskins opened things up in the second quarter after suffering a hard time against the Niners defensive squad for the majority of the first quarter.

3:23 remaining in the second quarter, the Redskins who were playing a gambling fourth and long situation on the Niners 23-yard line, saw a daring sweep play from Alepata Feleti out to Leroy Fesili who was gone with the wind when he got the ball in his hands, taking it all the way down field for the first touchdown of the game.

The first half closed off with the Niners threatening Aua on a second and goal situation on the Redskins 5-yard line, as they try to punch in the ball on an all out running play, but were totally disappointed when they heard head official Sagele Siloi blowing the whistle to recognize that it was half time, costing the Niners a missed touchdown in the first half.

The fourth quarter was a test of both teams limits, as the Niners continued to struggle with a six-point trail, and the Redskins were trying to figure out a way for another scoring chance.

Aua solved their puzzle with 5:33 remaining in the game. It was a first and goal situation for the Redskins on the Niners 3-yard line, and Aua sends Fesili again up the middle, and muscles his way through the line to score his second touchdown of the game. Junior Fiso kicking the successful field goal sent the Redskins on a 13-point lead, the same score that closed off the match, as Aua was very excited to have defeated the Niners in revenge for their loss against Utumea in the first round of the season.

Patriots 8 – Buccaneers 6

In the second game of the day between the Patriots and the Bucc’s, Pagai brought in a totally different Bucc’s team compared to their performance in the first round, for both offense and defense.

In the first round, Pagai suffered a 40 – 0 blow out game against Lauli’i, who still ranks at the top of this year’s league without a loss, but as they faced Pagai for the second time this year, the Buccaneers came in with tightened loose ends, and great pick of their slacks from their last game against Lauli’i.

The Patriots first play of the game after Pagai’s punt off to Lauli’i, Gus Napoleone at quarterback for the Patriots, came back leading Lauli’i downfield with his perfected quarterback keeps that ranks him among the best in the league, earning him the nickname the “Juke Machine”.

He sends the Patriots to a threatening first down situation on the Bucc’s 4-yard line, which finds Napoleone faking a pass out to the marked Ferrin Manuleleua — who was swamped with defenders — and instead handing off the draw play out to  T.I. “Puke” Farani, who scored the first touchdown for Lauli’i. Their two-point conversion was the same play going to the opposite side to Puke again who sent the Patriots on top 8 – 0.

The majority of the second quarter was a hard fought defensive battle between both teams, as the Buccaneers was not giving up on their trail.

Suddenly in the fourth quarter, the Bucc’s on a third and long situation on the Patriots 34-yard line, a long passing situation from Posa Kasima Von Dincklage, snakes straight into the hands of receiver Raemos Fano, who saw nothing but the end zone for their first touchdown of the game.

However, their two-point conversion that would’ve tied up the ball game was unsuccessful after Siale Ula and Manuleleua sacked Von Dincklage in the backfield for a loss, that cost them a close game to the Patriots.



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