Leone will face Tafuna in the Championship after play-offs
Last Saturday morning hosted this year’s ASHSAA 2012 Semi-final football match ups, a double header that saw another surprising turn this year, when Leone devoured the Vikings in another big upset for the season. This was Leone’s first time ever win against the Vikings in seasonal records, and it was a huge!
For the Warriors semi-final against the Wildcats, it wasn’t much of a surprise, but the final score was — with a blowout shutout of hugh proportions.
“Huddle” coverage of the 2012- 13 ASHSAA football season brought to you by Coca-Cola and Powerade, distributed exclusively by GHC Reid & Co. Ltd. ‘Oloa O Leala’, Your Family of Fine Beverages.
Tafuna 68 - Nu’uuli 0
Sam Ulu of Tafuna worked hard in the beginning of their match up to punch in the Warriors first six points of the game, early in the first quarter, followed by the two point attempt by Lauina Futi who secured the Warriors 8 point lead with just 9:32 into the first quarter of the game.
Not too long after that, when Nu’uuli couldn’t convert on a four and out situation, still in the first quarter, 7:12 remaining in the quarter, and Nu’uuli sent a punt over to Tafuna which was received by “Pretty Boy” Ryan Pa’aga who caught that punt, and brought it all the way back for a 78 yard touchdown return. Their two point attempt in the hands of Ulu again was good enough to spot the Warriors on top 16 - 0.
Tafuna continued to dominate early in the ball game with Daniel Fereti firing the ball continuously to his receivers to gain big yardage fast, and with the help of his backers, the top quarterback in the league was able to move the chains to Nu’uuli’s 3-yard line to send “Vicious” Vena Umu up the middle for another Warrior touchdown with just 2:22 still in the first quarter of the game.
Late in the first quarter of the game, Fereti was taken out after a hard hit by Nu’uuli’s Karl Tolai. He was gone for the rest of the quarter. Tafuna brought in the sophomore Frank Mauigoa at quarterback, who brought the Warriors from their own 23-yard line, and spotted a daring opportunity for the Warriors on the Wildcats 9-yard line. Mauigoa’s first pass inside Nu’uuli’s red zone and it was intercepted by Solo Moea’i of the Wildcats, Mauigoa’s first interception in his Varsity career.
Early in the second quarter, 9:32 into the closing quarter of the first half, and Fereti comes back in the game for his first play after being injured; and fired out the perfect pass to Ulu who ran in to record a 65-yard pass reception for a touchdown. Their two point attempt in the hands of AJ Filoiali’i was good enough to spot the Warriors on top 30 - 0.
Fereti continued to dominate the field with his passing precision to Umu to close off the first half of the game with Tafuna locked on top 38 - 0.
Opening up the second half of the game, 10:08 early into the third quarter of the game, and Fereti moves the chains down to Nu’uuli’s red zone again. Their first down possession there, and Fereti hooked up with Lauina Futi on another passing touchdown for Tafuna. Their two point attempt was a quarterback keeper by Fereti to send the Warriors leading 46 - 0.
Nu’uuli started to sum things up on defense throughout the third quarter, but their offense still couldn’t answer back in points and the Warriors continued to rule the field on defense. It wasn’t until early in the fourth quarter, 11:41 into the closing quarter of the game, and Fereti fired out a threading pass through Nu’uuli’s defense to find Simon Tuese in the end zone for another Tafuna touchdown.
Nu’uuli, not able to recover the football after a kick off from Tafuna after that touchdown conversion, spotted another fortunate opportunity for the Warriors on the Wildcats 14-yard line. Nu’uuli thinking pass again, but Tafuna brought in their bruising fullback, Ioane So’onalole who scored his first touchdown of the game sending the Warriors to a 62-point lead after the two point attempt by Filoiali’i.
5:43 remaining in the ball game, and Tafuna saves Fereti to the sidelines for their Championship game, and utilizes the sophomore sensation that led the Warriors JV team to their 5th Championship title of the season. Mauigoa still dazed from his first interception of his varsity career, did not hesitate to keep passing the ball when he came in to take over for Fereti.
Tafuna playing a second down situation on Nu’uuli’s 33-yard line, and Mauigoa faked the hand off to Ulu, and looked deep to fire out the perfect pass to CJ Sam for the Warriors final touchdown of the game that sent the Warriors home to prep for Saturday’s Championship game, after devouring Nu’uuli 68 - 0.
SAMOA NEWS PLAYER OF THE GAME: Daniel Fereti
Samoa News selected the top quarterback in the league, Daniel Fereti to his sixth Player of the Game title after leading the Warriors over the Wildcats to the Championship game this Saturday. Fereti racked up 4 passes for touchdowns, 1 end zone conversion for extra points, and 56 yards on quarterback keeps. He averaged 9 of 10 completed passes per series.
Leone 43 - Fagaitua 21
The second semi-final game of the day had Fagaitua written all over it, after a long season for the Lions who were never able to record a win against the Vikings throughout the regular season. But in this game, Leone found their pace and worked their points early in the ball game to give the Vikings the hardest game of this season — which eliminated them from championship contention.
Fagaitua came out on offense to feature “Iron Man” Howard Tautu at starting quarterback who was already building up the heat for the Vikings, driving the ball down field with a full backfield. But when Tautu aired out his first pass of the game, he regretted not throwing it a bit harder than he thought when his pass was picked off by Leone, bringing the Lions offense out with Fagalilo Oa at quarterback. But it was “Lion Heart” Rudy Steffany who broke loose from Fagaitua’s 34-yard line and out to the end zone to record his first touchdown of the game, with just 6:05 into the first quarter of the game. The field goal conversion by Ricky Petaia was good enough to lock Leone on top 7 - 0.
Later on in the same quarter of the game, Leone still moving the chains downfield, managed to spot a threatening third down situation on the Vikings 2-yard line. Oa handing off the counter attack to the middle in the hands of Asofa’afetai Olo, sent six more points onto the Lions side of the scoreboard, extending their lead 14 - 0 after the field goal conversion by Petaia.
Then, just when Leone thought that they were going to end the first quarter with Fagaitua being scoreless, the Vikings thought otherwise when they played a first down situation from their own 28-yard line, and Ta’ala passes the ball out to Eti “Small Man” Fealofa’i who caught that pass, juked his way around Leone defenders, and booked it downfield for Fagaitua’s first touchdown of the game, coming back to trail the Lions 14 - 7 after the good field goal conversion by Peni Tuvalu.
Late in the second quarter of the game, Leone playing a threatening second down situation on the Vikings 7 yard line after a hard running game by Steffany, Leone was able to keep pounding the ball with “Lion Heart” Steffany, who again managed to keep his pace going and scored his second touchdown of the game. Their two points in the hands of Danny Falana’i was good enough to seal Leone on top 22 - 7.
The second half of the game brought more heat to the Vikings as they couldn’t break Leone’s defensive pressure on both the running game and the air game. It wasn’t until Fagaitua started to utilize their bruising fullback Opetaia Wells who gained big yardage for the Vikings leading up the Lions 3-yard line, and Fagaitua turned to Wells again for the spark that turned up the Vikings second touchdown of the game.
Not too long after that Leone decided to answer back with a first down situation being played on Fagaitua’s 3 yard line, and again Leone turned to their power back Steffany to finish the job, as he recorded his third touchdown of the day with another counter attack to spot Leone on top 29 - 13 after the field goal conversion by Petaia.
Oa pulled some of the best plays he ever executed this season on quarterback keeps, to scoring his first touchdown of the game on a quarterback keeper, sending the Lions over Fagaitua 36 - 13.
The last quarter approached as a big threat to Fagaitua, with the time running out fast, and Leone leading the ball game, Fagaitua was not going to take losing for an answer. After seeing tremendous footwork from Fagaitua, running back David Alo, spotted Fagaitua another first down situation on Leone’s 2-yard line, the Vikings sent Wells up the middle for another Vikings touchdown. Their two point conversion in the hands of Wells again was good enough to bring them back trailing 36 - 21.
Fagaitua always considered as the second half team in the league, wore out its second half luck when Leone scored the closing touchdown of the game.5:33 remaining in the last quarter of the match, and Leone’s Steffany scored the closing touchdown of the game, sending the Lions home to prep for the Warriors in their championship game this Saturday, after a huge victory of 43 - 21 following the field goal conversion by Petaia.
SAMOA NEWS PLAYER OF THE GAME:“Lion Heart” Rudy Steffany
Samoa News selected the hard running Senior Running Back from the village of Sogi to his fourth Player of the Game title this year after leading the Lions over the Vikings last Saturday in a huge upset. Steffany racked up 4 touchdowns, and 102 rushing yards on ground attack, 13 broken tackles.
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