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Varsity Tafuna Warriors are looking to go undefeated all the way

tony@samoanews.com
Tafuna’s quarterback Daniel Fereti sacked in the back field by James Migo and a host of Crusaders while his Varsity offensive line looks on, during the first quarter of their game last Saturday. Tafuna defeated Marist 32 - 0. [photo: TG]

The record speaks for itself and Tafuna is looking to go all the way for another undefeated season, this time for Varsity. Under the reign of new Head Coach Salave’a, who started with the Junior Varsity system, he had maintained an undefeated championship season, which has followed him onto the Varsity field. Last Saturday’s match up victory against the Crusaders continued his tradition.

Of course, it helps that he’s with the same players he started with at the JV level.

Their system is there, and the record is there, but will they make it past against Elia Savali who is known at the football games as “Mr. Perfect” and his “Undefeated Samoana Sharks”?

Under this Friday night’s lights — the main event of this weekend’s round ups will answer that quesion.

This season’s ASHSAA Football “huddle” coverage is brought to you by Coca-Cola and Powerade, distributed exclusively by GHC Reid & Co. Ltd. ‘Oloa O Leala’, Your Family of Fine Beverages.

JUNIOR VARSITY DIVISION

Tafuna 36 - Marist 8

Tafuna had a hard time against Ueseli Mamea and the Crusaders defensive unit, as they were both fully energized during last Saturday morning’s match up, their first meet for the season. It wasn’t until the second quarter of the game that the Warriors finally had the ball rolling their direction, with starting quarterback Frank Mauigoa under center, after an ankle injury two weeks ago.

Garrett Seumalo sent the Warriors on the scoreboard first with a third down reception held on the Crusaders 8-yard line, where Mauigoa sent off Seumalo with a draw play that had the Warriors on top with an eight-point lead after the Mauigoa entered the end zone for the extra point.

Not too long after that, 5:56 in the second quarter, and the Crusaders just had possession of the ball, but with their sweep play gone bitter when Collins swept out a fumble, it was immediately picked up by Tafuna’s (#88) and taken all the way to the house for his first touchdown of the game, spotting the Warriors on top by sixteen points after Cornelius Maiava laid in the two point conversion.

The Warriors continuously had Mauigoa throughout the first half of the game, and he perfectly controlled his offensive unit. 2:33 remaining in the half, and Mauigoa aired out a bomb to Millennium Tupea who caught the long pass to spot the Warriors fortunate first down situation on the Crusaders two-yard line, and focusing on the run, Tafuna sent Maiava again up the middle to record another Warriors touchdown to extend their lead to by 24 points after the good two point conversion by Travis Seui.

Mauigoa continued to dominate in the second half of the game with 2:22 remaining in the third quarter, and Tafuna was playing a first down situation on the Crusaders 8-yard line. Marist already aware of Tafuna’s power house runners, they marked Maiava to be the one coming into the end zone, but were totally disappointed when they saw Mauigoa going the opposite direction heading to the end zone for another Warrior touchdown that had Tafuna activating the Mercy Rule — on top by thirty points.

Tafuna had thought that Marist had ran out of gas with the way they were dominating, but were very surprised in the fourth quarter when the Crusaders came in to finish strong. On a second down situation being played on the Warriors 29-yard line, and Collins sent Niko Lelevaga up the middle with the counter hand off that saw Lelevaga storming to the end zone for the Crusaders first touchdown of the game that brought the Crusaders back to trail the Warriors 30 - 8 after Moleni entered the end zone for their good two point conversion.

2:22 in the fourth quarter, and Tafuna managed to take the spark away from Marist just when they had it. The Warriors on a second down situation on the Crusaders 43-yard line, and Mauigoa fired a hard bullet through the middle to find Uluao Sefo in the end zone which had Tafuna on the roll, going home victorious, and sending Marist home with the determination to come back hard next time.

SAMOA NEWS PLAYER OF THE GAME: Cornelius Maiava

We pick the sophomore fullback who gained more yardage that any ground runner during this past Saturday morning’s match up against the Crusaders. Maiava averaged 8 yards per carry, 9 broken tackles, and 2 end zone conversions.

VARSITY DIVISION

Tafuna 32 - Marist 0

Daniel Fereti wasn’t able to air out any good passes against the Lions two weeks ago during their game in the rain, but this Saturday, Fereti opened up the game with a perfectly thrown pass out to Simon Tuese to score the first touchdown of the game early in the first quarter. Testing out their back up quarterback AJ Filoiali’i was too early for Tafuna, when their two point conversion was broken up by DeSean Migo of Marist to spot the Warriors on top by six.

Marist held their peak throughout the first quarter, but stumbled again in the second quarter when Iki Tuileta was leading his offensive unit on their own 13-yard line, and was looking to pass with a shotgun formation set up. Sounding the snap, Tuileta was surprised when his center hiked the ball way over Tuileta, forcing Joshua Lauvao to the end zone to recover that fumble, which recorded another touchdown for the Warriors which spotted them with the 14- point lead after Fereti kept the ball into the end zone for their two point conversion.

Warrior Ryan Pa’aga has since the beginning of the season played with tremendous effort — and earned the spot of player of the game with his machinations against the Crusaders. It started with just 2:12 remaining in the second quarter going into half time, the Warriors were playing a second down situation on their own 18-yard line, Fereti airs out a long bomb to Pa’aga who burned out his coverage and took it all the way to the end zone for his first touchdown of the game.

Then not too long after that, Tafuna having possession of the ball with just seconds remaining on the clock, and Fereti decides to go for Pa’aga again from their own 9-yard line. Pa’aga caught that pass and again was off to the races to the end zone for his second touchdown of the game — it was all under 5 minutes that had Tafuna up by twenty six points.

8:08 in the third quarter, and Pa’aga continues to rule the field with his flexibility and his speed, sending him to the end zone on another long pass from Fereti to spot Tafuna over Marist by 32 points, and that was the ball game throughout the fourth quarter. Tafuna recording their third win of the season with a 32 - 0 win against the Crusaders.

SAMOA NEWS PLAYER OF THE GAME: “Pretty Boy” Ryan Pa’aga

Pa’aga was spotted out by Samoa News during the opening of the season for his tremendous work, but he sure put the spotlight on himself in this game, where he was unbeatable, uncatchable, and all of this with sticky hands for the ball when he recorded 3 touchdown conversions, 7 completed passes, and averaged 130 yards per touchdown catch during their game against the Crusaders.



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