Faga’itua defeats Leone 28-14 — Samoana edges out Nu’uuli 36-20
This past Saturday was a first for the eastward bound teams in the American Samoa High School Athletic Association (ASHSAA) Football League – in both the Varsity and Junior Varsity divisions. In a scorching hot Saturday full of action, the triple-header opened up with the battle between the Samoana Sharks, and the Nu’uuli Wildcats.
The Sharks JV program is on a winning streak, as they collected their third victory in a row – as they are definitely showing improvements heading into the most important part of the season. For Nu’uuli and their JV program, they are definitely the No.1 contenders of this year’s season, as they too are showing signs of improvements, but mostly in the running game.
For the Vikings, they are enjoying this victory as they came into this game with a loss a week ago against Jurgen Krusen and the Samoana Sharks — for the most part, the Vikes defensive unit led by Georgie Mageo continues to pound through Round Two of action with a very alert pass rush, andh a perfected running game containment.
The JV Lions losing streak continues, as Samoa News noticed that Leone’s quarterback Iverson Ta’ase, didn’t look towards his go-to guy from the beginning of the season, Ben Tikeri — instead Ta’ase has been utilizing their new impact wide receiver, Atwan Legget who is known as one of the fastest players in their division today.
SAMOANA SHARKS 36 – NU’UULI WILDCATS 20
Samoana’s Head Coach Pati Pati is surely making positive adjustments to his program, as they’ve managed to bounce back and show off an unstoppable passing game, as the Sharks are the most threatening air raid team in their division as of now.
In addition to their air attack, their ground game is literally impossible to predict, as the Sharks have the 2014 AYFS MVP as their workhorse, Louis Malala Jr. who has been recognized as one of the most explosive backs in their divisional competition up to now.
So as you can see, their motives are very hard to predict, as the Sharks continue to get stronger into the season.
Samoana may have been the victors of this showdown, but it didn’t quite start out that way, as the Wildcats almost gave them a heart attack when the Sharks saw Joey Isaako running in the first touchdown of the game — a basic sweep play that Iosefa Isaako turned up for a their first six points of the game, a 24-yard reception with 1:51 remaining in the opening quarter of the game.
An inside hand off to Mauga was denied by after being tackled immediately behind the line of scrimmage by a host of Sharks defenders.
Desperately coming back for an attempt towards the end zone inside Wildcats territory, was Malala Jr. who was denied twice from crossing the goal line as Uriah Te’o and Jefferey Tago anchored which led to their defense holding the fort down.
Suddenly, Nu’uuli’s defense was caught off-guard as Anthony Feala rolled out to find Jurgen Krusen in the end zone for their first touchdown of the game — a screen play to Malala brought the Sharks back to lead by two points with only 7:25 remaining in the second quarter of play – but not for long.
Returning the kick off towards mid-field was Mauga, who spotted a huge first down possession for the Wildcats offense at their own 38-yard line – their second down attempt of this series was a success, after Paul Fano sent Isa’ako straight up the middle on a draw play, Isa’ako broke one tackle, slipped through the middle and booked it to the end zone for a 72-yard touchdown run.
Mauga extended the Wildcats lead to 14 - 8 after successfully crossing the goal line for their two0-point conversion with 7:03 remaining in the first half of play.
Not too long after that – Samoana’s offensive drive after that touchdown didn’t take long to convert, as the Sharks decided to open up their passing game, and spreading the defense to what they wanted – Samoana’s first down on Nu’uuli’s 45- yard line, and Feala bombs a long one out to Fano, who secured the catch and turned up Samoana’s second touchdown of the game – tying the game at 14 - 14.
Samoana took the lead after Feala turned to Fano again – this time, all quick slant routes confused the Wildcats zone coverage, and gave Fano an open window to secure the threaded pass by Feala. They went into halftime with the Sharks coming back to take the lead 14 - 16.
In the third quarter, Nu’uuli failed to convert on their opening drive of the second half, as they turned the ball over to a very dangerous Feala and the Sharks passing game – but it only took the pass rushing defense for the Wildcats for Feala to get sidetracked, and paid the price on a careless pass that led to another end zone appearance for Nu’uuli.
Samoana’s second down possession on their own 39-yard line, and Feala immediately felt pressure from Te’o, forcing him to dump the ball towards Krusen’s route – the pass that was poorly thrown came off Feala’s back foot, and fell straight into the hands of the awaiting cornerback (#25) who recorded a pick six after returning this interception back to the end zone for a 65 yard touchdown for Nu’uuli, with less than 2 minutes left to play in the third quarter of action.
Back with a rage of air attack was a vengeful Feala who only took one play to bring the Sharks back to life – after Krusen returned the kick off from Nu’uuli all the way to the Wildcats 44-yard line. Feala turned to Fitu Amata who secured the catch and scored another Sharks touchdown – unfortunately for Amata, he was injured after being brought down hard by Nu’uuli’s Tago.
Going into the final quarter of play, the Sharks were barely ahead of Nu’uuli, as they only led by two points in their 22 - 20 lead.
7:11 remaining in the ball game and Feala turned to Zephaniah Pati for another touchdown conversion, as Pati secured a long pass from Feala – Samoana extended their lead 30 - 20 after Krusen muscled his way into the end zone.
With a minute remaining in the ball game, Samoana decided to strike again to seal the deal. Sharks third down inside Nu’uuli’s red zone, and Feala looks to Pati again on a quick slant route, a floater intended for Pati was immediately caught by Krusen, as crossed paths with Pati at the precise interception point of this play – a geometric attempted perfectly executed by the Sharks as they sealed the deal with a 36 - 20 victory.
Samoa News Player of the Game:
Samoa News selected Samoana High School’s sophomore at wide receiver, Jurgen Krusen – as the Player of the Game in this match up, after Krusen led the Sharks to another victorious weekend with 3 touch down catches.
FAGA’ITUA VIKINGS 28 – LEONE LIONS 14
A showcase of defensive battle by these two powerhouses – proved that ‘defense wins championships, as both teams were scoreless in the opening quarter of the game, with both defensive units on their paws to defend their territory.
It wasn’t until the second quarter when the Vikings started to get things going their way – 7:20 remaining in the first half, and Vikings Heini Ta’ase looked far and wide to find (#20) for the opening touchdown of the game. Their two-point conversion, a quarterback lead play in the hands of Ta’ase, secured the Vikings 8 point lead into halftime.
Not too long after that, Leone played a threatening second down possession on Nu’uuli’s 5 yard line – a vicious Vikings defensive unit desperately awaiting a wrong move by the Lions, was disappointed when they were faked towards the give on an option-read play, that Iverson Ta’ase pulled back and rammed his way into the end zone for Leone’s first touchdown of the game.
Just when the Lions thought they had it on lock down, the Vikings reassured them that it was ‘their’ reaping day after Vikings Maurice Ta’ala intercepted a bullet pass by Ta’ase in the neutral zone, and recorded his first pick six of the day as Ta’ala extended the Vikings lead 14 - 8 with only 14 seconds left to play in the first half of play.
Their second half of action had the Vikings defense written all over it, as they managed to hold their lead and defend their territory inevitably. Throughout both quarters of the second half, the Vikings were only caught off-guard once – where Ta’ase led the Lions to another touchdown conversion.
In their offensive side of the ball, Ta’ase continued to carry the Vikings offense to greater depths – as he hooked up with Mageo and for the final two touchdowns of the match, collecting another win to their regular season record, as they sailed proudly back to the east side with a 28 - 14 JV victory.