Now that Week No.3 of ASHSAA Football is officially over, we can establish the top teams in the league as of last weekend as the Tafuna Warriors sent the Samoana Sharks back to the sea empty handed after both Varsity and Junior Varsity (JV) match ups.
With that win over the Sharks, it now puts Faga'itua High School as the top ranked team in the Varsity Division, as they are the only undefeated team in the division, while the Junior Varsity Tafuna Warriors squad is now the only undefeated team in this division.
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Tafuna Warriors football program showed some major improvements in their performance this past Saturday when Warriors JV dominated the Sharks with a 44 - 14 victory, and in the the Varsity Division match up between Tafuna and Samoana that followed, snuck by the Sharks, for a 32 - 29 victory.
VARSITY DIVISION: WARRIORS VS. SHARKS
Samoana shocked the Warrior nation in the opening quarter of this match, when the Sharks made a statement by putting the first six points on the board – Samoana's first down on Tafuna's 40-yard line, Sharks quarterback Kereti Fa'atili sent Kerisiano Filipi straight up the middle to record the first touchdown of the game.
Their field goal conversion by Heston Lameta was good enough to put them ahead 7 points with 6:16 remaining in the first quarter.
Late in the second quarter of the game, 3:28 remaining in the first half, and the Warriors punched back with a threatening air attack.
Third down of Tafuna on Samoana's 20-yard line, and Tito Malae went to the air on a play action pass to find Leti Pa'aga on the slant route to the end zone which brought the Warriors back to life – their two point conversion was a quick dive in the hands of Fautua Leota, bringing the Warriors back to secure the lead by a point 7 - 8, heading into half time.
Early in the second half of the game – Samoana's third down reception on midfield, found Fa'atili of the Sharks rolling out to send a long pass out to Sauniatu West, for a Samoana touchdown.
Tafuna replies almost immediately, coming back hard. Warriors third down reception inside their own territory, found Malae sending a bullet pass through the middle, straight to the numbers of Pa'aga who secured the catch and took it in to the end zone for a Warriors touchdown. Their two point conversion by Leota was good enough to put them on top again 16 - 14.
Pa'aga then scored another touchdown for the Warriors late in the third quarter, after hooking up with Malae on another pass play that extended their lead. Their two point conversion was good in the hands of Penei Tei.
Then, midway through the final quarter of the game, again Tafuna found their route to the end zone, when Malae sent Tupufia Shalhout up the middle for another Tafuna touchdown – seemingly killing Samoana's momentum.
That was not to be, as the boys in blue never let up.
Late in the fourth quarter of the game, and Fa'atili aired out a long pass to Sauniatu West again – who secured the catch, and brought the Sharks back trailing the Warriors 32 - 21.
And, just when the fans started to walk down from the grandstands, thinking it was over – the Sharks proved them wrong again. 1:05 remaining in the game, and Filipi muscled his way into the end zone for a 10-yard touchdown run, that tallied the final for the game 32 - 29.
SAMOA NEWS PLAYER OF THE GAME
Samoa News selected Tafuna High School's – Leti Pa'aga, the Senior running back out of Nu'uuli as the Player of the Game in this Varsity match up.
JV DIVISION: WARRIORS 44 — SHARKS 14
The Warriors quarterback, Jr. Sufia was the first to enter the end zone for the opening quarter of the game – after faking an option read play to Niles Tuamoheloa, but kept the ball himself to score the opening touchdown of the game from Samoana's 3-yard line. Their two point conversion in the hands of Tuamoheloa was good enough to have them in the lead with the first eight points of the game.
Late in the opening quarter of the game, and the Sharks solved their way through Tafuna's defense – 5:33 remaining in the first, Samoana's first down possession on Tafuna's 1-yard line, and Elliot Lelei pitched the ball out to Louis Malala for their first touchdown of the game.
Opening up the second quarter was a thrilling air attack from Tafuna – their third down conversion from their own 34-yard line, and Sufia finds Paia Latu on a slant route to record another Tafuna touchdown.
Closing off the first half of the game with another end zone appearance was Tafuna – after recovering a fumble, the Warriors played on Samoana's 44-yard line, Sufia hooked up with Pele Fa'avae on the touchdown pass play. Their two point conversion in the hands of Panapa Filoiali'i was good enough to secure a 22 - 6 lead for the Warriors, heading into halftime.
Tafuna Warrior Sufia opened the second half of this ball game like he did the starting of the game – scoring the opening touchdown with a 20-yard quarterback keeper. Their two point attempt was a secured pass out to Fetu Oa, extending their lead 32 - 6.
Late in the third and Sufia again finds an open receiver – Pulenu'u Fono who caught his first touchdown pass of the game with just 4:21 remaining in the 3rd quarter.
Samoana had their prayers answered on a second down situation, when Lelei found Moses Samia on a drag route and hooked up for the long 45-yard touchdown pass, to bring the Sharks back trailing 34 - 14.
4:43 remaining in the ball game, and the Warriors found another last minute opportunity to the end zone – Tafuna's third down situation from their own 30-yard line, and Sufia swept the ball out to Latu on a sweep play, and Latu worked his magic, as he closed this one off as the final touchdown of the game, 44 - 14.
SAMOA NEWS PLAYER OF THE GAME
Samoa News selected Tafuna High School's – Jr. Sufia (QB) as the Player of the Game in this JV match up.
JV Player of the Game – Jr. Sufia, quarterback of the Warriors scrambling with the ball from Samoana's 20-yard line, and taking this one to the end zone for his second touchdown of the game to open up the second half of play. He led the Warriors in a 44 - 14 victory over the Sharks. [photo: TG]