Warrior Nation continues to dominate ASHSAA football

Sends Nu’uuli home with losses in both divisions
tony@samoanews.com

This is by far the best team the Warrior Nation has fielded in a couple of years.

They remain the only undefeated team in the ASHSAA football 2017-18 varsity division after sending the Nu’uuli Wildcats home with a 12-38 loss, and a 8-24 defeat in the JV division last weekend.

Coverage of ASHSAA's current football season is sponsored by Congresswoman Aumua Amata.

Even though the Warriors won another weekend of football, this is by far the most injuries the team has had in a while – losing a lot of key players like Paea Latu, Panapa Filoiali’i, AJ Talafu, and Tala Sufia.

Last Friday evening, Koison Ozu and the Warriors JV squad smashed the Wildcats in a two- possession game, nearly shutting out the Wildcats while building up momentum going midway into round 2 of the regular season.

JUNIOR VARSITY DIVISION

Tafuna 24 - Wildcats 8

The Warriors offensive unit, led by Francisco Mauigoa, didn’t hesitate to get on the board during their opening offensive possession of the game.

After two connecting passes to John Allen and Pa’apa’a Mauigoa, Francisco turned to Koison Ozu for a 10-yard run, netting their opening touchdown of the game, with just 5:32 into the first quarter.

But Nu’uuli’s defensive unit, led by Koa Leama, stepped up their game and shut down the Warriors during the remainder of the first half.

Meanwhile, the Wildcats offensive unit couldn’t solve their way past Tafuna’s defensive core.

54 seconds remaining in the third quarter, and Mauigoa tucked and ran the ball into the end zone for a 5-yard touchdown for Tafuna. The two-point conversion by Ozu was good enough to put them ahead by 16.

Just when Tafuna finally started to find a threatening rhythm — heading into the final quarter of play — the Wildcats turned off their lights midway into the fourth.

6:45 and Joe Savaii stormed to the corner of the end zone with Nu’uuli’s first touchdown of the game.

The two-point conversion was a reverse hand off to Halloween Alosio which brought them back to trail the Warriors by one possession.

But the Warriors decided they were going to score one last time to extend their win.

1:22 remaining in the ball game, and the Warriors played out a threatening second and long situation from Nu’uuli’s 15-yard line - a play where Francisco Mauigoa rolled out with the play action pass to find his brother, Pa’apa’a Mauigoa in the end zone for their first passing touchdown of the day – securing the win with Francisco’s quarterback keep for two points, the Warriors marched home with a 24-8 victory.

VARSITY DIVISION

Warriors 38 - Wildcats 12

Panama Filoiali’i scored Tafuna’s first touchdown of the game, at 8:12 into the opening quarter of the game on a sweep play, where Filoiali’i turned his boosters on and beat his coverage towards the corner of the goal line.

 The two-point conversion, a quarterback keeper by Tala Sufia was stopped short of the goal line by Jerry Isaako, as the Warriors made off with a six-point lead early in the game.

Not too long afterwards, Tafuna’s second offensive possession of the game, and their option game couldn’t be stopped, as the Wildcats defensive unit were playing in a midst of a dangerous Run-N-Gun attack by Tafuna, utilizing receivers on short yardage passes and tucking the ball for more yardage.

Tafuna’s offensive rhythm was unstoppable.

Warriors second and four from midfield, and Sufia fired a long one to Pene Fa’avae who not only beat his defender downfield but was perfectly in sync with the pass on his way into the end zone to score Tafuna’s second touchdown of the game.

The two-point conversion by Filoiali’i was stopped shy of the goal line by Dennis Enoka and by this time, the Warriors were leading 12-0.

45 seconds, still in the opening quarter of the game, Sufia strikes in the air again – Warriors first down from Nu’uuli’s 35-yard line and Sufia throws a back shoulder pass to Fa’avae on a curl route, scoring Tafuna’s third touchdown of the game. Tafuna’s third two point conversion, a tuck and run by Sufia was again denied by Nu’uuli’s defensive unit.

Early in the second quarter, Tafuna saw a different look from the Wildcats offense, as Ziggy Faletoi - leading Nu’uuli’s offensive unit -managed to pick up the pace and move the chains downfield, with some good running plays to Iosefa Mauga and passes to Jeffery Tago.

9:12 into the second quarter and Nu’uuli finally answered back – Wildcats third and goal situation from Tafuna’s 7-yard line, and Faletoi sends Iosefa Mauga up the middle for Voc-Tech’s first touchdown of the game.

The extra point conversion was stopped immediately in the backfield by Elton Titania and a host of Warriors.

8:07 into the third quarter, Tafuna’s third and long from Nu’uuli’s 25-yard line, and Sufia throws a bullet to Pulenu’u Fono as he was storming towards the end zone on a quick slant route for Sufia’s fourth touchdown pass of the game.

Nu’uuli’s defensive unit was clearly worn out by the Warriors option game going into the final quarter of play

4:23 still in the third, and the Warriors scored their fifth touchdown of the game. Tafuna’s third and long inside Wildcat territory and Sufia hooked up with Latu again on a post route pass for Latu’s third touchdown catch of the day, extending Tafuna’s lead 32-6.

8:11 into the final quarter, and Iosefa Mauga who didn't play much during the third quarter, came out and scored his second touchdown of the game for Nu’uuli, bringing the Wildcats back to trail Tafuna 12-32.

Just when Nu’uuli thought Tafuna would go into victory formation and take a knee, Sufia continued with the shotgun formation and continuously wreaked havoc in the ground game with his running abilities, as well as his passing game.

With just 46 second remaining in the game, Tafuna played a threatening second down and long situation from midfield, where Sufia looked downfield and fired a long one to his younger brother Herman Sufia, for Tafuna’s sixth touchdown of the game, closing this one off with a 38-12 Tafuna victory.

The Warriors are still the only undefeated team in the league.

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