ASHSAA Football Week No. 6 – Tafuna Warriors dominate Samoana Sharks to open Round 2
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — This past Saturday at the Veterans Memorial Stadium, ASHSAA football scheduled two of the best match ups to officially open up Round 2 of competition in the Varsity Division where Head Coach Kevin Magalei and his Warrior Nation dominated over the Blue Empire in a 60- 38 victory to remain the only undefeated team in the league in both Varsity and Junior Varsity.
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The King of the Jungle – the Green Machine, Leone Lions won their second match of the season after they edged off the Vikings in a nail biting 12 - 8 victory, a match that went down to the wire in the final minutes of the match and the Lions goal line stand came through for them to defeat the Big Red Machine, their first win against Faga’itua High School in two years in the Varsity Division.
TAFUNA WARRIORS 60 – SAMOANA SHARKS 38
Opening half of play saw the Tafuna High School Warriors struggling against the Samoana High School Sharks in defensive play, and ‘tit for tat’ seemed to be the name of the game.
Shark’s second down inside the red zone and Anthony Feala turned to fire a quick pass to Fitu Amata Jr. who was inside the end zone for the opening touchdown of the game. Their two-point hand off to Mahonri Lotulelei was good enough to secure them the early 8-point lead.
Late in the first quarter and the Warriors answered back with a 3-yard run to Panapa Filoiali’i to score their first touchdown of the match. Their two-point attempt failed and the Warriors trailed by two.
Midway through the first half, and the Sharks make a mistake — the Warriors take advantage — It was Samoana’s fourth down and inches from their own 30-yard line, Feala in shotgun formation decided to walk towards his coaches, but during this time, the center for the Sharks snapped the ball to an open backfield, as the Warriors defense led by Norman Heather swarmed the live fumble and recovered it on Samoana’s 6-yard line for a Tafuna first down.
From there, Francisco Mauigoa sent Koison Ozu straight up the gut to score Tafuna’s second touchdown of the game. Their two-point attempt is good, to bring the Warriors back to take the lead 14 - 8.
Sharks answer with a Feala long pass to Fitu Amata Jr. from midfield for Samoana’s second touchdown of the game with just 53 seconds remaining in the opening half. Their two-point attempt is good enough to bring the Blue Empire back to take the lead 16 - 14 into half time.
The Sharks start the second half exactly the way they wanted, after running the ball to Paul Fano and Lotulelei, a couple of plays later, Feala turned to fire a long pass to Amata Jr. to connect on their third pass and catch for a TD — their two-point conversion is good to secure a 24- 14.
Warriors reply with Mauigoa from the 30-yard line weaving his way through the heart of the Shark’s defense, breaking out to open field and scoring Tafuna’s third touchdown of the game. Their PAT was good as they now trail 24 - 22 with only 7:11 into the second half of the match.
Another Warriors’ TD follows on its heels when Sharks do not recover an onside kick, it brings Tafuna’s offense back on the field — and Mauigoa guns it to Herman Sufia on a post route to score their fourth TD for 28 - 24.
Two more Warriors’ TDs go to the board when twice Mauigoa turns to Sufia for long passes to scoring and their two-point conversions are good to extend their lead 36 - 24 to open up the final quarter of play.
In fourth quarter of play two more unanswered TDs by Tafuna put the Warriors a head 52- 24.
Samoana responds finally with two consecutive TDs, both because Feala changes who receives his passes, as as the Warriors had marked Amata Jr. as the Sharks’ most threatening receiver. First is a Feala pass to Avory Seumanutafa to score, but no two-point PAT. The second is Feala firing a pass, this time to Kobe Lefiti, who hauled this one in on his way to the end zone to score another one for the Blue Empire. Their two-point attempt is good to bring the Sharks back to life as they inch back to trail the Warriors 52 - 38.
But time was not colored blue, and with only 1:12 remaining in the ball game, Warriors close off the game with a final TD from Mauigoa firing a long pass out to Mulipola. Their two-point conversion seals the deal with another Tama Toa victory, 60 – 38 against the Sharks.
LEONE LIONS 12 – FAGA’ITUA VIKINGS 8
Head Coach Okland Salave’a was proud of his defense from the opening of this match, as the Green Machine was able to shut down the Big Red Machine in the battle between the Lions and the Vikings.
Leone’s first big win in a very long time. Leone Lions sticking with Irvinson Ta’ase under center after he led the pack to their first victory of the season over the Wildcats last week, as Ta’ase came out as the starting quarterback for the King of the Jungle in their match up against the Pride of the Eastern Star.
Leone’s defense led by Eddie Siaumau shut down Advent Migi and the Vikings No-Huddle offense throughout the opening quarter of the match, as they set up for a big shot to the end zone come the second quarter of play.
First six points of the game belong to the Lions after Ta’ase sends Fagaloa Faimalo straight up the middle and through the heart of the Vikings defense to score the opening touchdown of the game. Late in the first half, and Ta’ase fires a quick pass to Elijah Elisara to score Leone’s second TD, with no answer from the Vikings — as the game goes into half time with the Lions leading by 12.
The second half of the match opens up with the Vikings coming out in full speed to try and score their first TD of the game, and they do when Migi muscles his way to a big first down for Faga’itua to the 5-yard line – From there, Migi again with the carry decides to take it through the heart of Leone’s defense to score the Vikings first six points of the game for 12- 6.
It is 4:12 remaining in the ball game, and Leone is pinned deep in their own territory with a fourth and long situation, decides to punt it away – A punting situation that went sour for the Lions as it turned out to be a safety, as the Vikings defense swarmed the backfield putting two more points to their side for 12 - 8.
The Vikings desperately in need of a TD to put this one away – it is 1:12 remaining in the ball game, and Faga’itua needs just four yards to score the winning TD and inches to a first down inside the red zone. Vikings Migi calls the snap and decides to muscle his way towards the heart of the Lions defense, but is disappointed when he meets a solid wall of defenders that wouldn’t let up, as the Vikings turn it over.
Leone’s offense fielded with Ta’ase and immediately went into victory formation to run out the clock and collect their second straight victory of the season after defeating Faga’itua 12 - 8.
JPS VIKINGS 52 – JPS SHARKS 0
The JPS Vikings who are under the management and supervision of Head Coach Sua’ese Pooch Ta’ase have managed to beat every team in the JPS Division – They are the only undefeated team in the division after slaying the Sharks in a dominating 52 - 0 victory last Thursday evening to close off Round 1 of their divisional competition.
JPS WILDCATS 22 – JPS LIONS 6
The JPS Wildcats who are led by Head Coach Andrew Ena managed to collect another victory for the season, this time, taking down their nemesis, the defending divisional champions, the JPS Lions in a shocking 22 – 6 victory.