ASHSAA JV Football Wk No.4 — Warriors remain undefeated
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Last Thursday evening at the Veterans Memorial Stadium the only undefeated team in the Junior Varsity Division – Tafuna Warriors — were featured, running away with yet another victory after they edged the Sharks out in a mind blowing 28-26 win — keeping their undefeated status.
And, on Saturday, for the first time, Jr. Prep Sports opened their football season, kicking off ASHSAA’s Saturday football action with a double header between the JPS Wildcats and the JPS Vikings, and the JPS Sharks vs. JPS Lions. The JPS games were a lead up to ASHSAA’s Varsity match up — Sharks vs. Wildcats. (See Monday, Oct. 1 Samoa News story for details)
For the JPS Division, their 3rd season kicked off with a loss by the Nu’uuli Wildcats in a strongly contested game to the Pride of the East Star 8-0, while the defending JPS divisional champions, Head Coach Oakland Salave’a and his Lions shut out the JPS Sharks in a whopping 24-0 victory.
Coverage of ASHSAA High School Football is sponsored by Congresswoman Aumua Amata and brought to you by Samoa News.
Head Coach Kevin Magalei and the Warrior Nation are currently the only undefeated team in the JV Division; and with their victory on Saturday, they have defeated every team.
TAFUNA WARRIORS 28 – SAMOANA SHARKS 26
In the first half, the Warrior’s offense led by Star Lotulelei didn’t open up the ball game until the second quarter, seizing their first six points of the match in a huge 40-yard touchdown reception by Joseph Lagai.
Their second TD in the same quarter was a pass intended for Vaifanua Peko Vai, but picked off by Ieremia Ieremia and returned for a 60-yard end zone goal. Loto Sefo with a quarterback draw put them ahead by 14 points.
Still in the second quarter, the Warriors scored their 3rd TD of the game from a Sharks’ punt set up inside the end zone that was not only blocked by the Warriors, but picked up by Sam Logoai, who turned it upfield for a 10-yard TD reception for the Warriors. The two-point conversion was a reverse hand off to John Allen who secured the Warriors a 22-point lead.
The Sharks finally answers with less than a minute remaining in the half. Tuala Fa’atonu who was moved to receiver late in the second quarter, managed to haul in a long pass from Viliamu Tanielu to spot the Sharks a huge first down inside the red zone; just 8 seconds remaining in the second quarter, and Tanielu drops back to connect on a quick slant route to Fa’atonu, who took it in for a half time score of Warriors 22-Sharks 6.
The Sharks in the second half of play changed their strategy — from air to running, which paid off big time.
After moving the chains downfield in the running game with O’Neil Ah-Chee and Talauega, Samoana in a power house formation opted to send Mauga straight up the middle for a TD reception to score, bringing them back to trail the Warriors 12-22.
Tafuna replied with an Allen weave through the heart of the Sharks’ defense, as he stormed his way downfield to score the Warriors' fourth touchdown of the match – it's 28-12.
Final quarter, and Samoana Tanielu connects with Fa’atonu again for a 65-yard TD reception that brings the Sharks back to trail the Warriors 18-28.
The Sharks continued their onslaught — recovering their own kick-off at midfield to try for six again
3:01 remaining in the ball game, and Tanielu was spotted taking the ball upfield and scoring six more points for the Blue Empire. The two-point conversion was good — Warriors 28-26.
Time was the Sharks enemy, as Lotulelei and his offense played the clock, kneeling to send this one to the books, with another Warrior Nation victory 28-26 against the Sharks.