AYFS concludes fourth week of action as Bears remain undefeated
The American Youth Football of Samoa (AYFS) 2018 Football Season concluded its fourth weekend of action packed match ups last Saturday, with the reigning champions of the league, Head Coach Sa Suluai and his AYFS Bears remaining undefeated after a 41- 6 routing of the AYFS Steelers in the opening match up of the day.
Samoa News noticed that the AYFS Bears have started to utilize field goal opportunities during their extra point conversions – a rare strategy in the AYFS league, but according to AYFS President Victor Avalos, field goals are how they made the majority of their points during their last All-Star trip to California, which came by way of former Bears quarterback, Viliamu Tanielu, who recently led the Samoana Sharks Junior Varsity squad to a divisional championship title last year.
The following match was also another total victory for Head Coach Kirifi Ofagalilo and his AYFS Packers dominating over Head Coach Travis Shalhout and his AYFS Panthers — 32- 6. The Packers dominated this match defensively from the start, shutting out the Panthers throughout the opening half of the match.
AYFS BEARS 41 (RECORD: 4-0) – AYFS STEELERS 6 (RECORD: 0-4)
The Bears and Steelers match up, saw the No.1 seed in the league — the Bears — taking on the lowest ranked team in the league, the Steelers, who are still in search of a victory heading into week five of action this upcoming Saturday.
The AYFS Bears didn’t hesitate to open things up with their ground and pound game, to get a feel of what the Steelers defense had brought to the field – Bears Ieti Gaopo’a and Marcus Samia helped plow their way into Steelers territory early in the opening quarter of play, as Gaopo’a scored the first touchdown of the game for the Bears after a 5-yard hand off from Vaifanua Peko-Vai with just 7:43 into the first quarter.
The Bears continued to score throughout the first half, with a 14-point lead into the second quarter of the match. A pass interception, coupled with Bears Offensive Coordinator Keith Leuta starting to unravel the Steelers ‘Air-Attack’ allowed a 20- 0 lead for the Bears by the end of this quarter.
And then, just before half time, 1:57 remaining in the second quarter of the match, and the Bears ‘Air-Attack’ intensified with receivers on both sides, the Bears scored a fourth touchdown of the first half. Their extra point conversion was good enough to expand their lead 27 - 0.
In the second half of play, the Steelers looked like a whole different team opening up the third quarter of the match, as they came out fresh and ready to play.
Just after their defensive unit forced a turnover to bring out their offensive unit, the Steelers tried a trick play for the first time in the match – a reverse hand off to Daniel Chadwick saw nothing but the back of his jersey as Chadwick stormed to the end zone scoring a 33-yard run and the Steelers first and only touchdown of the game. The Bears denied them their two-point attempt.
Unfortunately, the Steelers defense unit continued to have a hard time trying to defend against the Bears – even after the Bears changed up artillery in the backfield of their offensive side of the ball, moving quarterback Vaifanua Peko-Vai out to play wide receiver, and bringing tight-end Dean Briski to play quarterback.
Still with the ‘Air-Attack’, the Bears toucheddown for their fifth time, a first for Peko-Vai during the game — and with a good field goal conversion, with the Bears extending their lead 34 - 6.
Late in the final quarter of play, and the Bears changed up artillery again on their offensive side of the ball, proving that no matter who they move into the quarterback position, their plays still work and play a huge impact in the ball game.
With 1:34 remaining in the ball game, and this time, it was Marcus Samia at quarterback for the Bears who rolled out and dropped back to pass a long one to Prodieus Lutu-Fuga for their final touchdown of the game, a 20-yard reception for the Bears to score their sixth touchdown of the game. Their field goal conversion was good to secure them a 41 - 6 victory.
AYFS PACKERS 32 (RECORD: 2-2) – AYFS PANTHERS 6 (RECORD: 1-3)
The second match up of last Saturday’s scheduled triple header was the between the AYFS Packers led by Head Coach Kirifi Ofagalilo who battled the AYFS Panthers for the first time this season.
The Packers suffered a huge loss in the first half of play, after their impact player Ricky Tusitala Sipa was taken out of the game, after suffering an injury after he was tackled hard by the Panthers Shute Savusa.
Both teams started off with great defensive strategies as none of them scored in the opening quarter of the game – it wasn’t until the Packers team was fired up after seeing one of their best players ushered off the field.
Samoa News could hear the Packers offense chanting ‘For Ricky’ as they got on the line of scrimmage every play and they played their hearts out.
8:24 in the second quarter of play, and the Packers struck from midfield, as their quarterback Alfred Maiava rolled out of the pocket to fire a solid pass to Paptea Timo, who not only secured that catch, but juked and worked his way around the defending Panthers to score the opening touchdown of the game, a 25-yard reception for the Packers. Their two-point conversion was good, giving them a lead of 8 - 0.
The Panthers who were experiencing some misfiring at snaps between the center and the quarterback while in the shot-gun position suffered a huge loss in yardage that was an advantage for the Packers.
In the second quarter, a second touchdown was scored, after the Packers offense turned over the ball and capitalized in the running game – with Wylan Faga stepping up and leading the Packers rhythm to a comfortable lead of 16 - 0.
The Packers steamrolled their way into halftime for another touchdown as well as a two-point conversion, extending their lead 24 - 0 with just 4 seconds remaining in the first half.
Opening up the second half of play was a great offensive start for the Panthers, led by Ali’ifa’atui Faoa-Danielson, which saw the Panthers utilize their counter attacks in the ground game, which seemed to be the only thing that was working for them.
5:33 into the third quarter of play, and Faoa-Danielson sent Matthew Vaigatolo up the middle with a 3-yard reception— scoring their first touchdown of the game. Their two- point attempt was stopped immediately at the line of scrimmage by a host of Packers for a 24- 6 game.
However, the second half also saw the re-appearance of the Packers impact player, Ricky Tusitala Sipa – who had been taken out of the game in the first half after an injury and re-entered the game in the third quarter of play with his first run going all the way to the end zone for six.
Sipa showed tremendous footwork during play helping the Packers to a final victory score of 32 - 6 victory.