AYFS Steelers and Packers pull through during Football Play-Off weekend
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The fifth week of the American Samoa Youth Football of Samoa (AYFS) immediately went into Playoff weekend after a break last weekend due to Tropical Cyclone Gita – back on the field, the Steelers, the lowest seed in the league, caused a huge upset to the No.3 AYFS 49ers who suffered a shut out last Saturday in their 10 - 0 loss.
The AYFS Packers from Leone pulled through during the second half of play and defeated the Panthers in a 20 - 0 victory, earning them a spot in the Semi’s next Saturday against the No.2 AYFS Rams – the Steelers will face the No.1 seed in the league, the undefeated AYFS Bears led by Head Coach Sa Suluai.
During the weekend of Tropical Cyclone Gita, the AYFS Staff, management, teams and coaches donated numerous cases of water to the Red Cross of American Samoa to help those in need during these hard times of tragedy in the territory.
AYFS STEELERS 10 – AYFS 49ERS 0
The opening match up of AYFS Playoff weekend kicked off with the battle between the No.3 49ers and the No.6 Steelers, which concluded in a huge upset for the Niners after being shut down throughout the whole match by the Steel curtains of the AYFS Steelers.
The Niners who were pinned deep in their own territory, suffered a safety in the opening half of the match, after the Steelers defense showed tremendous coverage against the unpredictable Niners offense, gaining an early 2 - 0 lead.
It didn’t take long for the Steelers to extend their lead to 10 - 0 after a they crossed the goal line for a touchdown and a two point conversion after an outstanding play call from offensive coordinator Shawn Togia.
The Steelers defensive unit on the other hand held on to the game throughout the remainder of the match and shut out the Niners in a 10 - 0 victory, their first win of the season, luckily, it came at the right time.
AYFS PACKERS 20 – AYFS PANTHERS 0
The second Playoff match up of the day was between the AYFS Packers and the AYFS Panthers as both defensive units for both teams came out at full speed to leave it all on the field. With a great defensive strategy by the Panthers to shut out the Packers during the opening half of play – both teams went into halftime scoreless.
But it wasn’t until the second half of play that the Packers finally found their rhythm and put up the first six points on the board.
5:03 in the third quarter of play, and the Packers finally bring in their mean machine, Ricky Tusitala Sipa to play on offense, as he was utilized throughout the whole first half on defense as middle linebacker – Packers second and five from the Panthers 24 yard line, and Alfred Maiava handed off an inside counter play to Sipa who slipped through the middle, and out to the sidelines to boost his way towards the end zone for the opening touchdown of the game.
Their two point conversion was a tuck and run by quarterback Alfred Maiava to give them an 8 point lead into the final quarter of play.
The Panthers who were cautious about passing the ball, stuck to their inside counter plays that the Packers kept shutting down since the opening kick off of the ball game.
Wylan Faga and Ricky Tusitala Sipa helped the Packers move the ball down field during the final quarter of play – 6:22 remaining in the ball game and the Packers were threatening inside the red zone with a first and goal at the Panthers 1 yard line. From there, Packers quarterback Alfred Maiava decided to tuck and run the ball in the end zone for their second and final touchdown of the match to extend their lead 14 - 0. Their two-point attempt was denied by the Panthers defense.
With just seconds remaining in the ball game, Panthers offensive unit paced themselves towards the end zone from inside Packers territory, but were disappointed to see one of their passes returned back by a Packers defensive touchdown, no wonder why the Panthers stayed away from the passing game.
5 seconds remaining in the ball game, the Panthers went for broke from the Packers 30 yard line – Panthers last play of the game a pass play from Aliifaatui Danielson was intercepted by Tony Faitasia of the Packers and returned all the way back to the end zone for an 83 yard defensive touch- down, extending their lead 20 - 0 to close off the match with a victory.
Next week, the AYFS Bears will face off against the AYFS Steelers, followed by the match between the AYFS Rams and the AYFS Packers to determine who will battle for this year’s AYFS Championship title the following week.