Lions shut down the Vikings 26-0 in ASHSAA Junior Varsity battle
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — In the fifth week of ASHSAA football action, the Leone Lions who are ranked No. 2 in the Junior Varsity division collected another victory after they smashed the Vikings in a dominating 26-0 win last Saturday morning at the Veterans Memorial Stadium.
Coverage of ASHSAA high school football is sponsored by Congresswoman Aumua Amata.
The match was a blowout and it didn't come without criticism from those who witnessed what has been called the "embarrassing" and "unprofessional" behavior of Leone head coach Oakland Salave’a, who cussed at the game officials.
Fagaitua head coach Sua’ese Pooch Ta’ase was seen contesting the decision not to penalize the Lions for their head coach's actions.
Not a single flag was thrown.
The exchange of words between head official Fritz Afu and the head coaches from both sidelines came during the final minutes of the second quarter, after Leone quarterback Oakland Salave’a was severely injured as a result of a late hit (roughing the passer) penalty that was only later flagged by Afu.
But before that, Afu and his team of officials were cursed at by head coach Salave’a — something that usually results in an ejection or suspension for the coach. In this case, nothing was done. No flag, no sideline warning issued against the Lions.
That infuriated Vikings head coach Ta’ase, after he learned that his team was flagged with a 'roughing the passer' penalty.
Salave'a didn't cuss at the officials once or twice. He did it four times in a row. Officials continued to ignore Taase's request for a penalty against the Lions, and the match continued.
Samoa News points out that Ta’ase was absent from the sidelines during the second half of the match, an apparent sign of his frustration and disgust with the officials for not taking any action against the Leone head coach.
LIONS 26 - VIKINGS 0
The Lions put up the first six points of the match, after a 30-yard quarterback keeper by Oakland Salave’a on an option-quarterback read play.
The Vikings gave up another six points late in the opening quarter of play.
Lions first down from their own 40-yard line, and Salave’a fakes a hand off to his tailback, and drops back to fire a long pass to a wide open Arian Legget downfield for Leone’s second touchdown of the match. A pitch play out to (#5) who stormed to the corner of the end zone and dove in for the two points secured the Lions lead at 14-0.
When Salave’a was taken out of the match late in the opening half due to an injury, #14 took over the reins and didn’t hesitate to take the ball himself in the option-quarterback read strategy, as he punched in Leone’s third touchdown of the match with the 3-yard run at 8:11 into the third quarter.
Leone never let down and stayed with their option gameplay, which lured the defense to the running game, and left the passing game to Leone’s advantage. Lions first and goal from the Vikings 10-yard line, and #14 fakes a hand off to his fullback and fires a quick pass to Arian Legget at the sidelines for the final score of the match.
Leone closed this one off with a 26-0 victory.
JUNIOR PREP SPORTS (JPS) DIVISION
JPS Vikings head coach Pooch Ta’ase was thrilled with the way his team played last Friday against the defending divisional champs, the Leone Lions, after shutting them out 28- 0.
The Lions were intimidated from the start, as the Vikings kept putting the pressure against Misa Paiau and Elisara to win their second straight victory of the season.
The second match up under Friday Night Lights was the battle involving head coach Andrew Ena and his JPS Wildcats who collected their first win of the season after defeating the JPS Sharks in the second shutout match up of the evening. Nu’uuli’s Ricky Tupou led the JPS Wildcats to a 22-0 victory over the Sharks.