Vikings crush the Lions 50-20 in their first face-off this season
Last Saturday morning, the American Samoa High School Athletics Association (ASHSAA) kicked off Week #2 of football action, where fans and supporters witnessed the Vikings get into an unstoppable rhythm in their running game, essentially giving Faga'itua their first victory of the season.
This year's coverage of ASHSAA football is proudly sponsored by Congresswoman Aumua Amata.
Following a devastating loss to Tafuna in the season opener, head coach Sua’ese Pooch Ta’ase and his Vikings bounced back last week to claim wins in both divisional competitions, against head coach Oakland Salave’a and his Leone Lions.
VARSITY DIVISION: Vikings 50, Lions 20
Ta’ase and his Vikings didn’t hesitate to put on the heat during the opening of this one, as they decided to go with their 'No-Huddle Offense' in the opening quarter, leading to their first end zone appearance of the match.
At 6:26 in the opening quarter, the Vikings get on the scoreboard after Vito Kitiona sends Jacob Umu straight up the middle for a 5-yard touchdown run, netting the first six points of the game. But the Lions didn't take long to respond, with Iverson Ta’ase hooking up with Antwan Legget on the slant route for a 5-yard reception to score their first touchdown of the game – tying up the match at 6-6.
The Vikings, with 3:37 remaining in the first, would not be outdone.
With Pitonu’u Ah Sue leading the Vikings back into Lions territory, Faga'itua spotted a fortunate second down situation on the Lions 2-yard line, a quarterback keeper by Kitiona as he leaped into the end zone to score their second touchdown of the game.
The two-point conversion was good enough to secure the 14-6 Vikings lead.
As the game continued, the Vikings strength seemed to grow stronger with their running game, as Ah Sue and Advent Migi continuously pounded their way through Leone’s defensive front.
With 7:22 remaining in the second quarter, Advent Migi marches into the end zone with a 6-yard touchdown reception - his first touchdown of the game, extending Faga'itua's lead.
Late in the first half, Leone’s Iverson Ta’ase decides he's going to carry the Lions on his shoulders.
He opts to go for it on a third down situation inside Vikings territory, a play action pass where he crossed the goal line for Leone’s second touchdown of the game.
The two-point conversion was short, but they the Lions were not trailing 12-22
Just when the Lions thought it was over, Kitiona said, "not", after he walked in another quarterback keeper for a touchdown, with just 5:22 remaining in the opening half, extending Faga'itua's lead to 30-12 after a successful two-point conversion in the hands of Jacob Umu.
With Kitiona still at the helm of the Vikings offensive unit, the Vikes put the pedal to the metal and just floored it during the first half of play, as they continued to score into half time with Kitiona taking in another six points on a play action pass just minutes before half time.
During the second half of play, as the Vikings were settling in and playing the clock as they held the lead, Leone managed to turn the Vikings away from the end zone for the first time when a pass from Kitiona to Jefferey Fulu - a second down inside Leone territory - was intercepted by Keitch Tanoa.
Leone did some switching around to start off the second half of play, moving Ta'ase out to running back and putting sophomore quarterback Elijah Elisara in to get things going.
With Elisara at the helm of Leone's offense, the ball was distributed in the air precisely, hitting the numbers of Ali’itoa Langkilde and opting to go with Ta’ase on the ground attack to find their way inside Faga’itua’s red zone for another shot at the end zone.
A two-point conversion in the hands of Ta’ase again was good enough to bring them back to trail the Vikings 20-36 with 9:22 into the second half of the game.
In the final quarter of play, DJ Grey and Pitonu’u Ah Sue of the Vikings led the big red machine back into Lion territory, where Advent Migi scored his second touchdown of the game.
While the Lions pursued the ground game, Kitiona was able to drop back and dump a screen pass to the middle to Migi who followed his wall of blockers into the end zone for another Faga’itua touchdown.
The two-point conversion put the Viking ahead 42-20 with 8:55 remaining in the game.
Late in the match, when everyone thought that the Vikings were going to form up in victory formation, Tauma’oe Filipo said "No" and ran in his first touchdown of the game. Then for the two-point conversion, Jacob Umu lined up under center, deiced to take the ball himself, and scored for the Vikings, sealing a 50-20 victory.
JV DIVISION: Vikings 16, Lions 0
The Vikings were clearly ahead in the opening of this one, after Oneil Ah Ching led the way for the Eastern Star with two carries for touchdowns. With Leone’s defensive unit having a hard time holding back the Vikings running game, Ah Ching continued to pound the ball in the Vikings ground game.
Leone was able to flip the script during the second half of the game, as the Lions defensive unit, led by nose tackle Cyan Fiatoa, denied Faga’itua access to the end zone throughout the remainder of the second half.
Even though they weren’t able to punch the ball in the end zone, the Lions were satisfied with their defensive performance in the second half of play, by shutting out the Vikings.