Warriors and Vikings continue to wreak havoc in Week 2 of ASHSAA Football
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — In the second week of American Samoa High School Athletic Association’s (ASHSAA) 2018- 19 Football Season, Head Coach Kevin Magalei and his Tafuna Warriors rout the Nu’uuli Wildcats in a high scoring 56 - 32 victory, a mind blowing match up that deserved the Friday Night Lights – Meanwhile Head Coach Sua’ese Pooch Ta’ase and his Faga’itua Vikings pummeled the defending champions, Samoana Sharks in their 38 - 22 win in the Varsity Division of action.
Coverage of ASHSAA High School Football is proudly sponsored and brought to you by Congresswoman Aumua Amata.
The Veterans Memorial Stadium was jam packed with families and friends and students who came out in full support of their schools’ football teams, and all the teams showcased that they’re not to be counted out this season.
(See tomorrow’s Samoa News issue for the Junior Varsity (JV) Football Action – Story & Photos)
TAFUNA WARRIORS 56 – NU’UULI WILDCATS 32
This past Friday, the mighty Tafuna Warriors had their work cut out for them, as the Wildcats, who came out onto the field for the first time this season, put on a show for the visiting crowd, as they gave an outstanding performance of endurance and football — despite the Tafuna Warriors pounding out their lead.
The Warriors had 22 unanswered points in the first half, until 1:34 remaining in the second quarter, and Nu’uuli who was led by Jerry Isaako was playing a fourth and long situation from Tafuna’s 40-yard line, and Isaako dropped back to charge up a long pass to David Talaga who ran a post route – Talaga hauled in that pass, beating his defender en route to the end zone for the Wildcats first touchdown of the game. Their two point attempt was denied by the Warriors as Isaako was sacked immediately by Warrior’s Elton Titania in the backfield.
Tafuna’s 22-unanswered points were the result of an unstoppable Run-N-Gun offense led by Francisco Mauigoa and his offense — moving the chains downfield to Koison Ozu and Tuimaseve. The first 8 points were from a Mauigoa quarterback keep and an inside hand-off to Ozu for the 2-points. The next 6 points was from an Ozu 10-yard reception for Tafuna’s second touchdown of the game. Their two point conversion was a denied by the Wildcats as Tafuna was now ahead by 14. A Mauigoa tuck and run secured the Warriors a 22-point lead.
After their first touchdown, the Wildcats started to believe in each other, and just wreaked havoc against the Warriors offense – 32 seconds remaining in the first half, and the Warrior Nation saw another Hail Mary by Nu’uuli turn up for six — again an Isaako and Talaga combo for Nu’uuli’s second touchdown of the match, the extra point conversion once again was quickly ended by Titania in the backfield — Wildcats now trailed the Warriors 22 - 12.
The Warriors quickly answered before the second half, by turning up the heat on special teams. Philip Kolone of Tafuna received the kick off from the Wildcats, Kolose turned on his boosters as he weaved his way through the middle, out to the sidelines and was gone with the wind as Kolone scored another touchdown for the Warrior Nation going into halftime.
In the second half, the Warriors kept their ground attack honed as Tuimaseve, Ozu, and Miguel Ha’atoa kept it solid with Mauigoa leading the play action. Early in the third quarter of action saw the Warriors with a 36 - 12 lead.
A fumble by the Wildcats allowed the Warriors to pick up their next touchdown. Warriors first down from the fumble, and Mauigoa immediately went to the air to find Panapa Filoiali’i on a slant route and connected for Filoiali’i’s first touchdown of the game. Their two-point attempt was denied in the backfield by Ivan Umu of Nu’uuli, Tafuna lead 42 - 12.
An interception by Atoa gave Tafuna their next opportunity to score, with Tuimaseve turning it into six more points for the Warriors — 48 - 12.
The Wildcats did not lie down.
Late in the third quarter with just 1:03 remaining, Nu’uuli decided to try a trick play against the Warriors vicious defense – Isaako with the quick pass to Talaga who turned his back towards defenders and tossed the ball back to Mauga who floored it and was uncatchable on his way towards to scoring his first touchdown of the game, a 35-yard reception for Mauga that brought the Wildcats back to life, trailing the Warriors 48 - 18.
5:42 remaining in the ball game, and the Wildcats Isaako does a tuck and run from the 30-yard line to score his first touchdown of the game on a gutsy quarterback keeper that added six more point to Nu’uuli’s side of the board. Their two-point attempt was a play action pass from Isaako to Tago that brought the Wildcats back to trail the Warriors 48 - 26.
2:28 remaining in the final quarter of play, and the Warriors who had been penalized with a delay of game penalty – Mauigoa looked far to fire a long pass to Frank Mulipola for a 35-yard attempt, Mulipola hauled in the pass and stormed towards the end zone with Tafuna’s final touchdown of the game. Their extra point conversion was good enough to seal the deal after Mauigoa ran it in to extend their lead, 56 - 26.
But the Wildcats once again did not lay down.
For their last play of the game — down by 30 points — the Wildcats, led by Isaako, put in to play a consistent ground and pound strategy making their way into Warrior territory and spotting Nu’uuli a first down at the 1-yard line. From there, Isaako rammed his way behind his blockers to score Nu’uuli’s final touchdown of the match, allowing the Warriors only a 24-point lead — Warriors 56 - Wildcats 32 in a mind blowing match.
FAGA’ITUA VIKINGS 38 – SAMOANA SHARKS 22
The Blue Empire were picked apart by the vicious Faga’itua Vikings defense during the second half of the match, as their first meeting of the season concluded in favor of the Big Red Machine after a stunning defensive performance by Head Coach Sua’ese Pooch Ta’ase and his Vikings, to slay the defending divisional champs, Samoana Sharks in a hard hitting match up last Saturday morning.
The game started with the Sharks’ pass picked off by Advent Migi of the Vikings down at the Samoana’s third and goal from the 9-yard line, turning it up to the 20 yard line, to bring out Faga’itua’s offense to start their first offensive possession of the game.
Miga, who leads both the Vikings offense and defense, led the Vikings at quarterback, as they immediately went to their No-Huddle offense to try and get themselves out of the Danger Zone. It was a quick four and out for the Vikings as Samoana’s defense brought the heat early in the ball game.
The Sharks then claimed first blood in this match up — with 22 seconds remaining in the first quarter, and the Sharks were again knocking at the door with a first and goal at the 1 yard line. From there, Anthony Feala muscled his way pass the goal line behind his offensive line to score the first touchdown of the game.
Samoana’s extra point conversion, a field goal by Paul Fano was blocked by Zion Esekia and a host of Viking defenders who swarmed the backfield, as Samoana led by 6.
It was quickly answered by the Vikings, early in the second quarter – Faga’itua’s first down from their own 45-yard line, and Migi fired a long pass to Joseph Umu on a post route as Umu hauled in the pass on his way to the end zone to scoring the Vikings first touchdown of the game to tie things up a six a piece. The two-point attempt was successful to give them the lead of 8 - 6 with 11:10 remaining in the opening half of play.
Fagaitua answered again when Samoana’s air attempt by Anthony Feala was picked of by Michael Pitone, bringing the Vikings offense out on the field for a first down from Samoana’s 40 yard line – From there, Migi led an unstoppable running game into the red zone, and with 8:08 remaining in the first half, Migi was able to punch one in for six from the 1-yard line for Faga’itua’s second touchdown of the game. Their two-point attempt was stopped by Kidmanshaq Sea of the Sharks, who brought Migi down immediately in the backfield for a sack — the Vikings lead 14 - 6.
2:17 remaining in the opening half of play, and Samoana answers by recovering their own punt — From there, Feala fired a quick pass to Avory Seumanutafa for Samoana’s second touchdown of the match, a 5-yard reception that brought the Sharks back to life just before the half – Their two point attempt was a reverse hand off to Zephanaiah Pati was good enough to tie things up at 12 a piece going into half time.
In the second half, a Samoana fumble gives the Vikings their first defensive touchdown of the game, by Vikings Zion Esekia, who picked up the live ball. Faga’itua’s extra point conversion, field goal attempt by Manuita Sofeni was good enough to put the Vikings back in the lead with 21 - 14.
Unanswered, 3:53 in the third quarter and Migi sends a quick wide receiver screen pass to Steven Fiso who weaves his way through defenders and finds an open field for another Faga’itua touchdown. After the successful field goal by Sofeni, the Vikings lead 28 - 14.
Again, another Samoana play goes sour — in shot gun formation, another snap from the center to Feala goes wrong as the ball rolls into the end zone and a host of Vikings bombard the backfield and bring down Feala in the backfield for a safety, adding two more points to the Vikings lead, for 30 - 14.
Continuing the punishment, the next Vikings touchdown is from an intercepted pass from Feala, which has them moving the chains downfield. Faga’itua’s third and goal from the 5-yard line, and Migi sends Jr. Maloa up the middle with another Faga’itua touchdown. Their two point attempt is successful — a pitch play out to Roy Ulugalu. Fagaitua now leads 38 - 14.
Samoans continues to push, despite the 24-point lead by the Vikings.
Keeping to their air game, Samoana’s third and long from midfield, and Feala drops back to fire a long pass to Kobe Lefiti who hauled in that pass on a post route and made his way to the end zone for Samoana’s third touchdown of the game with just 6:48 remaining in the ball game.
Their extra point conversion was a play action pass from Feala to Seumanutafa — good enough to bring the Blue Empire back to life as the Sharks inched back to trail the Vikings 38 - 22.
Throughout the remainder of the match, Samoana’s offense felt the heat from the vicious Faga’itua defense as Migi and the Vikings brought the heat to close things off as they sailed back to the East with their second victory of the season with a 38 - 22 win over the Sharks.