Warriors crush the Wildcats in both varsity & JV division

tony@samoanews.com

 The last time this pair met was during last year's Senior Game for the Warriors where they lost to the Wildcats for the first time ever in the history of ASHSAA football.

Last Saturday, Tafuna faced Nu’uuli for the first time this year, and gave them a whooping, a 54-12 victory in the varsity division - a redemption of some sort for what they encountered last year.

This year’s coverage of ASHSAA football is sponsored by Congresswoman Aumua Amata.The Nu’uuli Wildcats came in for their initial appearance in this year's football season last Saturday, following a bye in week one of action.

They are led by new head coach, Andrew Bill Ena, a long time part of the Wildcats football family.

VARSITY DIVISION: Warriors 54 - Wildcats 6

Determined to follow in the footsteps of their JV unit who claimed victory the night before, head coach Kolose Ili and his mighty Tafuna Warriors put it down against the Wildcats from the opening quarter of the match.

Panama Filoiali’i marched into the end zone to score Tafuna’s first touchdown of the game early in the game. Their two point conversion in the hands of Pene Fa’avae was good enough to secure them the eight-point lead.

Nu’uuli’s defensive unit - who were playing without starting middle linebacker Branson Pualau – suffered numerous loss of yardage as they could barely hold on against Tafuna’s raging offense. Late in the quarter, with 3:17 remaining, Tala Sufia of the Warriors looked to his receiver Pene Fa’ave and hooked up on a quick slant route, a 9-yard pass reception for six, extending Tafuna’s lead 16-0 after the two point conversion by Panapa Filoiali’i.

Suddenly, just minutes away from the end of the opening quarter, Nu’uuli stunned Tafuna on a long post route pass from Faletoi to receiver Diamond Vea for the Wildcats first touchdown of the game,  a 54-yard pass reception for six as Nu’uuli came back to trail the Warriors 6-16.

Tafuna’s lethal offensive unit continued to crush the Wildcats on their way into half time, as they extended their lead into the thirties.

At 7:22 remaining in the opening half, Tafuna’s Tala Sufia dumped a screen pass to the middle into the hands of Panapa Filoiali’i, who danced his way behind a wall of blockers and stormed out to the end zone for his third touchdown of the game, a 64-yard touchdown reception that extended the Warriors lead to 32-6 after the two point conversion from Paea Latu.

 Just when Nu’uuli thought the storm was over, Tafuna continued to reek havoc with every second remaining in the half as they continuously punished Nu’uuli with their optional run and pass attacks, that led to another Warriors touchdown.

At 1:09 remaining in the half, Filoiali’i again walked in another 5-yard reception for six.

Their two point conversion was good in the hands of Filoiali’i on a quarterback keep, as he took over Tafuna’s offense late in the half. This extended their lead to 40-6.

Nu’uul,i who didn’t have a breath of fresh air since the opening of the second half, were choked again deep inside their territory when a pass from Faletoi was intercepted by Elton Titania of Tafuna, trying to return it for six but was brought down at Nuuuli's 24-yard line, bringing out Sufia and Tafuna’s offense for another opportunity.

At the Warriors first down there, Sufia sent Paea Latu straight up the middle with the counter play for another Tafuna touchdown with just 42 seconds remaining in the third quarter of play as Tafuna continued to punish Nu’uuli 46-6.

Later on in the second half, Paea Latu caught a 34-yard touchdown pass reception from Tala Sufia to score another Warriors touchdown, followed by a two point conversion by Filoiali’i again, as Tafuna wasn’t letting down at all, managing to squeeze this last six point into their final score of the match.

JV DIVISION: Warriors 42 – Wildcats 14

The Warriors started to rule this match early in the game, with Francisco Mauigoa at the helm of Tafuna’s offense.

He managed to march the Warriors downfield and punch in six points at 5:26 in the opening quarter of the game.

During Tafuna’s second down possession on Nu’uuli’s 5-yard line after consecutive rushes from ‘the Samurai’ Koison Ozu and John Allen, Mauigoa was able to fake play action pass and keep the ball himself into the end zone for Tafuna’s first touchdown of the game.

Suddenly with 2:23 remaining in the opening quarter, the Wildcats shocked the Warriors defense with a tight end dump pass to the middle to (#81) who scored Nu’uuli’s first touchdown of the game, a 50-yard touchdown reception to tie up the match at six a piece.

Then, after the Wildcats delivered the kick off to Tafuna following their touchdown, ’the Samurai’ Koison Ozu received and returned that kick off, all the way back to scoring his first touchdown of the game, 91-yard touchdown return to pull Tafuna in the lead.

With 1:19 still in the opening quarter, Mauigoa sent John Allen straight up the middle with a 5 yard misdirection play to score another six points for the Warriors. Their two point conversion in the hands of Ozu was good enough to extend their lead to 26-6.

 It wasn’t until the third quarter that the Warriors were able to march in the end zone again – showing the toughness of the Wildcats defensive unit from declining the Tafuna out of the end zone for the remainder of the first half.

At 4:26 in the third quarter of play, Tafuna’s first down possession on Nu’uuli’s 2-yard line, saw Mauigoa muscling his way behind his offensive linemen with a quarterback keep to score another Warriors touchdown.

At 9:47 in the final quarter, Mauigoa hooked up with his receiver (#5) on a post route to the end zone to score six more points for Tafuna. Their two point conversion in the hands of Koison Ozu was good enough to secure a 34-6 lead.

At 6:26 in the final quarter, Mauigoa again fired a solid ball to the corner of the end zone , a 24-yard pass reception that was caught by (#12) of Tafuna in the end zone for another Warriors touchdown.

 Just when Tafuna thought it was over and done with, Nu’uuli said ‘it isn’t over’ and fought back in the final minutes of the game, to score their second touchdown of the game. The Wildcats' third down possession on Tafuna’s 43 yard line, the same tight end dump pass to the middle that Nu’uuli scored on in the first quarter, was the same play they executed again to (#81) to score their second touchdown of the game. With their extra point conversion successfully crossing the goal line in the hands of (#4), Nu’uuli came back and trailed the Warriors 14-42.

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