Saturday afternoon local time, American Samoa witnessed the astounding performance of our local All Star Team that faced the top rated team USA for their opening game of the IFAF Under 19 World Cup Championships. Despite the loss, we made history, in Austin Texas, as the first team ever to score against team USA during the 3 years of the Under 19 World Cup.

The Americans were very impressed with our Amerika Samoa All Star Team, and were quite surprised that the Amerika Samoa defensive unit was able to hold them down to just 27 points after the whooping scores racked up against other countries for the past three years. Fagaitua High School’s Shalom Luani was mentioned as one of two Players of the Game, as Luani made his appearance all over the field, not only on offense and defense, but special teams as well.

U.S.A. 27 – Amerika Samoa 6

Opening up the match up was our local boys sending with the opening kick-off of the game by Shalom Luani, and it went out of bounds with U.S.A. opting for Amerika Samoa to re-kick the ball. Luani sent of the second kick and it was picked up by U.S.A.’s Jesus Wilson on their own 24 yard line with Wilson taking it all the way for the opening touchdown of the fame. A 76-yard touchdown return. The extra point conversion by Cameron Van Winkle was no good, as U.S.A. went on top 6 – 0.

Amerika Samoa’s first offensive possession saw quarterback Ben Langford leading the locals against the US. Unsuccessful in their first drive of the game, our local boys played nervously as they were trying to adjust to the reality of playing in such a competition for the first time in American Samoa history.

U.S.A. came back with a hard fought drive and gained 80 yards in their march into Amerika Samoa’s red zone, and on second down, U.S.A. quarterback Breydon Scott snuck behind his huge offensive line to score their second touchdown of the game.

American Samoa again drove deep into US territory before linebacker Cory Jasudowich forced a fumble by American Samoa running back Faafouina Sitagta that was recovered by Reggie Chevis to end the threat at the US 16-yard line. Scott then directed an 84-yard, 15 play drive that ended with a seven-yard touchdown pass from Scott to Ayers for a 20-0 lead early in the second quarter.

U.S.A. found themselves in trouble, when they were lost in the midst of penalties called against them, sending Amerika Samoa closer and closer to their end zone destination, as Langford led his offense all the way into U.S.A.’s 1-yard line. First down play failed with Aloese Su’a coming up short with the immediate tackle by the defense, and Amerika Samoa finally saw a hope of coming back in the game on a second down hand off to “Iron Man” Howard Tautu who muscled his way through the middle to record Amerika Samoa’s first touchdown of the game. Their two point conversion was no good, as it was broken up by U.S.A. for a two touchdown lead with the Americans on top 20 – 6, going to half time.

The third quarter of the match held U.S.A. in a shock, as they were not able to get past our local boy’s defensive unit, led by Lee-Anthony Grey and Shalom Luani. Amerika Samoa looked to have turned the momentum late in the third quarter when punter Shalom Luani broke loose on a 25-yard fake punt run on 4th and 12 from the American Samoa 15 to turn the field position around. Our locals stayed on the move into the fourth quarter before the U.S.A.’s defense stiffened and held American Samoa on downs at the U.S.A. 26.

 Needing a score to put the game away, Scott completed four of five passes for 81 yards before Tarean Folston plunged the final yard to take the lead to 27-6 with 4:38 left in the game. Amerika Samoa stumbled in their last minutes of the game and saw their final play of the game with the ball in their hands as Langford took it on a quarterback keep that was short, but quite impressive, to end the ball game.

During the conclusion of the game, U.S.A.’s DeMarcus Ayers earned the Player of the Game for U.S.A., for seven receptions of 115 yards and a touchdown.

Amerika Samoa’s Shalom Luani was also selected as the Player of the Game averaging 35.5 yards per puntand recording four tackles along with his first down run on the fake punt.

American Samoa will now take on Panama on Tuesday July 3.

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