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Monday, August 27, 2007

Vikings continue win streak against Sharks

by Brian Vitolio

Faga'itua continued its dominance of Samoana with yet another win last Saturday in week two of ASHSAA varsity football, beating the Sharks 29-8.

The win improves the Vikings to 2-0, tied for first with Tafuna after the Warriors beat the Nu'uuli Poly-Tech Wildcats (0-2) 20-0 last Saturday.

In other games, the Leone Lions (1-1) came out hungry for their first win of the season last Saturday against the Fa'asao/Marist Crusaders (1-1), and that hunger was evident as they racked up 46 points.

Also, last Friday, the Samoana Sharks (1-1) got off to a good start in defending their junior varsity football title by beating the Tafuna Warriors (0-1) 15-8. In the second game, a defensive battle saw the Vikings (0-0-1) and Lions (0-0-1) match end in a stalemate, 0-0.

This Friday Leone plays Tafuna in the first match at four p.m. while Faga'itua takes on Samoana in the second match scheduled to start at six p.m. for junior varsity action.

VIKINGS 29, SHARKS 8

Samoana has not beaten the Vikings in quite a while now, and their losing streak against Faga'itua was extended last Saturday in a 29-8 loss that has the Sharks winless two weeks into the season.

William Chan Kau twice broke away for long touchdown runs in the second half to turn a 17-8 game into a big win for the Vikings. Once he broke out into the open, there was just no catching Chan Kau.

His first long run was a 50 yarder, the first play of the third quarter that made it 23-8.

The next one came in the fourth period with 9:55 remaining on the clock, a 66-yard touchdown run that deflated the Samoana fans.

That touchdown made it 29-8.

Samoana had some good drives during the game but never did seem to finish them off with scores. Ailao Tualaulelei Jr. provided some spark for them with his excellent running, as he has done for the junior varsity the last two years, but penalties by Samoana and an excellent defensive stance by Faga'itua combined help to negate any scoring threat from the Sharks.

This week Samoana faces Leone in the second match.

Faga'itua takes on Nu'uuli Poly-Tech this Saturday in the first match of the day.

WARRIORS 20, WILDCATS 0

Despite the score, it was a nail-biter for Tafuna as they struggled against the Nu'uuli Poly-Tech Wildcats last Saturday.

They scored a touchdown each in the first and second quarters, and then led 12-0 for most of the game until the closing seconds of the match when they finally scored their third touchdown and added the two-point conversion to make up the game's final score.

Scoring for Tafuna was last week's Offensive Player of the Week Maka Leapaga, Fa'afetai Saelua and Jonathon Wright.

After torching Samoana for 188 yards rushing two weeks ago, Leapaga was held to 88 yards on 13 carries by the Vikings.

Tafuna prepares for the Crusaders this week while the Wildcats play a tough one, facing the undefeated Vikings.

LIONS 46, CRUSADERS 0

Leone was sharp, methodical and down right hungry for their first win of the season. They were not at their best against Faga'itua during the opening week, so last Saturday they took it out against the Crusaders by coming four points short of hitting the century mark.

The man of the match was Afasene Tasi, exploding for 106 yards rushing on 14 carries and then completing a hat trick in touchdowns scored with three.

With 27 seconds remaining in the first half, Leone induced the mercy rule with a touchdown that gave them 33 points. Once a team gets ahead of another by scoring 30 or more points to zero, the mercy rule is applied to the game.

At this point it is up to the other team if they want to stop the game with the mercy rule in effect or continue playing. If the game is to continue, then the clock runs non-stop with the exception of a timeout.

So if the ball falls incomplete in a pass attempt, or the ball is taken out of bounds, the clock will continue running. Fa'asao/Marist did not want to give up when given the choice before the second half was to start, so the game continued.

In the first quarter, Leone's defense started things off by giving their offensive unit great field position when they made a 14-yard sack on the second play of the game. This took the Crusaders inside their 10-yard line, then recovering a fumble on the next play at the Crusaders' three-yard line.

A play later Tasi punched it in from three yards out for the first score, and after the successful PAT, Leone was up 7-0 with 9:51 left in the first.

The defense held the Crusaders to a three-and-out on the next possession, and it took just three plays for the Lions to score again. Tasi came up with his second TD of the match, scoring it from a yard out after setting up his own touchdown with a 48-yard run. The extra point made it 14-0 with 5:37 left in the first period.

Another three-and-out by the Crusaders and this time their defense came up with a stop. They had allowed Leone to score on two straight possessions and were on the verge of allowing another one, but they came up big by recovering a fumble on the eighth play of Leone's possession.

However, the defense made up for their offensive unit's turnover by sacking the Crusaders' quarterback, and forcing a fumble in the process, and then recovering it and running it into the end zone for a score. Sale Fatu recovered the loose ball for the Lions and scored it from three yards out. The kick for the extra point made it 21-0.

In the second period, another fumble recovery by Leone's defense allowed Tasi to complete his hat trick with a 19-yard dash into the end zone to make it 27-0 with 4:24 left before the half.

The last score of the first quarter that also induced the mercy rule was a two-yarder punched in by Fa'agati Uta. Tasi helped set up the score with a 21-yard gain on the ground and another for six yards. The latter rush put the Lions at the four and two more yards were tacked on after the run because of a face-mask penalty against Fa'asao/Marist.

This latest score made it 33-0.

In the second half, Suka Saifoloi caught an eight-yard pass from quarterback Vince Ponausuia, and the PAT made it 40-0.

Completing the game's final score was a 51-yard heave by new quarterback Beck Coulter to Willie Ponausuia. Vince and Willie are twin brothers.

Leone prepares this week for Samoana while the Crusaders will play Tafuna this Saturday in the last match of the day.

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