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Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Lions beat Sharks 36-6; Vikings, Warriors still undefeated

by Brian Vitolio

The Leone Lions (2-1) mauled the Samoana Sharks 36-6 (0-3) last Saturday in ASHSAA football's oldest rivalry behind an excellent performance by Afasene Tasi.

Tasi chalked up 152 yards on 12 carries and scored a hat trick with three touchdowns, the second straight week he has accomplished such a feat. He scored three times against the Fa'asao/Marist Crusaders two weeks ago.

Meanwhile, the Vikings (3-0) and Warriors (3-0) remained unbeaten over the weekend to set up a battle of undefeated's this coming Saturday.

Tafuna was just one-point short of making it a 36-point hat trick for winning teams over the weekend with Leone beating Samoana 36-6; Faga'itua beating Nu'uuli Poly-Tech Wildcats (0-3) 36-0 and the Warriors winning 36-0 against the Crusaders (1-3). On the other hand, the Sharks' only touchdown made it one-game short of a nil-hat trick for losing teams last Saturday.

In junior varsity games played last Friday, the Sharks (2-0) remained unbeaten with a 22-14 win over Faga'itua (0-1-1) while the Lions (1-0-1) won a close match against Tafuna (0-2) 8-3. This Friday is the last day for the first round of J-V football.

LIONS 36, SHARKS 6

Samoana's leaky defense held up for all of the first quarter and most of the second before Leone's rushing game tore them up.

They drew first blood though with Sharks' quarterback Afasene Tali completing a 16-yard strike to Daru Faiivae in double coverage to take a 6-0 lead with 6:38 remaining in the second period.

The touchdown was possible after a terrible punt of only 11 yards by Leone, and it took Samoana only three plays to score.

Samoana was practically handed the keys to the end zone on the next Leone possession after they coughed up the ball with the Sharks recovering it at the eight-yard line.

But three plays later Samoana returned the favor by fumbling the ball away at Leone's five.

Four possessions later, there were just 22 seconds remaining on the clock with Leone taking control of the ball at their 40-yard line.

A play later and bang! Panapa Lolo struck for Leone by taking off on a 60-yard touchdown run. Earlier in the game the Lions had an interception returned for a touchdown called back because of a roughing the passer penalty, and a 70+ kickoff-return run negated because of an illegal block to the back.

It seemed as if another flag was going to negate Lolo's touchdown run because a flag had been thrown against them for a clipping foul. However, after a referee's consultation, it was deemed that the foul had occurred after Lolo crossed into the end zone, so the touchdown stood but the foul was assessed on the two-point conversion.

So from 18 yards away, with the game tied at six-all, Leone went for a trick play. They had their big linemen line up to the left side of the field while the quarterback lined up behind center, Lolo. Lolo passed it rugby style from the ground to Tristan Tuitele, who was behind the linemen.

From there he just followed the train wreck that was Leone's offensive linemen to score the two-point conversion, giving his team the lead for good, 8-6.

From here on out it was all Leone as they returned from the break to score on their first possession of the third quarter on Tasi's four-yard run.

Tasi helped set up his own touchdown with a 35-yard gain and another for 10 yards during the possession. On his run, he was stopped a yard short of the goal line but he never stopped pumping his feet, and eventually they carried him into the end zone for his first touchdown. The score was now 14-6.

They recovered an onside kick that went through five players' hands before Leone was eventually able to secure it on the ensuing kickoff. A play later Tasi burst through the line of scrimmage, making a host of defenders miss, and then juked the last safety before cruising into the end zone for his second touchdown from 44 yards out.

Ryan Taifane converted the attempt for two by the Lions for a 22-6 score with 7:03 remaining in the third.

Samoana fumbled a pitch back to their running back with Leone recovering it at the Sharks' 12-yard line several possessions later. Three plays later Tasi completed his hat trick with a score from seven yards out to make it 30-6.

The last touchdown came courtesy of another Samoana turnover with the Lions recovering it at their opponent's 33.

Five plays later another Leone score made it 36-6 with six minutes to play in the fourth, and this last touchdown also set off the mercy rule because the Lions were now leading by 30 points.

VIKINGS 36, WILDCATS 0

Two weeks ago the Wildcats played some great defense by holding Tafuna to 12 points for most of their game before eventually losing 20-0.

But last Saturday they could not stop Faga'itua's offensive tear as the Vikings scored 22 in the first half and then added 14 more in the second to set off the mercy rule in the third period.

The Vikings have outscored their last three defenders by a combined score of 92-8.

Scoring in the first half for Faga'itua were Atimua Migi with two touchdowns and quarterback Joey Iosefa.

In the third, William Chan Kau scored from 36 yards out with Elden Maui'a providing the two-point conversion to make it 30-0.

The mercy rule was applied to the game once the lead had reached 30.

Filipo Esau scored the final touchdown to make up the game's final score.

WARRIORS 35, CRUSADERS 0

This game was called off at the end of the third period with Tafuna leading 35-0.

A few Crusaders were getting injured during the contest and with the game well in hand, the Crusaders' coaching staff decided against continuing for the safety of their own players.

Scoring touchdowns for Tafuna were Fa'afetai Saelua with a 38-yard run; Petelo Sagote with a 17-yard catch; a 45-yard catch by Joe Langkilde; a four-yard run by Gene Grey and another for 24 yards. Tafuna converted three PAT attempts and also recorded a safety to make up the game's final score.

The Warriors have outscored their last three opponents by a combined 89-28.

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