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BULLDOGS BLANK GECKOS

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By Robert Balajadia

A 3-2 record in high school football is considered average at best but this season has been far from average for the Okkodo Bulldogs who defeated the GW Geckos 13-0 at their home field Friday night.

Bulldogs’ Thomas Guitierez breaks through the tackle of Geckos’ Storm Rosario to earn a first down in the third quarter. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

The Bulldogs have collected more wins this season than the past four years combined. Head coach Danny Cepeda has embedded a new attitude in the Bulldog football team that has spread all throughout the school.

With homecoming night in the balance, the Bulldogs defense made sure that no Gecko was going to spoil the big night. GW quarterback Joseph Carreon had the ball with 35 seconds left in the fourth quarter and a full set of downs to work with in the red zone with his team trailing 7-0. On Carreon’s first snap, Bulldogs junior linebacker Justin Santos sniffed out the passing route and jumped it, picking it off while returning it 92 yards for what was initially ruled a touchdown.

The Head referee overturned the call, saying that Santos was tackled at the one-yard line.

“I dropped back because I noticed when I blitz, they run up my side. So when I dropped back and moved to the left I saw the pass coming. I honestly thought it was a touchdown because I dove into the line but it’s okay, I’m happy with the win. There is no ‘I’ in ‘team’,” stated Santos on making the biggest play of the game. True, there is no “i” in “team” but there definitely is one in “interception.”

Geckos QB Joseph Carreon scrambles out of the pocket to earn a first down on the run before getting taken down by an Okkodo defender. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

A play later, Bulldogs quarterback Leeray Zapatos punched it in, pushing the score to 13-0 all but sealing the Geckos fate.

The Bulldogs are the third lowest scoring team this season with half of their points coming from defense and special teams play. Friday night was a different story in front of the wide Bulldog fan base as they scored two offensive touchdowns, one coming off a big 50+ yard run by electrifying return man Calvin Muna in the third quarter.

“We’ve been getting on the offensive line in practice about who they are supposed to block and they just adjusted to it tonight. I follow them, wherever their buts are at I run behind them,” stated Muna on the 50-yard dash.

The Geckos have had an up and down season to say the least and now find themselves at (2-2). Since their first game against Southern, a game in which they scored 44 points, the Gecko offense has slow down tremendously.

Winning is a word that has eluded the Bulldogs football team since the schools opening, so a 3-2 season is as big a milestone to the school as any other regarding football. Cepeda never forgets to thank the GNYFF for getting a lot of his boys ready to play when making the transition to high school while always crediting the fans for a portion of the winnings.

When asked what 3-2 meant to him, Cepeda simply stated, “It means we can play with anybody on Island. I welcome the support, we are building something here. I told the staff I am not a one-year-wonder, I want a three to five year plan.”

The Bulldogs will rest up next weekend during their BYE week while the Geckos will face the Sanchez Sharks menacing defense.

Friars 27, Dolphins 7

The FD Friars were coming fresh off an overtime loss to the GW Geckos last weekend but proved they can win convincingly against the Southern Dolphins.

The Dolphins managed to get the looming scoreless title off their back by scoring the games first touchdown, their first of the season.  Things quickly shifted gears in the second quarter as Friars quarterback Tyler Okiyama hit Nick Aglubat for a touchdown.  Moments later, the Frairs’ special team recovered a fumble and returned it for a touchdown to push the lead 14-7.

It was smooth sailing for the Friars after halftime with Okiyama punching a TD off a quarterback sneak to extend the lead to 20-7.  The Frairs would tack on another TD before games end to put the Dolphins away for good.

The Friars will face the undefeated Guam High Panthers next weekend while Southern will play the JFK Islanders in what is shaping up to be both teams last chance to grab a regular season win before the playoffs in early October.

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Sports legend Joe Taitano used to run to school at JFK from his Yigo home and back. He continued this routine up to 1979 when he’d run from home to GW gym and back to practice for the South Pacific Games with the national basketball team. Guam went on to win its second straight SPG gold medal.

 

 

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