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GECKOS SURVIVE FRIARS RALLY

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By Robert Balajadia

The fourth quarter has proven to be the most exciting quarter in high school football this weekend as the FD Friars and GW Geckos went in to overtime with both teams scoring all their points in the fourth quarter.

The Geckos survived an epic comeback by the Friars beating them 20-14 in overtime at the Geckos field in Mangilao during Saturday nights IIAAG football showcase.

GW’s Joseph Carreon throws to receiver Raymond Macias to convert the 1st down in the first quarter. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

After giving up two quick scores by the Friars, the Geckos buckled down in overtime as the Hocog brothers delivered. Friars quarterback sophomore Tyler Okiyama was riding a fourth quarter hot streak into the overtime which FD used to tie the game. With each team given four chances to score outside of 10 yards, the Friars began the overtime with possession of the ball but ran one play which ended in a near touchdown for the Geckos.

Sophmore Kelvin Hucog jumped the route of the receiver picking off Okiyama’s pass and running it back 90 yards for what looked to be the game winning play. A block in the back denied the touchdown but gave the Geckos possession of the ball and only needing a touchdown to win.

“We didn’t really prepare for that type of offense but I feel we adjusted well to them,” stated Hocog.

On the second play of the drive, All Island senior defensive playmaker Michael Hocog took a snap as the running back and drove it right up the middle of the Friars defense for the game winning score. While making plays on defense is Michael’s forte, stepping up on offense was something he was always ready to do.

“We usually practice how to play multiple positions so just in case there is a need for one us to step up, we can,” stated Michael.

The Friars stormed a furious comeback after trailing 14-0 in the final eight minutes. Friars quarterback Tyler Okiyama led the charge while facing the two score deficit after Friars Christopher Mallada recovered a Geckos fumble. Talk about needing to have short-term memory, Okiyama shook off a series of overthrown passes to deliver a 13-yard strike to junior receiver Nicolas Aglubat to score the Friars first TD.

The Geckos got the ball with a chance to close out the game within the four minute warning. The Friars defense made a big play stripping the ball away from the Geckos giving their offense a shot to tie the game.

Okiyama made most of the opportunity in the clutch while facing a fourth down by throwing a perfect pass to receiver Bryton Cepeda who made a highlight reel catch to put the Friars within three yards of a touchdown. A play later, Okiyama found his favorite target Aglubat in the corner of the end zone for the pairs second set of touchdowns. Brian Leon Guerreo solidified the tie with the point after.

The Geckos would have been in deep trouble without the two touchdown performance of senior quarterback Joseph Carreon, all coming in the fourth as well. The first score was off a fumbled snap which Carreon managed to control and punch in for six followed by a Brian Leon Guerrero two-point conversion. The second was a sure shot 44-yard run through the entire Friars defense to extend the lead to 14-0.

“It would not have worked if the line didn’t block. We just needed to follow the blocking. Also, without the defense giving us the ball, we wouldn’t have been able to score those touchdowns,” stated Carreon about his teams offensive and defensive plays.

The Geckos bounced back from their only loss of the season which they suffered last week against the GH Panthers improving to (2-1). The Friars captured their first win last weekend but now fall to (1-2) with the loss.

The Geckos will face the Okkodo Bulldogs (2-2) next weekend while the Friars will face off against the winless Southern Dolphins (0-3).

Sharks 36, Dolphins 0

The Southern Dolphins (0-3) were welcoming two firsts this weekend, their first home game and the first afternoon game.

This season has not been kind to the Dolphins who are not only in search of their first win but first points of the season.  The Sanchez Sharks (3-1) defense has been very entertaining to watch this season and they continued to show they can be considered a threat shutting down the Dolphins offense.

Shark’s Dondre Barnes breaks away from Southern defenders to go on for a 70 yard return ending the first quarter. (photo by Jesse Castro)

The one-sided affair was highlighted by a special teams play that was so quietly celebrated due to its bizarre nature.  The Sharks, already leading 20-0, came out of halftime ready to kick the ball to Dolphins receiving team.  The kick sailed a little to the left of the field with the Dolphins believing it was going to take a bounce outside.  It seemed Sharks Derrick Evangelista knew what was going on as he chased down the ball like a dog to a bone.

None of the Dolphins attempted to go towards the ball allowing it to take a single bounce into Evangelista’s hands who went untouched into the end zone.  The crowd, as well as the coaches, did not know what to make of the play until the head referee raised both hands up signaling the touchdown was good.  The Sharks crowd, still unsure, celebrated the touchdown while most of the fans were still scratching their heads as the Sharks led 28-0 after the play.

Dondre Barnes all but sealed the deal with a red zone touchdown to push the lead to 36-0.

The Dolphins will travel to the GW field to face the Friars (1-2) next Friday while the Sharks will play the JFK Islanders (0-3) at the Okkodo field in Dededo.

 

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