By Regina Shiroma
It’s safe to say that the Metgot Division of the GTA Teleguam Raiders have started off their season on a high note. They upset the two-time defending champs, the Hensel Phelps Giants, in an intense defensive game Sunday afternoon at the UOG field. After two hours of playing under the hot sun and then overcast skies, the final score stood at 6-0.
The Raiders played outstanding defensively, forcing the shutout and allowing few opportunities for the Giants to score. The Giants’ closest opportunity came early in the game as they were knocking on the door for a touchdown at the one-yard line.
The fearless Raiders stopped the Giants from ever entering the end zone, forcing a turnover on downs and making it Raiders ball at the one-yard line. A couple of plays later, the Raiders Xavier “X-Man” Naputi ran to the end zone for a 98-yard touchdown, however a flag against the Raiders was called on the play for holding, therefore the touchdown did not count.
As time was winding down in the first half, the score remained tied at 0-0. Then with just 52 seconds left on the clock, Raiders’ Brandon Salumbides sprinted down the left side of the field for a 52-yard touchdown run, staying just out of reach of a host of Giants defenders.
The Raider nation cheered in excitement for the Metgot as they scored their first touchdown of the season.
Action was at a standstill in the third as teams constantly traded positioning on the field, turning the ball over on downs multiple times. Both teams would bring the ball down into the 20-yard line, but again, both teams buckled down on defense whenever the other was too close.
The fourth quarter saw both teams attempting some last-minute efforts to score. And the Giants almost did. Giants quarterback Mark Laanan Jr. connected with Jalana Garcia for two passes. However, the Raiders stopped the Giants just before they could gain momentum.
The Raiders came close to scoring as well with just under three minutes left in the game. Naputi ran to the outside on two different plays, and both times, was just on the brink of a breakaway before being taken down both times by Giants Mason Manglona.
Mandikiki Giants def. Raiders 42-35
Manha Raiders def. Giants 14-0
Matua Giants def. Raiders 8-6
Cowboys vs. Eagles
Mandikiki Cowboys def. Eagles 14-7
Manha Eagles def. Cowboys 7-6
Metgot Cowboys def. Eagles 33-0
Matua Eagles forfeit (not enough players)
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