📅07 October 2012
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By Robert Balajadia

Islanders Jarred Hernden did most of the hard running for JFK but Geckos stiff defense led by Michael Hocog refused to let any Islander in the end zone. (photo by Errol Alegre Jr.)

The old school rivalry between the GW Geckos and JFK Islanders officially ended the 2012 high school football season with the Geckos walking away with a 15-0 win Saturday at the GW home field on their homecoming night.

With heavy rain on the forecast, the one-win Islanders proved they can still play by keeping GW within a touchdown until late in the fourth quarter.

Geckos running back Hank Sablan took over quarterback duties for a few snaps late in the game while managing to hit receiver Fram Leon Guerrero for the game sealing touchdown with less than four minutes left in the game.

Joe “J.C.” Carreon came in for the 2-point conversion throwing a rainbow to Dylan Naputi to stretch the lead to 15-0  – all but ending it.

The Geckos defense came up big before halftime with the Islander offense five yards from pay dirt after a penalty. JFK tried to use a fake hand-off on second down to running back Jarred Hernden but GW all-star defensive standout Michael “Boise” Hocog sniffed out the play and tackled the ballcarrier six yards behind the line of scrimmage. The next play resulted in a Hernden fumble erasing what would have been a possible game tying touchdown.

Geckos Hank Sablan gained chunks of yards on the ground despite pursuit of JFK defender Antonio Manglona. Sablan showed his QB skills by tossing a TD late in the fourth quarter to put the Islanders away for good. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

“Every practice we come hard and we put in work. What we put it in is what we get. I just read the runners and realized the holes were open and I just blitzed and was able to make the tackle,” stated Hocog on his and overall team defensive performance. Islanders were facing a stiff run defense for majority of the game but managed to maintain a steady drive in the third quarter. JFK got inches away from the red zone but the fumble problems continued as they coughed up yet another ball to the Gecko defense. The GW defense forced the Islanders into four fumbles all of which were recovered by the Geckos.

Carreon connected on a 31-yard strike to Darren Mariano in the first quarter for the teams first touchdown but offense was unable to get significant yardage most of the game.

Playoffs, Here We Come

The Geckos (4-2) find themselves in a three way tie for second place with the Okkodo Bulldogs and Sanchez Sharks but the points allowed all season have the Geckos at the bottom of the three. The first round will feature:

Sharks vs. Dolphins

Bulldogs vs. Islanders

Geckos vs. Friars

The Geckos have a long road ahead of them if they plan to repeat as IFL champions. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

Every team wants to peak at the right time and Geckos head coach Ryan Rios understands this tactic more than anyone. When asked about his matchup against the Friars and if they were peaking at the right time Rios simply stated, “we are still a young team and these guys are going through bumps and bruises. We are getting better and we are focusing on the playoffs. We are going to prepare to face FD like we do every other team. We always adjust. If we are good at adjusting then we are a good defense but if we just sit back and allow them to do what they want to do then we are not a good defense.”

The All-Island team is scheduled to be selected by the coaches Monday night.


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