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PANTHERS CIRCLE THE WAGON

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By Robert Balajadia

Panthers Lordan “LJ” Aguon ran for two touchdowns, one to tie and one to gain the lead, after two huge defensive plays made by teammate Joshua Foronda during the Panthers comeback victory. (photo by Errol Alegre Jr.)

For the better part of three quarters, the Okkodo Bulldogs dominated the Guam High Panthers in what was shaping up to be a statement win by the Bulldogs after maintaining a 12-6 lead through the first three quarters. That was until Panthers senior defensive specialist Joshua Foronda scooped up two forced fumbles that junior quarterback Lordan “LJ” Aguon turned into touchdowns to cap off a 20-point fourth quarter run.

The Panthers defeated the Bulldogs 26-12 at the Guam High field in Agana Friday night, keeping their perfect record (4-0) in tact while dropping the Bulldogs to (2-2).

The three touchdowns in the fourth quarter, as well as the game, were all scored on ground as Aguon admitted his passing game was well scouted and shut down. Trailing 12-6 late in the third, Foronda and a host of defenders were able to pry the ball out of Bulldogs Calvin Muna’s hands forcing the first fumble in which Foronda scooped up.

“When we were down, we kept our heads down. We needed a little drive in us and we came out resilient. When I caused and got the fumble, it pumped up the team. I guess that is what gave us the momentum and that is when the game changed,” stated Foronda.

After Aguon took a QB sneak into the end zone to tie the game at 12, the quiet cats through three quarters began to roar back with intensity. During the in suing the kickoff, the Bulldogs Earl Bascon took a squibbed kick ball straight up the middle where he found a waiting Teagan Brown who popped the ball right out of Bascon’s hands and into the sticky fingers of Foronda.

After the turnover, Aguon completely abandoned the passing game and went straight to the ground calling his number on a draw play that was good for a 14-yard touchdown, his second of the game. The Panthers defense did not allow a Bulldogs first down in the fourth quarter forcing them into turnovers. Brown put the Bulldogs away with a nine yard TD with less than a minute left to play.

The Panthers passing game was non-existant but their defense did a good job at making sure the Bulldogs QB was contained, preventing them from scoring through the air for the game. (photo by Errol Alegre Jr.)

Aguon credits his defense for the win but when asked about his ability to translate turnovers into points he stated, “I had to ask coach what we needed to do to get yards. I spent a lot of time reading the defense and knew they were blitzing on the side I just ran the other way. We just needed to outsmart the defense and that is exactly what we did.”

Brown led all rushers taking 18 carries for 126 yards while Aguon took nine carries for 71 yards. Fellow back-mate Terry Geller had eight carries for 50 yards while also scoring the teams first touchdown.

The Bulldogs Arthur Neidlic took a forced fumble to the house for six points in the first quarter igniting the Okkodo defense which was able to keep the Panthers passing attack from being a factor. The second touchdown for the Bulldogs was scored on a QB sneak in the third quarter.

The Panthers will get next weekend off with a bye while the Bulldogs welcome the GW Geckos to their field next Friday night.

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COMING SOON …

High school championships: Rugby, Girls Basketball, Tennis

QUICK HITS

After suffering a TKO loss on One 154, Brandon Vera left his gloves in the cage, symbolizing the end of his MMA career. Happy retirement Brandon!
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The Guahan Junior Barbarians represented Guam well in Singapore. The girls U18 took first place in their division in the 13th Centaurs International Youth Rugby Tournament while the boys captured second place playing ironman rugby with no subs.

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