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PANTHERS CLINCH TOP SPOT

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By Patrick Lujan

The Guam High Panthers have been riding their undefeated IIAAG football league season on the shoulders of a pair of juniors.

Quarterback L.J. Aguon and running back Tegan Brown came through once again Saturday night in the Panthers 14-3 win over the FD Friars as Aguon tossed both touchdowns and Brown wore down the Friars defense with 112 yards rushing to improve to a league-best 5-0.

L.J. Aguon 2 passing TD

Guam High clinched a first-round playoff bye as the top team in the regular season as they finish off the regular season Friday night against the winless Southern Dolphins.

Holding on to a slim 8-3 halftime lead, the Panthers focused on the ground game in the second half, handing it to their workhorse Brown to lead two 13-play, clock-eating drives.

The second long drive was the backbreaker as Aguon found wide receiver Marcus Domingo on a post pattern for an 18-yard strike on 4th-and-10 at the 3:44 mark in the fourth quarter.

Wide receiver Marcus Domingo gets the assured touchdown signal behind him from the referee to seal the victory over the Friars Saturday night. (photo by Jesse Castro)

“I was just thinking to keep calm and execute the play because I knew my man was going to be open,” Aguon said about his scoring strike. “I felt the linebackers right at me, so I just had to get the ball out there.”

Though the scoring came through the air, it was Brown who fought his way to 72 second-half yards, most of them carrying along Friar defenders.

“I wouldn’t want to hand the ball off to anybody else but him,” Aguon said about his main weaon in the backfield. “He carried the team (tonight). He does more work than I do. He goes both ways and he carries the team on offense.”

“It’s something you do as a running back,” Brown said about his tough running style. “It’s something you’re expected to do by your coaches, the fans, by your family. It’s the heart of a running back and you have to have that to play the position.”

Guam High opened the second half on a 13-play march down to the FD one-yard line that ate up eight minutes off the clock before the Friars defense came away with a huge turnover off an Aguon fumble.

The Friars threatened with an 11-play ensuing drive of their own, but they were stalled at the Panthers 25 and never again regrouped.

Guam High got on the board first in its second possession of the game when Aguon rolled right and found tight end Chance Horvath at midfield. With the FD secondary biting hard on the play, Horvath turned and saw a wide open field as he raced downfield for a 70-yard scoring connection. Aguon snuck in over center for the two-point conversion and the 8-0 lead.

In a defensive battle, the Guam High offensive line came through in the second half pushing through the Maroon Wall for a crucial fourth quarter first down. (photo by Jesse Castro)

FD had two scoring opportunities in the first half. Quarterback Tyler Okiyama found a wide open Bryton Cepeda over the middle for a sure touchdown, but Cepeda couldn’t hold on. The Friars settled for a 24-yard field goal by Brian Leon Guerrero to cut the deficit to 8-3.

Then on the last play of the first half, Chris Wintterle picked off an Aguon pass and ran it down the FD sidelines 63 yards before being tackled at the Guam High 22 as time expired.

Panthers 14, Friars 3

1st: GH – Aguon 70 pass to Horvath (Aguon run) 5:19

2nd: FD – B. Leon Guerrero 24 FG 6:55

4th: GH – Aguon 18 pass to Domingo (pass failed) 3:44

Passing

FD: Okiyama 7-15-2 30; GH: Aguon 5-13-2 129, Domingo 0-1-0 0.

Rushing

FD: Damian 11-68, Quintanilla 8-41, Wintterle 3-6, Okiyama 3-6; GH: Brown 16-112, Aguon 14-40, Jacobs 2-7, Dimmick 1-0.

Receiving

FD: Aglubat 4-17, Guevara 1-6, Cepeda 1-5, Damian 1-2; GH: Horvath 2-73, Jacobs 1-25, Domingo 1-18, Brown 1-10.

Interceptions

Tegan Brown was a beast against the Friars defense racking up 112 tough yards. (photo by Jesse Castro)

FD: E. Leon Guerrero, Wintterle. GH: Morta, Jacobs.

Sacks

FD: Santos. GH: Cruz.

Penalties

FD: 6-30. GH: 8-60.

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