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RAIDERS BEAT ANGELS IN OPENER

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By Robert Balajadia

Raiders QB Will Williams goes hard on a converted 2-point conversion in the third quarter and he is willing to lose a helmet if it means putting up points for his team. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Comebacks are nothing new for Raiders quarterback Will Williams and beating the Hal’s Angels during opening week of the 2012-2013 Budweiser Football League 34-26 at Eagle field, Saturday in Mangilao, was just another statement win in his young impressive career.

The game was tied at 26 with the Raiders gaining possession after an Angels punt. Williams was scrambling for yardage majority of the game, even resorted to taking a few snaps as the lone back, but trusted his arm on the teams final drive by converting three of four pass plays including a 45-yard bomb to Jacob Torre for the go-ahead touchdown.

The play was set up with Williams tossing a dart to receiver Alex Azcarraga, who caught it in stride for a big 30-yard gain. Williams then was flushed from the pocket but separated from the Angel pass rush with great speed allowing him just enough time to find an open Torre who was able to reel in the pass and just fall back into the end zone to put the Raiders up 32-26. A two point conversion by Williams gave them the eight-point lead.

Angels QB Steve “SP” Phillips and last years MVP receiver Josh Bula had a great start to the game as the pair converted a fourth and long with Bula snatching the ball out of the air away from two Raider defenders for a 43-yard touchdown but with daylight dwindling, the two could not find a connection on the Angels final drive resulting in a turnover on downs allowing the Raiders to kneel out the remaining seconds on the clock.

Bula also managed to bring home a momentum stealing touchdown late in the third quarter off a 103-yard kick off return to give the Angels the 26-20 lead.

Hal’s Angels QB Steve “SP” Phillips dropped back and found receiver Issu Mendiola for a long 50-yard touchdown pass. (photo by Jesse Castro)

After signaling he was open, Mendiola went up and grabbed a perfectly placed pass by Phillips for the Angels second touchdown of the game in the second quarter. (photo by Jesse Castro)

The Raiders failed to get a first down on the following drive which resulted in a turnover on downs in the fourth quarter with the Angels offense looking to tack on another six points but the Raider defense forced a fumble which they recovered led by All-Star linebacker Ryan Rios and defensive specialist outside linebacker Kellen Kawasaki.

Williams laid out a pretty pass to Azcarraga who leaped in front of the Angels defensive back to haul in the 30-yard touchdown pass. The Raider offense fumbled the ball after the defense forced the Angels into a turnover on downs but the Raider-D came up strong sacking Phillips on the first play of the drive which led them to punt the ball back to them, which was the difference in the game.

Williams displayed his dual-threat attack early scoring off a 70-yard scramble leaving the entire Angel defense in the dust getting the Raider crowd ecstatic.

Phillips managed to hit three different receivers for touchdowns including Bula, a 50+ yarder to Issu Mendiola in the second quarter, and a 35-yard strike to a wide open Mike Pangelinan right before the half to extend the lead to 20-12.

Angels defensive end Justin Cruz was not letting Raiders Jacob Torre get away on this play, taking out the runners legs. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Azcarrage had two touchdown grabs including one from backup QB Danny Manibusan from 40 yards out in the third quarter. Torre grabbed two touchdowns also, both from Williams, one in the second and fourth quarter. Raiders tight end Timothy Swaney did not grab a touchdown but helped the Raiders convert on three third downs and two crucial fourth down plays which in the end played an equally big part in the win.

The Angels had a tough time converting on 2-point conversions not converting any after their four touchdowns. Had they converted, the game would have went into overtime and they would have been playing with an eight-point lead on the Raiders final drive instead of 26-point tie. The only two points converted by the Angels were on a safety off a bad snapped punt from the Raiders, where the Angel-D bottled up Williams in the end zone.

BFL opening week action will continues Sunday with the Islanders taking on the Eagles at 3 pm at Eagle Field.

 

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