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SANTOS KICKS OVERTIME WINNER

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By Robert Balajadia

Rashaun Blas hauled in a few jump balls, including this one over Sharks Derrick Evangelista and John Aldana, fitting right in to the offense despite it being his first game for the Geckos. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

Only two IIAAG football games have gone into overtime this season and the GW Geckos have won both of them.

Fresh off a tough loss to the Okkodo Bulldogs, the Geckos proved they still have the champion spirit by taking down the second ranked Sanchez Sharks 17-14 off a game winning 21-yard field goal from Tevin Santos.

“I was really nervous but all my teammates told me that I can do it. I went in focused, blacked out everything but me and the ball and nailed it. It was meant to be,” stated Santos.

Unsure about what they were going to do, Santos was not the Geckos first option at kicker having teammates practice during the timeout. Santos gave the most promising kick of the two selections which proved to be the difference in the Gecko win.

To make matters worst, the snap for the kick was too high but holder Storm Rosario managed to pin it down allowing Santos to win the game.

“Thank God we have a good kicker because I was it holding down with my wrist. This one was all on the kicker,” stated Rosario.

Rosario defines the “utility player” title in playing on the Geckos offense, defense and special teams. He gives all the credit to his coaching staff for conditioning and his versatility.

The Sharks began overtime with the ball but were stopped on their third scoring try on a Dondre Barnes fumble.

The Sharks defense has allowed only six points entering the game, leaving a trail of shutout opponents along the way but Geckos quarterback Joseph “J.C.” Carreon had something to prove. Carreon had the ball in his hands with a chance to win in the final minute of the game last week against the Bulldogs but threw a game ending interception that resulted in a loss. On the Geckos opening drive against the Sharks, he went 5-6 while tossing a perfect dime to Rosario for a 42-yard touchdown. Carreon used a QB draw to convert on the 2-point attempt giving the Geckos an 8-0 lead all ready surpassing the point total the Sharks gave up all season.

Carreon passed for his second touchdown late in the second quarter hitting the versatile Rosario for the pairs second pass and catch touchdown extending the lead to 14-0.

“I just want to thank my offensive line and my receivers for catching the ball. If everyone does their job then we are going to score. I just tried my best to contribute,” stated Carreon.

GW Geckos Storm Rosario

GW Geckos Joseph “J.C.” Carreon

An unfamiliar target suited up for the Geckos as Rashaun Blas played his first game for GW coming up with a few big third down catches. Carreon credited the plays towards Blas’ skill and the coaching staff for having him ready for game time.

At some point, you felt the Sharks were going to respond and wasting no time was Johnny Cruz-Aguon who took the third quarter kickoff 80 yards for the their first score of the game. Carreon admitted that the pressure was starting to mount after the momentum quickly shifted. The Sharks had a kickoff returned for touchdown right before halftime which was called back on a clipping call.

The Gecko offense struggled in the red zone in the second half, in large part to the Sharks defense, making three empty trips while going for it on fourth down instead of kicking field goals.

Sanchez all purpose back Barnes scored on the Sharks first offensive possession in the third quarter pulling them within two. The Gecko defense was all over the 2-point conversion but the Sharks managed to get the best of a tipped ball situation, converting the PAT and tying the game at 14.

A scoreless fourth quarter for both teams forced the overtime.

Sharks Dondre Barnes managed to punch in a short-yaradage touchdown which lead to a game tying 2-point conversion on the Sharks first offensive possession in the third quarter. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

With the way Carreon was playing, you figured the ball was going to be put in his hands to win the game with his arm but the Geckos opted to run the ball three straight times setting up the game winning field goal.

When asked why he did not get the chance to make a play with his arm Carreon simply stated,”We kept passing and so obviously they thought we were going to pass. We tried to catch them off-guard with the runs. The blocking was there, we just didn’t do a good job at following our blockers.”

This was a much needed win for GW as they improve to (3-2) while the Sharks drop to (4-2). The Geckos will close out their season against the JFK Isalnders next weekend while the Sharks rest up on their bye week, the week before playoffs.

In other games:

JFK defeated Southern 32-18 in the battle of winless teams on Homecoming Night.

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