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DAMIAN RUNS WILD IN FD WIN

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By Robert Balajadia

 FD Friars’ Zavier Damian zipped around the GW Geckos defensive line running a total 126 yards and 2 touchdowns in tonight’s game. (photo by Jesse Castro)

FD Friars’ Zavier Damian zipped around the GW Geckos defensive line running a total of 126 yards and 2 touchdowns in Friday night’s game. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Friars running back Zavier Damian had 13 carries for 126 yards and two touchdowns as FD defeated the GW Geckos 27-14 during IIAAG’s Friday night football. The Friar defense came up big in the second half, holding the Geckos to just six points.

Damian scored the final two touchdowns for FD in the fourth quarter, including a 42-yard touchdown run to push the Friar lead 20-12. Damian took the handoff and followed his blocking until he got into the Gecko secondary where he made two defenders miss while sprinting past teammate receiver Nicolas Aglubat, who made the final block for Damian to break free for the score.

“I play a lot of rugby,” stated Damian when asked how he was able to avoid getting hit by the Gecko defense. “There is a tradition here at FD where each captain passes down the flag since 08 and I got the flag this year so I have to contribute to my team and show up at practice and this is just the result of it.”

McDonald’s Player of the Game FD Friars’ Zavier Damian.

McDonald’s Player of the Game FD Friars’ Zavier Damian

Damian then punched in a seven-yard touchdown run on a toss play later in the quarter to extend the lead 27-12 off the extra point conversion by kicker Brian Leon Guerrero.

The Friar offense got off to a slow start in their opening game against the JFK Islanders and the offense still seemed slow in the first half against the Geckos with FD’s only score coming right before the half on a play-action pass at the goal line where quarterback Tyler Okiyama hit Aglubat for a wide-open touchdown to go up 7-6.

The second half was a different story for FD on offense and defense as cornerback Roy Taimanglo sparked the third quarter with a 35-yard interception return for touchdown, picking off Geckos quarterback Brendan Santos right in front of the Geckos sidelines and streaked down the field untouched. Taimanglo had a big day against the Gecko passing game nearly coming away with three interceptions.

The Geckos responded after the interception as running back Hank Sablan capped off a 70-yard drive with a five-yard touchdown run to trim the Friar lead 14-12. A failed two-point conversion had GW still trailing, though it would be the last time the offense scored.

Fighting for a comeback, the Gecko defense managed to trap Friars’ running back Albert Johnston in the end zone for a safety.

On a kick-off return GW Geckos’ Hank Sablan broke the attempted tackle by FD Friars’ Tristen Hocog at the 23 yard line and continued his run to the 42 yard line before being stopped. (photo by Jesse Castro)

On a kick-off return GW Geckos’ Hank Sablan broke the attempted tackle by FD Friars’ Tristen Hocog at the 23-yard line and continued his run to the 42-yard line before being stopped. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Okiyama went 13 for 19 for 91 yards and one touchdown while receiver Bryton Cepeda caught seven passes for 54 yards and also had an interception on defense. Aglubat had five catches for 32 yards and a touchdown.

Sablan led GW with eight carries for 55 yards and one touchdown. Santos scored the other touchdown for GW in the first quarter on a quarterback sneak at the goal line.

Damian credits his big night to his coaching staff and how good their play calling has been while saying, “My results are their results and I’m just a key player. Their coaching ethics are good and they train me to do everything I can.”

The Friars improve to 2-0 and will play the Southern Dolphins next weekend, which will be the Dolphins first game of the season after two forfeits. The Geckos drop to 1-2, suffering their second straight loss, and will play the Okkodo Bulldogs next Friday.

 

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GW Geckos’ Rick Guevara with an 8 yard run past the Friars defense before being chased down by FD Friars’ Joshua Miranda. (photo by Jesse Castro)

GW Geckos’ Rick Guevara with an 8 yard run past the Friars defense before being chased down by FD Friars’ Joshua Miranda. (photo by Jesse Castro)

FD Friars’ Albert Johnston headed towards his path for a 2 yard gain before being stopped by GW Geckos’ Adam Uncangco. (photo by Jesse Castro)

FD Friars’ Albert Johnston heada towards his path for a 2 yard gain before being stopped by GW Geckos’ Adam Uncangco. (photo by Jesse Castro)

GW Geckos’ Rick Guevara found his path through the FD Friars defense for an 18 yard run. (photo by Jesse Castro)

GW Geckos’ Rick Guevara finds his path through the FD Friars defense for an 18-yard run. (photo by Jesse Castro)

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The ND Royals have only lost one soccer game in the past four years (2016-2019), which was an early season loss to the St. Paul Warriors in 2019. ND was coming into 2020 as the four-time defending champions.

The ND Royals on their victory lap after defeating the Academy Cougars 3-2 to become four-time IIAAG Girls High School Soccer Champions. (Photo by Michael Blas)

 

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