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SHARKS SHAKE OFF EARLY RUST

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By Colin Leon Guerrero

Daniel Cruz of the Sanchez Sharks slips past an Okkodo Bulldog defender and scores a touchdown. (photo by Asha Robles)

Daniel Cruz of the Sanchez Sharks slips past an Okkodo Bulldog defender and scores a touchdown. (photo by Asha Robles)

The reigning IFL champion Simon Sanchez Sharks officially began their season Friday night as they took out Okkodo Bulldogs 24-12 at the Okkodo Field. After missing the first week of games due to lack of players, it took the Sharks a while to get into the game.

“It was rough, we started out pretty slow,” said Sanchez running back Daniel Cruz who scored two of Sanchez’s touchdowns. “We haven’t practiced with a lot of us within the last couple of days too,” added Cruz shedding some light on the slow start.

Okkodo, coming off a tough opening loss against JFK, were very spirited at the beginning of the game and it showed with the way they played. Ten minutes into the first half quarterback Leeroy Zapatos threw a deep ball to receiver Angel DeLeon Guerrrero within the Sharks five-yard line. Two plays later Zapatos would take it in himself on a QB sneak putting the Bulldogs on the board first. The PAT was good making the score 7-0.

Sanchez’s offense was ready though as Dondre Barnes weaved through a number of defenders on a 1st down run that brought the Sharks in Bulldog territory. After a turning the ball over to the Bulldogs, Matthew Sojo intercepted a pass from Zapatos and returned it for a touchdown. After the failed two-point conversion the score remained 7-6 in the first quarter.

“The boys got their stuff together, everybody did their part and it all worked out,” said Cruz as the Sharks defense stepped up and contained the Bulldogs for the remainder of the game. By halftime the ball game was tied 12-12.

In the second half the Sharks defense once again made things hard for Okkodo’s offense to gain some momentum. Which only helped the Shark’s offense, as Cruz was able to punch in a touchdown midway through the third quarter putting the Sharks up 18-12.

“Every team is out to beat us this year, but we’re going to give them a battle,” said Cruz who understands the pressure that comes with being the defending champions. With the win Sanchez improves their record 1-1, as Okkodo falls to 0-2 with the loss.

PHOTO GALLERY BROUGHT TO YOU BY:

http://www.akguam.com/ou/tamuning-scion/

Okkodo Bulldogs' Jacob Sanchez takes down the Sanchez Shark runner. (photo by Asha Robles)

Okkodo Bulldogs’ Jacob Sanchez takes down the Sanchez Shark runner. (photo by Asha Robles)

Okkodo Bulldogs' Quarterback, Angel Deleon Guerrero, looks for an open pass. (photo by Asha Robles)

Okkodo Bulldogs’ Quarterback, Angel Deleon Guerrero, looks for an open pass. (photo by Asha Robles)

Sanchez Sharks' Larry Saralu makes the catch. (photo by Asha Robles)

Sanchez Sharks’ Larry Saralu makes the catch. (photo by Asha Robles)

Sanchez Sharks' offensive line starting off a play. (photo by Asha Robles)

Sanchez Sharks’ offensive line starting off a play. (photo by Asha Robles)

Sanchez Sharks' Daniel Cruz looks for open room to run. (photo by Asha Robles)

Sanchez Sharks’ Daniel Cruz looks for open room to run. (photo by Asha Robles)

Okkodo Bulldog defenders get ahold of Sharks' Larry Saralu as they attempt to take him to the ground. (photo by Asha Robles

Okkodo Bulldog defenders get ahold of Sharks’ Larry Saralu as they attempt to take him to the ground. (photo by Asha Robles

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QUICK HITS

Congratulations to the 2024 Guam Rugby Cup Champions: Tao Tao Mana (Men’s Cup Champions) and Southern Rugby Club (Women’s Cup Champions)
—————————————–
Three graduating ruggers have signed Division I letters to play college rugby stateside.
Saige Calvo from Okkodo heads to Mount St. Mary’s
Mia Topasna from Academy heads to Lindenwood
Tanner Costa from FD heads to Iowa Central

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