By Regina Shiroma
The last time these two teams met, the Cars Plus Rams went home with a championship. However this time around, the story had a different ending. The Rams were undone after suffering a loss to the Pepsi Warriors 16-7 Saturday afternoon at the UOG field.
Glimpses of splendor defined the Rams team that showed up to play. Their seemingly dynamic style failed them against the tough defense of the Warriors. Will Williams’ usual scrambles in the pocket that usually ended in glorious touchdown-making plays were not the case against the Warriors. Sacks and a loss of yardage were the result of most scrambles, as Williams was unable to find an open receiver and at the same time was swarmed by a host of Warrior defenders. On a few occasions Williams’ was able to grab first downs, in fact at one point, Williams grabbed the first down three times in a row, but all were called back due to a penalty in the backfield.
Throughout the game, the Rams were unable to find their rhythm or gain momentum no thanks to the relentless Warrior defense and aggressive offense.
The Warriors grabbed ahold of a 9-0 lead at the half, and never lost it. Although, early in the third quarter, Williams shone some light on the struggling Rams team after connecting with Jacob Torres to score their first and only touchdown. Jason Baza knocked in the PAT to bring the Rams within two of the Warriors.
Warriors’ Stephen “Juice” Santos thundered right back with a kick-off return touchdown, and kicker Jared Wood’s successful kick put the score at 16-7.
In the first half, after a bad snap by the Rams resulted in a short punt, the Warriors were in dangerous territory for the Rams. However, the Warriors were unable to capitalize on the good field positioning, resulting in a turnover on downs.
Still, the Warriors eager to get on the board recorded two consecutive sacks by Warriors’ Santos and Mike Tamua, pushing the Rams into their own five-yard line and making it third and a long 22 yards. Williams scrambled and took the Rams out of the danger zone, but due to holding in the end zone, officials awarded the Warriors with a safety.
Hosea Ware used his ground game to his advantage, tacking in first down runs to bring his Warriors down the field. Bringing them to second and goal at the one-yard line late in the second quarter, Warriors quarterback Danny Manibusan dove in for the one-yard touchdown. Wood sent the kick through the uprights making the score 9-0.
Warriors’ Ware and Santos were essential forces on their respective sides of the ball. Ware ran hard on the ground, gaining a lot of yardage for his team, while Santos played a part on almost every defensive stop. Through Williams’ scrambles, Santos was just as quick tallying in a few sacks for the day.
For Sunday’s MFL match up, the Angels will face the Falcons at the UOG field at 2:30P.M.
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