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ANGELS BEAT KNIGHTS IN MFL OPENER

The IP&E Angels kicked off the 2014 Miller Football League with a win over the DLX Knights at the Hal Shiroma field in Dededo.

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By Michael J.A. Nauta Jr.

It’s been a long time since gridiron action under the lights has taken place in the Miller Football League. Last night marked the season-opener for 2014 as both the IP&E Angels and DLX Knights came ready to battle one another. Together with their fans, players and coaches from both teams returned to an old stomping ground as the game was played under the lights at the Hal Shiroma Football Field in Dededo.

Despite the on and off rain showers, it was business as usual and both teams gave everyone in attendance a great first game of the year. When all was said and done, it was the Angels who spoiled the season debut of the Knights after picking-up the 10-6 victory.

While both sides may have shown a bit of rust on the offensive side of things early in the game, it was the defenses that put on an early showing. IP&E was first on offense and were looking to post the season’s first points. However, the newly formed Knights teamed had no problems on defense as they allowed two yards in three snaps before forcing their opponents to punt.

Getting their first crack on offense, DLX’s Adrian Davis quickly picked-up positive yardage on back-to-back runs. Threatening to push the chains into Angel’s territory, the Knights took a chance on fourth and short only this time, the Angels returned the favor defensively and forced a turnover on downs. The pace for the remainder of the first quarter stayed the same, as each team was able to run two more series to no avail.

At the start of the second quarter, the Knights wasted no time and gain a fresh set of downs after a huge 11-yard run by Simon Alejandro. On the ensuing play, a well-executed screen pass by DLX placed a player in the end zone in what looked to be the game’s first score. However, a holding penalty negated the score and called back the play. The Knights seemed a bit disturbed by the call and lost focus for a short time that caused a fumble turning the ball back to the Angels.

Things may not have been going in favor offensively for the Knights, but the newest team in the league was able to hold ground against the usually high offensive-powered Angels forcing them to punt a few more times before halftime. Going into the break neither team was able to produce keeping the scoreboard reflecting “goose eggs.”

It wasn’t until late in the third quarter when the scoreless drought came to an end. After several missed attempts, Angels starting quarterback Steven “S.P.” Phillips finally zeroed in on an open Storm Rosario for a completion that turned into a 54-yard touchdown reception. A successful PAT by David Cruz increased the IP&E lead to 7-0.

The Angels lineup ready to take the field in the pre-game introduction. (GSPN photo)

The Angels lineup ready to take the field before the pre-game introduction. (GSPN photo)

The score by the Angels seemed to have awakened the entire squad and kept momentum going in their favor on both sides of the ball heading into the fourth and final period.

An interception by Alvin Merfalen gave IP&E another offensive series to work with. Not settling for the one possession lead, the Angels capitalized on the turnover as Cruz split the uprights from 26-yards out upping his team’s lead to 10-0.

With less than two minutes left in the game, the Knights refused to “give up” and continued to battle. Eventually marching into Angel’s territory, the Knights set-up camp on the three-yard line. Two downs later, Jeromie Bell pounded past the Angels defense for a three-yard touchdown run making it a 10-6 game.

Things got a bit interesting on the kick-off as DLX successfully executed an onside-kick. However, despite being able to run a few more plays, time became their enemy and the signal to end the game was blown giving the Angels their first win of the season.

Miller Football League action resumes Sunday with a rematch of last year’s championship game. The Cars Plus Rams will be taking on the defending-champion Pepsi Warriors. Kickoff is schedule for 5pm at the Hal Shiroma Football Field.

PHOTO GALLERY:

Knights' quarterback takes a shot down field, but over throws his target. (GSPN photo)

Knights’ quarterback takes a shot down field, but over throws his target. (GSPN photo)

Angels quarterback Steve Phillips reads the defense and calls an audible. (GSPN photo)

Angels quarterback Steve Phillips reads the defense and calls an audible. (GSPN photo)

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