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GECKO DEFENSE HOLDS DOWN SHARKS

The championship rematch between the Sanchez Sharks and GW Geckos ended in an all-out defensive war with the Geckos getting two huge passing plays to come away with the win to stay undefeated.

By Robert Balajadia

The Sanchez Sharks ran all over the GW Geckos in the 2013 championship game, but Friday night’s rematch between the two schools ended much differently. The Geckos aired out two big touchdown passes and set up road blocks all over the field to contain the Sharks in a 15-6 win at the Gecko field in Mangilao.

Geckos quarterback Brandon Santos hit receivers Adrian Cruz and Isaiah McGill for big touchdowns in the first and third quarters while the defense halted the Sharks run game.

When asked if this game was a bit of payback from the championship game, Santos responded honestly.

“Yeah, it kinda of was. Sanchez is always a good team and they always play hard. All the returnees know [Sanchez] beat us two times in a row so we really wanted this one,” admitted Cruz.

Nearing the end of the first quarter, Santos connected with Cruz on a post route as Cruz evaded the Sharks secondary on a break away score from 45 yards out to shake off a series of punting from both team on the first few drives. A PAT conversion from Tevin Santos put GW up 7-0.

The only hiccup the Geckos had was a muffed punt that led to a Sharks goal line touchdown from quarterback Eric Reyes in the second quarter.

Sanchez QB Eric Reyes airs one out to his WR but was not able to make the reception down field. (Photo by Joey Blas)

The Sharks were searching for their offense and got a big break in the second quarter after punting the ball away to the Geckos on a 4th and long. Geckos Ronnie Blas let the punt slip through his hands near their own 20-yard line as it bounced all the way to the three where the Sharks recovered.

It only took Reyes one play to ride his blockers to put up Sanchez’ first points but a failed 2-point conversion left GW in the lead still at 7-6.

A defensive dominated third quarter left the score still 7-6 before the Geckos flexed their dangerous ability to close out a football game.

Santos found McGill right in the middle of the Sharks defense where he bolted past two defenders and went untouched for a 63-yard score midway through the quarter. The Sharks blocked the PAT still making it a one-score game 13-6.

“We had noticed that Sanchez open up the middle so both touchdowns we threw posts. They are a strong team on the outside so we wanted to attack the inside,” summed up Santos on the big plays.

Aside from the two big plays, the Sharks defense forced GW into numerous punts, but a punt midway through the final quarter sucked the momentum right out of the team.

The Sharks stopped the Geckos from advancing past the 40-yard line and were preparing to make a run at a possible game-tying drive. GW got off a perfect pun which was destined to land at the five-yard line with implications of a touchback.

Instead, the punt was being tried by the Sharks in search of a short return which ended up as points for the Geckos as the returner tried to cut back into the end zone to escape pressure but was shutdown instead giving GW two points and the ball by way of a safety, leading 15-6.

“We had a bye so we worked real hard in practice. We have to come out and play hard against Sanchez because they are a really tough team,” said Cruz.

Neither team managed to put more points up with GW improving to an unbeaten record of 2-0 while the Sharks fall to 2-2 with the loss.

PHOTO GALLERY BROUGHT TO YOU BY:

Wil Castro

 Sanchez Taz Evangelista heads towards midfield after receiving the punt for a gain of 15 yards. (Photo by Joey Blas)

Sanchez Taz Evangelista heads towards midfield after receiving the punt for a gain of 15 yards. (Photo by Joey Blas)

Gecko's WR Isiah McGill heads for the end zone after making a nice grab up the middle. (Photo by Joey Blas)

Gecko’s WR Isiah McGill heads for the end zone after making a nice grab up the middle. (Photo by Joey Blas)

Sanchez RB Mitchell Igcasenza receives the handoff in the back field and was able to pick up a couple of yards on the run. (Photo by Joey Blas)

Sanchez RB Mitchell Igcasenza receives the handoff in the back field and was able to pick up a couple of yards on the run. (Photo by Joey Blas)

Gecko WR Adrian Cruz makes a nice reception in the middle of the field and takes it all the way to the end zone for the first touchdown of the game. (Photo by Joey Blas)

Gecko WR Adrian Cruz makes a nice reception in the middle of the field and takes it all the way to the end zone for the first touchdown of the game. (Photo by Joey Blas)

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