By Jesse Pinkston Santos
“Communication,” states Islander center Curtis Sanchez. That sums up what JFK needs to do in order to reduce their penalties that have been plaguing them this season. “If we can get the [communication] down, then we can all click together. I will help lead and be the one in charge of the line.”
Despite a scoreless first half of football, the JFK Islanders remained the talk of the league, beating Guam High 23-7. As the Islanders improve to 4-0, they are proving that major turnaround is possible in one year. The win sets up a midseason showdown with their biggest rival – the 2-0 GW Geckos this Friday night at GW.
JFK’s running back Danon Mojica would have chalked up four touchdowns but settled for one due to penalties calling back the other three. “All the penalties we had really fired us up,” said Sanchez, “We need to fix this.” On a second and goal situation, Mojica finally got his touchdown as he swept right to the endzone.
The point after was good and gave the Islanders a 7-0 lead in the third quarter. Guam High returned JFK’s kickoff for 20 yards and after a completion to Keith Chauret, the Panthers wound up at midfield. Quarterback Kaimana Bamba threw a 42-yard pass to LaRoy Robinson and soon after, a handoff to Juan King for the two-yard touchdown.
The point after tied the game at 7. The Islanders answered right back, scoring on the next drive as they marched down the field and didn’t look back. Quarterback Quintin Iriarte threw a 30-yard touchdown pass to Wayne-Michael Jesus and with a good point after they were now up 14-7.
Torrential rain welcomed the fourth quarter, which induced fumbles, falling all over the place and more penalties. With 4:40 left in the game a stellar JFK defense forced Guam High to punt but the rain caused a not-so-favorable field position for the Panthers. JFK however enjoyed the fact that they only needed three yards for the touchdown that they got on a quarterback keep up the middle.
Guam High tried to make a comeback but couldn’t get their offense going. About to punt from their own endzone, Panthers opted to run out of bounds to give JFK a safety instead of taking any chances of giving the Islanders another possible touchdown. After exchanging fumbles, time expired and JFK took the 23-7 win.
Mojica broke down the game, “We were really sloppy but I know we can play better. First half we weren’t in our rhythm. We had a lot of turnovers, we didn’t get enough tackles, we missed some open passes.” So what changed the tempo of the game for JFK? Mojica states, “Our captains Quintin Iriarte, Chris Naputi, Sage Garcia and Mikey Pangelinan, were talking to our team telling us how bad we want this. This is our season and we cannot be screwing up like that. We have to play harder.”
Friday will definitely be a challenge for the Islanders as they take on GW Geckos but Mojica feels they are ready. “They’re going to bring it to us and we better be ready to bring it back to them. I’m ready, I’m ready.”
Guam High drops to 0-3 on the season and will play Okkodo at home on Saturday.
AUTHORS NOTE: Thank you to the caring fan who gave me an umbrella to use as I was getting completely soaked! Also thank you to Justin who held the umbrella throughout the fourth quarter so I could write my notes! I really appreciate the help!
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