By Jesse Pinkston Santos
Typically when a football team has over 20 penalties in a game, the assumption is that the team lost, but that wasn’t the case Saturday night. Despite a tremendous amount of unnecessary penalties, the JFK Islanders walked away proud as they not only beat the two-time defending champion Sanchez Sharks 20-6, but they are now 3-0 on the season. Coming off of a sub-par season last year, JFK is anything but thus far.
After a lot of back and forth and penalties in the first quarter, JFK stopped Sanchez and the Sharks punted away. Islander senior, Wayne-Michael Jesus took off on the sideline finding himself near the Sanchez 25-yard line when a huge block by teammate Christopher Naputi allowed him to find the endzone for a 70-yard punt return touchdown.
The point after was good, boosting JFK up 7-0. Naputi describes his block, “I was just running down field and I saw that my own guy was breaking away and he had one more guy to beat so I sprinted my hardest and tried to block for him. It feels great. It was a nice block and for us to get the first touchdown. It got our boys’ head up and made us more confident.”
Midway through the second quarter the Islanders quarterback Quintin Iriarte found Jesus once again but this time it was in the air. Jesus then picked up 15 yards after the completion for another touchdown. The point after was no good and the Islanders went into halftime with a 13-0 lead. Plagued with even more penalties throughout the second half, JFK managed to push forward.
Seconds into the fourth quarter, Iriarte found Ivan Quidachay in the endzone and with a successful point after attempt, JFK took a commanding 20-0 lead. Nearing the end of the game the Sharks were able to punch in a touchdown up the middle from Mitchell Igcasenza thanks to meaningless yards given to Sanchez due to JFK’s penalties. JFK kneeled out the last few plays to secure the 20-6 win.
Islander defensive end Jared Deleon Guerrero commented on the game. “Yes we had a lot of penalties but we need to encourage and help our [team] to not get mad, stay calm and level headed. I think we have a good outlook as long as we trust each other. We need to stay humble and I think we will be ok.” Deleon Guerrero finished the game with six tackles.
JFK will play at home against Guam High on Saturday at 7 pm next week and Sanchez will be at GW on Friday at 7 pm.
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