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LEGACY EARNS THIRD HARD FOUGHT TITLE

It was the toughest challenge Team Legacy has ever been faced with though the two-time defending champions raised their third Guam Women’s Tackle Football League trophy high above the Hal’s Angels Football Field after Saturday night’s championship game.

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By Robert Balajadia

For the third year in a row Team Legacy was the last team standing in the GWTFL finals though this time it was earned harder than ever before.

Legacy managed to hold off a Steel Blazers comeback in the second half by getting the 12-8 final to win the 2014 title in the league’s first ever night game at the Hal’s Angels football field.

Legacy’s Olivia Flores winning the offensive player of the game and linebacker Kineshia Flores winning it on the defensive side both the title for the second year in a row.

Guahan Soldier Player of the Game Olivia Flores.

Guahan Soldier Player of the Game Olivia Flores.

“The Steel Blazers came out to play,” said Olivia on the game being the toughest she’s ever played in. “That was the hardest game, and everyone can vouch for, that we have ever played. My heart was shaking the entire time, I was nervous, everyone was nervous and I didn’t think we were going to win until hearing the final whistle.”

Legacy beat the Blazers both times in the regular season in both a nail bitter and by dominating fashion but the weight of the championship game brought out the best in both teams.

Legacy’s offensive coordinator Frank Rosario said the team stuck with the game plan and had trouble converting in the second half crediting the Steel Blazers defense.

“This is a championship game and they are here for a reason,” said Rosario on the defense shutting them out in the second half. “It was hard getting into rhythm since the Steel Blazers made all the adjustments from the last time we saw them, they are a very good team. This was an overall great game.”

Oh So Close

While trailing 12-0 at halftime, the Steel Blazers were searching for a spark on offense and got converted a much needed drive early in the fourth quarter after forcing Legacy’s second turnover on downs while getting a pass interference call to move the Blazers down the field.

Rodrigues hit receiver Tricia Adkins on their down to pull them near the red zone, but nearly threw and interception to Oliva Flores a play later. Rodrigues shook off the mishap and tossed a perfectly placed ball to receiver Latoya Mojica as it sailed right over a Legacy defender.

Ladies from Legacy and Steel Blazers congratulate each other at the end of the game. (photo by Asha Marie Robles)

Ladies from Legacy and Steel Blazers congratulate each other at the end of the game. (photo by Asha Marie Robles)

Mojica made the catch but was stopped just short of the goal line until Rodrigues took matters into her own hands punching in the teams first score on a QB keeper. Rodrigues converted on the 2-point conversion to tally the score 12-8 needing just one more touchdown to take the lead.

The Steel Blazers defense then came up with a big stop after terrific linebacker play from Adrianna “The Hammer” Cruz who chased Legacy quarterback Morgan Reyes out of the pocket, forcing her to make a quick throw to Olivia who was tackled before the down marker resulting in another Legacy turnover on downs.

Rodrigues tried to hit Mojica, who was facing double-coverage on the route, but Legacy’s cornerback Ciera Arriola intercepted Rodrigues and brought the ball to the Blazers 45 yard line with a little over three minutes left in the game.

With the rain beginning to settle in, Reyes tried to one of her receivers but was instead picked off by Blazers Therese Diaz who had a short return, but more importantly giving the ball back to the Blazers with less than two minutes left in the game.

Rodrigues went for it all again on the next down and was picked off by Olivia Flores where Legacy just kneeled out the rest of the time remaining to capture their third straight title.

From Flores to Flores

Blazers quarterback TJ Rodrigues had a rough outing after committing four crucial turnovers in the game.

Kineshia impacted from the Steel Blazers opening drive by picking off Blazers quarterback TJ Rodrigues and returning 20 yards before Rodrigues made the touchdown saving tackle. Olivia followed up the big defensive play on the offensive end by juking a Steel Blazers linebacker to the outside where Olivia punched in the first touchdown from 15 yards out to go up 6-0.

Legacy’s Olivia Flores sprints by Steel Blazer defenders as she takes the ball down the sideline. (photo by Asha Marie Robles)

Legacy’s Olivia Flores sprints by Steel Blazer defenders as she takes the ball down the sideline. (photo by Asha Marie Robles)

Legacy’s second score came off another Rodrigues turnover in the second quarter after fumbling the ball on a quarterback option where Legacy’s Cerena Ladesma scooped up the ball setting up her team with great field position at the Steel Blazers 30.

After a relentless running attack by Legacy’s Lang Rivera they were finally able to punch in a score from two yards out to get the 12-0 early lead.

The now three-time champs have faced their toughest challenge yet and will be welcoming three more teams next season as the GWTFL continues to expand.

Olivia Flores was only part of two Legacy championships but her ability to play on both sides of the ball on every down undoubtedly gives them the best chance of winning.

Flores reflected on what winning two titles with the team officially feels like saying,”At first I didn’t even want to play football, but it’s such a fun game. Our team this year is very different from last year and the best thing we did was just help each other. We helped the newcomers by just putting them in a spot to gain experience.”

PHOTO GALLERY:

Team Legacy get together for a team photo. (photo by Asha Marie Robles)

Team Legacy get together for a team photo. (photo by Asha Marie Robles)

The Steel Blazers ended the season second place. (photo by Asha Marie Robles)

The Steel Blazers ended the season second place. (photo by Asha Marie Robles)

Legacy’s running back Lang Rivera pushes her way through Steel Blazer defense. (photo by Asha Marie Robles)

Legacy’s running back Lang Rivera pushes her way through Steel Blazer defense. (photo by Asha Marie Robles)

Legacy’s quarterback Morgan Reyes throws the ball to her teammate. (photo by Asha Marie Robles)

Legacy’s quarterback Morgan Reyes throws the ball to her teammate. (photo by Asha Marie Robles)

Legacy’s Olivia Flores sprints by Steel Blazer defenders as she takes the ball down the sideline. (photo by Asha Marie Robles)

Legacy’s Olivia Flores sprints by Steel Blazer defenders as she takes the ball down the sideline. (photo by Asha Marie Robles)

Ashley Arceo of Team Legacy breaks free of Steel Blazer defense ad she runs down the sideline. (Photo by Asha Marie Robles)

Ashley Arceo of Team Legacy breaks free of Steel Blazer defense ad she runs down the sideline. (Photo by Asha Marie Robles)

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UOG Tritons Pitcher Arren Yatar shares some of his fun facts and tells us about his favorite YouTube channel!

 

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