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RAIDERS RETAIN BFL TOP SPOT

It was an emotion filled game, but the talented Raider squad retained their top spot title from last year after dropping the Eagles 26-7 in their Saturday showdown.

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By Robert Balajadia

It was an emotion filled game, but the talented Raider squad retained their top spot title from last year after dropping the Eagles 26-7 in their Saturday showdown.

The team with the best record will ultimately win the Budweiser Football League and the Raiders have defeated every team that gives them a 6-0 record which secures them the leagues best record.

The Raider defense has been strong all season, but the offense took care of business against the Eagles by putting up all 26 of their points.

Keying the offense was quarterback Danny Manibusan who tossed three touchdowns and even ran one in. Already leading 20-7 in the fourth quarter, Manibusan tossed a short pass to all purpose offensive player Jacob Torres who took the pass 50 yards through the entire Eagle secondary for the game clinching score.

Eagles’ Ibarahim Mansaray wraps up around Raiders’ Alex Azcarraga as he catches a long pass to the right side. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Eagles’ Ibarahim Mansaray wraps up around Raiders’ Alex Azcarraga as he catches a long pass to the right side. (photo by Jesse Castro)

“Our offense did really well. We didn’t have to rely on our defense to score and we just paid them back for the work they have done all season. We have a very talented team,” stated Torres.

One of the defensive stars Stephen “Juice” Santos was playing with a high motor all game and expressed that one of the major factors behind their success this season was due to the willingness of the entire team.

“We’re not stingy with positions. Any chance anyone gets to play, they always give it 100% no matter if it’s on offense, defense, or special teams. None of us want to let anyone down and we just play as a family,” expressed Santos.

After a scoreless first quarter the Raiders quickly put points on the board with Manibusan hitting receiver Alex Azcaraga for a 30-yard bomb in the corner of the end zone. The Raider defense denied the Eagles from moving the ball until late in the quarter, but not before the Raiders would punch in a goal line run by Manibusan.

Raiders’ quarterback Danny Manibusian sends a short pass to receiver Stephen Santos off on the left side. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Raiders’ quarterback Danny Manibusian sends a short pass to receiver Stephen Santos off on the left side. (photo by Jesse Castro)

The Eagles had a golden opportunity to cut the lead before the half within five yards of a possible score. They attempted to run the ball on three downs but were stuffed by the stout Raider defense. The Eagles went for it on fourth down and were fortunate to get a defensive pass interference which allowed them to reset downs at the goal line. Neglecting to run the ball, three straight pass incompletions led to the end of the first half.

The Eagles came out stronger in the second half by scoring on their opening drive on a 20-yard pass from Eagles quarterback J.J. McCloud to receiver Roosevelt Badgett to cut the lead 12-7.

It was short-lived as the Raiders quickly answered back on the following drive as Manibusan hit Torres for the pairs first touchdown connection to go up 20-7 after a successful 2-point run-in by running back Hosea Ware.

Just shy of the end zone, Eagles’ Xaviar Reyes cuts right to avoid the incoming Raiders attempting to run the ball in for a touchdown. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Just shy of the end zone, Eagles’ Xavier Reyes cuts right to avoid the incoming Raiders attempting to run the ball in for a touchdown. (photo by Jesse Castro)

An altercation between Eagles teammates and a bunch of trash talking between Raiders and Eagles was heard throughout the game, but that all changed after the final whistle. Both teams lined up and shook hands without any altercation showing great sportsmanship.

“Both teams were hungry. We wanted to beat each other so badly and we got too ahead of ourselves. There were words exchanged here and there, but at the end of it all we are all brothers here and we know we are here to put a show on for the fans,” stated Santos.

“Everybody just wanted to win and everyone was giving it all they’ve got. With all the testosterone, that’s football and that’s just how it is,” said Torres.

BFL action will still continue throughout the month of January, but the Raiders have locked in the top seed with a 6-0 record an will retain the top spot despite the result of the rest of their games.

PHOTO GALLERY BROUGHT TO YOU BY:

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Raiders setup against the Eagles defensive line and continue their drive towards the end zone. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Raiders setup against the Eagles defensive line and continue their drive towards the end zone. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Just shy of the end zone, Eagles’ Xaviar Reyes cuts right to avoid the incoming Raiders attempting to run the ball in for a touchdown. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Just shy of the end zone, Eagles’ Xavier Reyes cuts right to avoid the incoming Raiders attempting to run the ball in for a touchdown. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Eagles’ receiver 13 grabs the long ball and is met by a huge hit by Raiders’ Casey Cruz. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Eagles’ receiver 13 grabs the long ball and is met by a huge hit by Raiders’ Casey Cruz. (photo by Jesse Castro)

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COMING SOON …

10th Micronesian Games from Marjuro June 15-24

Guam National Bodybuilding Championship June 29

QUICK HITS

Coach Donan Cruz and the U.S. Men’s U21 National Team took home gold at the 2024 NORCECA Continental Championship with a 3-0 (25-18, 25-21, 27-25) win over Canada on Sunday evening in Nogales, Mexico. The victory guaranteed the U.S. a spot in the 2025 FIVB U21 World Championship.
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Congratulations to the 2024 Guam Rugby Cup Champions: Tao Tao Mana (Men’s Cup Champions) and Southern Rugby Club (Women’s Cup Champions)

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