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STEEL BLAZERS SHUT DOWN SPARTANS

Coming back from their first loss against Team Legacy, the Steel Blazers countered back by showing that they were still the team to be reckoned with by shutting out the Lady Spartans at the University of Guam football field Sunday afternoon.

By Jeff Ochavillo

Coming back from their first loss against Team Legacy, the Steel Blazers countered back by showing that they are still one of the top teams in the GWTFL by shutting out the Lady Spartans 32­‐0 at the University of Guam football field Sunday afternoon.

From beginning to end, the Blazers were dominant on both ends of the field preventing any opportunities the Spartans had on scoring and proved how strong they were on offense.

In the front line leading the way for the Blazers was TJ Rodrigues who was involved in every play that had gotten the Blazers the big win whether it was passing or running the for the touchdown.

“With good morale and how the team constantly pushed each other in the team, it helped us gain back our unity within the team and prevented the stress from getting into each and every one of us,” said Rodrigues on how they were able to get the win.

The Blazers set the tone early in the first half started by Mel Manglona who caught an interception from the Spartans’ Kayleigh Brock who then stretched her run to the 23‐yard line. From there, Rodrigues handed off the ball to teammate Latoya Mojica who ran the sideline and reached the end zone for the touchdown, making the score 6‐0 with the incomplete conversion.

Few plays later Rodrigues spotted her receiver, Mae Pajaro, in the corner of the end zone where she tossed a rainbow pass that had gotten the ball straight into her hands making the score 12‐0.

With the ball in Spartans’ possession on the next drive they looked to turn the tables around by getting a couple of first downs. However, with big defense from the Steel Blazers it forced the Spartans to punt, giving the Steelers the ball possession.

Steelers Quarterback Rodrigues on sweep 32-0 win over Spartans. (photo by Rock Anciano)

Steelers Quarterback TJ Rodrigues rolls out on a sweep that led to a touchdown in their win over the Spartans. (photo by Rock Anciano)

After back-­to­‐back turnovers, Rodrigues lined the offense in the 20‐yard line and after getting the snap; she spotted Manglona in the corner again where she tossed the high ball where they met in the end zone for another touchdown with the score 18­‐0.

Before the end of the half, the Spartans lost their possession from the defense of the Steelers who picked up a fumble by Paulette Nededog and then ran to the 12-­yard line before getting tackled. From there, Mojica ran the offense as she took another handoff to get her touchdown of the game to extend the lead 24-­0.

“We did our best, we fixed out mistakes, and we’re working more on our game technique­‐wise,” said Rodrigues about her teams performance. Then she added, “but it was a hard fought game especially since we had a lot of injuries. But it was a good thing since it wasn’t as bad as the other team who had less players.”

In the last minutes of the last quarter, the Steelers Blazers’ quarterback took the last run to give the final points of game before ending the day. After coming up big from defense, Rodriguez lined up the offense and she faked the pass as she took off running from the 42‐yard line to sideline, maneuvering in and out of the Spartans defense and nearly tripping, she completes the touchdown to get the score up to 30­‐0. Then she tosses the ball to Tricia Adkins to complete the conversion, thus concluding the score 32‐0.

The Steel Blazers came back with a win to tie with Team Legacy at 4­‐1 after losing to them last game while the Spartans drop to 1­‐4 in the season.

After hearing from the outcome of the previous came Rodrigues said, “no matter where you are in the totem pole, you can still fall.” She continues, “once you’re on the top, the only you can go is back down. But you have to keep pushing and for us we pushing ourselves to get back up there.” For the following games she added, “we have to reduce the amount of injuries on the team and really push hard because the next games will decide where we’ll be in the semi-­‐finals.”

STANDINGS

Team Legacy5-1

Steel Blazers 5-1

Raiders 4-2

Spartans 1-4

Tough Chicks 0-5

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Since forming the GNYFF in 2009, the league has never gone without a season until 2020. The league announced their plans to cancel the 2020 season amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

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RIP: Former Guam football player Phil Mendiola, shown here with son Tano, passed away in Las Vegas due to a heart attack. Mendiola played for numerous Guam teams from youth to varsity. He was 39.
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Morgan McKenna (left with black face mask) poses for a photo with Guam Football Association Technical Director Sang Hoon Kim (seated, with blue face mask) and Guam Football Association Assistant Technical Director Ross Awa (standing) after signing his letter of commitment to play intercollegiate men’s soccer for Muskingum University in Ohio. The Fighting Muskies compete in NCAA Division III’s Ohio Athletic Conference.

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