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UPSTART ISLANDERS LEASH BULLDOGS

Friday night, week two of the 2014 IIAAG season continued on as the JFK Islanders showed flashes of their upstart offensive unit while their defense nearly came way with a shutout victory over the Okkodo Bulldogs.

By Robert Balajadia

The JFK Islanders will be the first to admit that they’ve still got a lot to figure out as a team. Though during the process of finding themselves, they have jumped out as the season’s early story already winning as many games (two) in the first two games of the 2014 season as they did all of last season.

Friday night, week two of the 2014 IIAAG season continued on as the JFK Islanders showed flashes of their upstart offensive unit while their defense nearly came way with a shutout in a 25-6 victory over the Okkodo Bulldogs.

The story early in the week was the venue for the game after it had originally been scheduled to be played out at the Okkodo field. An unfortunate situation dealing with the theft of the field light’s copper wires had forced the game to be relocated to JFK. Then, a last minute change brought the game back to it’s originally intended venue, Okkodo.

The story of the night though was the Islander defense which allowed their offense to wear out the Bulldog defense en route to the 25-6 win. Islanders junior quarterback Quintin Iriarte accounted for three of the game’s scores, two running and one passing touchdown.

JFK Islanders running back Danon Mojica gets away from the Bulldogs secondary for a big gain on the ground. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

JFK Islanders running back Danon Mojica gets away from the Bulldogs secondary for a big gain on the ground. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Iriarte has thrown touchdowns in each game so far and the former All-Island honorable mention quarterback has greater goals for 2014.

“I’m striving for that All-Island 1st Team. I’ve got dreams and goals, but I can’t do it without my team,” said Iriarte.

JFK forced the scale to tip in their direction from kick off after retrieving the opening kick when Okkodo could not secure the ball before the Islanders jumped on it. JFK responded with runs up the middle from Danon Mojica and Shane Garcia which led to a QB keeper from Iriarte to get the first touchdown, going up 6-0.

The Islanders forced a quick three-and-out from the Bulldogs and ended their second offensive drive with six points, highlighted by a 22-yard pass from Iriarte to receiver Jaron Weilbacher, after punching it in from the goal line behind fullback Pangelinan Jr. The two failed conversions left JFK up 12-0 in the first quarter.

Iriarte started to let loose in the passing game hitting receiver Weilbacher for a 69-yard pass early in the second quarter as Weilbacher was stopped at the five yard line just short of the score.

The Islanders then attempted to run it up the middle with Mojica with the Bulldog defense waiting for him, so Mojica made a heads up play to toss the ball back to Iriarte who managed to get in the end zone for the score.

Quarterbacks Leeray Zapatos and Quintin Iriarte tangle for a rare meeting at the goal line. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Quarterbacks Leeray Zapatos and Quintin Iriarte tangle for a rare meeting at the goal line. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

The Bulldogs appeared to knock the ball out on the play and were pleading their case to the sideline referee, but the official call would stand giving Iriarte and the Islanders an 18-0 lead after another failed PAT.

“We took advantage of our mismatches and our coaches called the right plays at the right time,” said Iriarte on the efficient offensive outing.

Okkodo came out of the half still trailing 18-0, but they gave JFK a taste of their own medicine as the kick off team recovered the ball after Islanders’ Mojica had trouble pinning down the ball.

Islanders’ Pangelinan Jr. immediately shouted to his defense “Nothing gets past us,” with JFK backed in their own red zone. The Bulldogs ran four plays that did not move the defense back turning the ball over on downs.

Iriarte connected with Weilbacher late in the 4th quarter for the games final score from 12 yards out to go up 25-0.

“All our credit goes to our offensive line,” said Weilbacher as many players in the league always pay homage to their line. “We struggled last week giving [Iriarte] time to throw, but they were on it this time.”

Bulldogs' Rodney Tamogan tries to corral a pass slightly out of his reach. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Bulldogs’ Rodney Tamogan tries to corral a pass slightly out of his reach. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

The Bulldogs managed to avoid the shutout on the very last play of the game as quarterback Leeray Zapatos came out of a play action and noticed the entire left side of the field wide open, taking off for a 47-yard QB scamper.

Okkodo’s season opener was supposed to be against the GW Geckos last weekend but the issues with the lights forced that game to be postponed. Okkodo dropped their season opener against an Islanders team intent on shaking up the IIAAG, but staying humble is just as important to Weilbacher and JFK.

“We always try and stay humble. We practice hard all week and we try and come out Friday and execute our game plan. Even after wins or losses, we have to be humble and stay a class act,” ended Weilbacher.

Islanders linebacker Shane Garcia wraps up Bulldogs running back Dylan Aguon. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Islanders linebacker Shane Garcia wraps up Bulldogs running back Dylan Aguon. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

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