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A WEEK DELAY: IIAAG FOOTBALL SEMIFINALS

An untimely rainy weekend pushed back all things football on Guam. Instead of preparing for the IIAAG championship game, the four teams in the mix still have a score to settle and are set to kick off the much awaited football semifinals.

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By Robert Balajadia

An untimely rainy weekend pushed back all things football on Guam. Instead of preparing for the IIAAG championship game this weekend, the four teams in the mix still have a score to settle and are set to kick off the much awaited football semifinals.

FD Friars vs. Guam High Panthers

The regular season meeting between the two teams won’t tell you everything you need to know about their showdown Friday. This time around, the Panthers will have a few players in the game that they didn’t have the first time they challenged the Friars when FD cruised to a 35-7 victory.

The Friar running backs went wild with All-Island runners Jake Benito and De’Aundre Cruz both tallying over 100 yards on the ground, putting the score out of reach after the 3rd quarter.

FD’s defense didn’t allow the Panther offense into the end scone with Guam High’s only touchdown coming off an interception return.

Panther quarterback Jujuan King exited the game after getting bulldozed by Pierre Aflague and the Friar defensive line in the 2nd quarter and younger brother Juan watched the game in a sling on the sideline after suffering an injury in the IIAAG’s opening week.

It’s still in question whether Juan will suit up, but Jujuan will be back to control the Panther offense that were two penalties away from scoring against the seemingly impenetrable ‘Maroon Wall’.

The week of rest didn’t just help the Panthers with the FD backfield, namely Cruz, receiving an extra weekend to recover from his nagging regular season injuries. A few players on the defensive line will be making their way back, like Tonu San Nicolas, putting FD’s best 11 on the field ready for the Panther offense.

26 total penalties were handed out in their regular season game, but Friday nights game should be a cleaner contest given the amount of coaching and mental preparation put in to assure that penalties don’t decide the winner.

Regular Season Game – FD 35, Guam High 7

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The battle for a spot in the championship will be on the line for the undefeated Friars and upstart Panthers. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

GW Geckos vs. Southern Dolphins

For the first time ever, the Southern Dolphins are playing in the semifinals. Southern had never made it out of the first round since in the school’s existence and the fans will be ready to cheer on their first ever week of extended football. The only downfall is that they are playing the defending champion GW Geckos, who only lost once all season.

Southern did put up a good fight against the GW Geckos in the regular season where the Geckos only managed to score two touchdowns in the 12-0 shutout. Although, the Dolphins did have key players Dylan and Kam’ron Tenorio in the game, but won’t have them Saturday in the biggest football game ever for the school.

The pair of Tenorios were ejected on the same play agains the JFK Islanders and IIAAG rule states that they have to miss the teams following game. The two were huge against the Islanders where they pulled off the upset and not having them against the determined Geckos is a hindrance.

GW will have the two league MVP’s in Brendan Santos and Damon Hocog on deck, along with the bulky offensive and defensive line which only bodes well for the repeat champion hopefuls.

On the purple and gold side of the ball, GW is coming off their best offensive performance of the season by lighting up the Sanchez Sharks 35-20 in the quarterfinals. Ryan ‘Hollywood’ Quitugua was electric in the win, and he’s going to be given plenty of opportunities to have another breakout performance inside the Gecko offensive assault.

Regular Season Game – GW 12, Southern 0

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The Southern offense will have to rely on Napu Topasna and Dylan Parke to get points on the board without Kam’ron Tenorio. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

GSPN Predictions

Robert Balajadia – FD 28, Guam High 7 / GW 20, Southern 0

Jay Leon Guerrero – FD 24, Guam High 18 / GW 28, Southern 6

Patrick Lujan – FD 35, Guam High 14 / GW 28, Southern 0

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