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FD TAKES BATTLE OF UNBEATENS 27-0

In the wake of last seasons championship loss, the FD Friars had circled their 2015 season finale against the Geckos on their calendar, intent to avenge their last loss. Both teams entered Friday 6-0, but only the FD Friars walked off unbeaten after blanking the Geckos 27-0 at the GW field.

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By Robert Balajadia

The GW Geckos had not lost a football game in nearly two full seasons, until Friday.

In the wake of last season’s championship loss, the FD Friars had circled their 2015 season finale against the Geckos, intent to avenge their last loss. Both teams entered Friday 6-0, but only the FD Friars walked off unbeaten after blanking the Geckos 27-0 at the GW field.

Paving the way for the Friars on offense was running back Jake Benito with 98 yards on 11 carries and one touchdown. Fullback Kai Akimoto ran for two scores, including the Friars first and last touchdowns of the evening.

Quarterback Daniel Phillips struggled in the first half, but completed all of his passes in the second half, including a 9-yard touchdown pass to Leon Shimizu to give FD a 14-0 lead.

When asked what changed from the first half, Phillips explained, “we just had better confidence. In a game like this, you have to come out with confidence and maintain that confidence even when things aren’t going your way. We made the adjustments in the second half to get our guys open.”

The FD defense shutout the Geckos, their fifth shutout this season, only allowing the Geckos a total of 64 yards of offense. Quarterback Brendan Santos had a rough outing, completing just three of his 15 attempts for 10 yards while being sacked six times.

Accounting for two of the sacks was defensive end Kobe Tupaz, who also recovered a fumble in the 2nd quarter that set up the Friars second score.

“We were really fired up. Majority of this defense are made up of returnees so we really wanted to beat them,” said Tupaz, who was a part of the Friars who lost in the finals to GW in 2014.

Linebacker Joaquin Mesa led FD in tackles with eight, with defensive tackle Pierre Aflague following suit with five tackles and also accounting for two of the six sacks.

Gecko linebacker Damon Hocog, end Mason Pangelinan and Jermayne San Nicolas all had eight tackles for the Geckos to bolster the purple and gold defense.

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Wendy’s players of the game Kobe Tupaz, Jake Benito, and Daniel Phillips played big in the teams 27-0 win over the GW Geckos.

Game Flow

Akimoto’s first score from 16 yards out came in the 2nd quarter after the relentless ground work from Jake Benito on the drive. Friars kicker Jerome Artero nailed a perfect extra point to give FD the 7-0 lead.

The Geckos responded on the following drive by working their way to the 2-yard line after runs from Santos and Ryan ‘Hollywood’ Quitugua, and a pair of 3rd down penalties from the Friar defense. The Geckos couldn’t advance past the two yard line in four tries with Tupaz getting a sack on Santos to cause the turnover on downs.

The defense kept up their momentum in the 2nd quarter after Mesa had stripped the ball carrier Quitugua while the ball was recovered by Tupaz.

The Friar offense then turned to Phillips where he first connected with receiver Devin Sudo for a 39-yard bomb. Phillips then hit running back Leon Shimizu, who was lined up as a receiver, for a 9-yard score to take a 14-0 lead. Shimizu took a swing pass and benefited from a block from halfback De’Aundre Cruz for the score.

FD then forced a three-and-out allowing the run game to take shape with Benito capping off their drive midway through the 4th quarter for a commanding 21-0 lead.

A fumbled catch on the ensuing kick off from Quitugua allowed the Friars to pound the ground for 10 yards and a Akimoto score from two yards out.

Playoffs

FD will now face the 8thseeded Tiyan Titans in the opening weekend of the playoffs while the Geckos will square off against the Sanchez Sharks for the second time this season.

FD went 50-0 over the Titans in the early goings while the Geckos survived a strong showing from the Sharks in a close 20-12 win. Preparing for the tougher challenges to come, the league best Friar defense will be ready to handle the teams best efforts beginning next weekend.

“We know that every team has improved since we last faced them and we just have to come out stronger than we before,” said Tupaz.

Football Standings

PHOTO GALLERY BROUGHT TO YOU BY:

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Friars Jake Benito refuses to be taken down on his way to  big gain. (photo by Joey Blas)

Friars Jake Benito refuses to be taken down on his way to big gain. (photo by Joey Blas)

FD's Joshua Lujan breaks a couple of tackles and runs down midfield for a big gain. (photo by Joey Blas)

FD’s Joshua Lujan breaks a couple of tackles and runs down midfield for a big catch-and-run. (photo by Joey Blas)

GW's quarterback Brendan Santos avoids being taken down in the back field by FD DB Reynold Rokop.

GW’s quarterback Brendan Santos avoids being taken down in the back field by FD defensive end RJ Rokop. (photo by Joey Blas)

FD quarterback Daniel Phillips fires a pass to an open receiver downfield. (photo by Joey Blas)

FD quarterback Daniel Phillips fires a pass to an open receiver downfield. (photo by Joey Blas)

FD's running back Jake Benito ounces receives the handoff and heads towards the sideline for the first down.

FD’s running back Jake Benito receives the handoff and heads towards the sideline for the first down. (photo by Joey Blas)

GW Noah Blas makes a nice catch and heads towards the sideline and was taken out at their own 10 yard line. (photo by Joey Blas)

GW’s Noah Blas makes a nice catch and heads towards the sideline and was taken out at their own 10 yard line. (photo by Joey Blas)

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