📅31 January 2015
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By Jose Terlaje

Week 2 of IIAAG Varsity Rugby got underway this Saturday at the GW Football field in Mangilao with the FD Friars and AOLG Cougars hosting the games for the week. In the third game of the day the Friars took on their rugby rivals, the Southern High Dolphins. This is a much anticipated match-up every year due to both teams seeming to compete on a different level when they face each other. The Dolphins and Friars usually meet in the championship game but in the past two seasons each team has taken turns playing for the title with both falling short.

FD was able to squeeze by and win this highly contested battle 8-7 and improve to 2-0 while Southern drops to 1-1 in the season. The Friars’ Joshua Lujan scored on a deep penalty kick that ultimately decided the game and gave his team the win.

“I was just thinking, ‘get it through.’ I have a very supportive coaching staff and all my brothers are out there handling the pressure with me,” said the first year varsity player, when asked how he was able to deal with the pressure of kicking that very vital penalty kick over 30 yards out.


Friars Joaquin Mesa tries to fight off a Dolphins defender in their afternoon match. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

The game started with Southern High receiving a kick-off from the Friars but a penalty gave the Friars a tap-and-go from half field. FD’s Alex Shinohara tried to carry the ball down the field and get something going for his team but the Dolphins would stop the Friars time and time again, forcing them back.

The two opponents traded possessions throughout the first few minutes and both teams were often forced to kick the ball down the field in order to keep each other out of scoring range. Both teams were playing solid defense, denying each other big runs early in the match until the Dolphins were able to push the Friars a few yards back from half field. After gaining possession of the ball from winning a ruck, FD’s Joshua Lujan kicked the ball deep down the field with teammate Joaquin Mesa trailing the ball.

The kick caught the Dolphins off guard and FD’s Mesa was able to recover the ball from two southern players, breaking a tackle and running like he stole something, as he took the ball 25 yards into the Southern High try-zone. The Friars ended up only getting a 5-0 lead after a failed conversion kick by Lujan.

After the kick-off, the Dolphins picked up the pace to try to get some points on the board, showing a lot more aggression on the field. Southern High’s 8-Man, Keenan Quinata came up big for the Dolphins, leading and winning almost every ruck for his team, keeping the ball in their possession. After a bad lineout by FD, the Dolphins’ Tyler Topasna ran the ball 30 yards down the field, breaking numerous tackles as he made his way just 15 yards out from the Friars’ try-zone.

(photo by Richard Camacho IV)

(photo by Richard Camacho IV)

The Dolphins looked to sneak in a try but the Friars ended up getting the ball back, giving it to Lujan to punt it down the field. The Friars would then be penalized multiple times for not releasing the ball after being tackled down, giving Southern free possessions to run the ball down the field. After gaining some good field position and once again getting into scoring range, the Dolphins lost the ball and FD’s Christian Reyes picked it up and took it 40 yards down the field to bring his team within scoring distance but moments later the clock ran out and the half ended with the Friars up 5-0.

In the second half, the Dolphins were plagued with numerous penalties for making illegal tackles or diving in the ruck. This put the Friars in good field position and after another penalty called on Southern High, the Friars elected to take a penalty kick 30 yards out. FD’s Lujan sent the ball straight through the goal posts and put the Friars up 8-0 early in the second half.

After gaining an even bigger lead, the Friars began to run on the momentum built up from their scoring drive, winning rucks more often and executing plays. The score would not bring the Dolphins down though as Southern’s Napu Topasna picked up big yards on a number of runs to try to set the pace for his team.

Topasna would continuously bring his team within scoring range but they could not make anything of it. The Friars then regained possession of the ball and after faking out a defender, FD’s Joseph Gumataotao was able to run the ball 11 yards before a penalty was called on the Dolphins that gave the Friars another penalty kick. FD’s Lujan wasn’t so lucky this time as his kick went wide right of the goal post.

(photo by Richard Camacho IV)

Friars Brian Leon Guerrero stays up on a tackle. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

The missed kick gave Southern High a 22-drop but the kick went straight out of bounds, causing a scrum at Southern’s 22 yard line. After a penalty called on the Friars, Southern High capitalized on a tap-and-go and Tyler Topasna sparked a scoring drive for his team with a 15 yard run that was followed by 12 yard run from Quinata.

The Dolphins continued to pick up the ball and run and were finally able to break through with Cory Duenas picking up some short yards and the try to put some points on the board for his team. The conversion after by Napu Topasna was good and the Dolphins got themselves within one, trailing the Friars 8-7. The try came a little too late for Southern High as time ran out shortly after and the Friars held on to win the match.

FD Head Coach Paul Claros said that he was glad his team was able to take advantage of the strong winds by kicking the ball whenever the opportunity arose. Claros went on to say he was proud of his team, especially the boys that were filling in for those out with injuries or had other priorities and couldn’t make it to the game. They played a big role in executing on the Friars’ set pieces and helped the team get the win.






(photo by Richard Camacho IV)


(photo by Richard Camacho IV)


(photo by Richard Camacho IV)

Weekly Rugby Results

Tuesday January 27, 2015 at Okkodo
Hosts: Okkodo
5:20pm GW 20 St. Johns 0 Boys Junior Varsity
5:40pm Sanchez 0 St. Pauls 5 Boys Junior Varsity
6:00pm Southern 17 FD 0 Boys Junior Varsity
6:20pm Guam High 24 Okkodo 10 Boys Junior Varsity
6:40pm St. Pauls 14 GW 12 Boys Junior Varsity
7:00pm St. Johns 29 FD 0 Boys Junior Varsity
7:20pm Sanchez 0 Okkodo 5 Boys Junior Varsity
7:40pm Southern 0 Guam High 15 Boys Junior Varsity
Thursday January 29, 2015 at Okkodo
Hosts:  Okkodo
5:20pm GW 0 Academy 15 Girls Junior Varsity
5:40pm Sanchez 0 ND 10 Girls Junior Varsity
6:00pm Tiyan 0 Okkodo 22 Girls Junior Varsity
6:20pm ND 10 GW 10 Girls Junior Varsity
6:40pm Academy 0 Okkodo 10 Girls Junior Varsity
7:00pm Sanchez 12 Tiyan 5 Girls Junior Varsity
7:20pm GW 10 Okkodo 10 Girls Junior Varsity
7:40pm ND 12 Tiyan 0 Girls Junior Varsity
8:00pm Academy 7 Sanchez 5 Girls Junior Varsity
Saturday January 31, 2014 at GW
Hosts: FD/Academy
9:00am Okkodo 5 GW 35 Boys Varsity
10:30am Guam High 12 Tiyan 19 Boys Varsity
12:00pm FD 8 Southern 7 Boys Varsity
1:30pm Sanchez 7 JFK 7 Boys Varsity
3:00pm ND 5 GW 29 Girls Varsity TACKLE
3:20pm Academy 12 Okkodo 0 Girls Varsity TACKLE
3:40pm Guam High 19 Tiyan 0 Girls Varsity TACKLE
4:00pm Sanchez 26 JFK 17 Girls Varsity TACKLE
4:20pm GW 12 Okkodo 0 Girls Varsity TACKLE
4:40pm ND 28 Tiyan 5 Girls Varsity TACKLE
5:00pm Academy 0 Southern 12 Girls Varsity TACKLE
5:20pm Guam High 5 JFK 20 Girls Varsity TACKLE
5:40pm Tiyan 0 GW 20 Girls Varsity TACKLE
6:00pm Okkodo 10 Southern 12 Girls Varsity TACKLE
6:20pm ND 5 JFK 7 Girls Varsity TACKLE
6:40pm Academy 5 Sanchez 17 Girls Varsity TACKLE

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