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FRIARS ROUTE TITANS IN QUARTERFINALS

The FD Friars kicked off their championship run with a big quarterfinals win over the Tiyan Titans 42-6 at the GW Field in Mangilao. FD scored in all facets of the game, advancing them to the semifinals next weekend where they will play the Guam High Panthers.

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By Robert Balajadia

The FD Friars kicked off their championship run with a big quarterfinals win over the Tiyan Titans 42-6 at the GW Field in Mangilao. FD scored in all facets of the game, advancing them to the semifinals next weekend where they will play the Guam High Panthers.

Guam High defeated the Okkodo Bulldogs 20-12 in the other Friday night quarterfinals game.

It was a busy night for All-Island 1st Team defensive end RJ Rokop, who sacked Titans quarterback Shaun Alvarez four times.

Friars All-Island 1st Team defensive tackle Pierre Aflague collected a team-high six tackles to go along with two sacks, All-Island 2nd Team tackle Kobe Tupaz had four tackles, a sack, and a forced fumble, and All-Island 1st team linebacker Joaquin Mesa had five tackles and two forced fumbles to highlight the Friar defense.

It was exam week for FD, which could have made the preparation for the the first round of the playoffs take a backseat to studies, but Rokop assured that the teams sights are still set on the big picture.

“We just started slow as usual, but we’re going to fix that in practice. We wanted to come out strong tonight and play the way we always do,” said Rokop.

The ‘Maroon Wall’ loaded the stat sheet, collecting four interceptions, seven sacks, and three forced fumbles. Friar All-Island 1st Team safety Bryton Cepeda took one of those interceptions 93 yards in the 3rd quarter to give FD the 42-6 final.

Friar Christopher Cawili intercepted Alvarez on the Titans opening drive, which FD quickly turned into seven points after a three-yard touchdown run by All-Island 2nd Team running back De’Aundre Cruz.

The running trio of Cruz, Leon Shimizu, and fullback Jake Benito all found the end zone on the night with no back taking more than eight carries.

Devin Sudo also had a big night for FD, scoring two touchdowns in the contest. Sudo’s first touchdown came in the first quarter after the Friars had forced Tiyan to punt.

Sudo, an All-Island 2nd Team return man as well as a 1st team receiver, caught the ball at the 45-yard line and darted to the right side of the field. After out running first two Titans, Sudo was the beneficiary of a vicious block by Rokop that allowed Sudo to safely sprint the final 20 yards.

“I felt really bad for that guy,” said Sudo, who had a front row seat to Rokop’s block.

Wendy's players of the game receiver Devin Sudo and defensive end RJ Rokop couldn't be stopped Friday evening. Courtesy photo bomb of guard Alex Shinohara.

Wendy’s players of the game receiver Devin Sudo and defensive end RJ Rokop couldn’t be stopped Friday evening. Courtesy photo bomb of guard Alex Shinohara.

His second score came late in the 2nd quarter after Friar quarterback Daniel Phillips completed a simple seven-yard throw. Instead of going out of bounds as instructed, Sudo saw a lot of green in front of him which prompted the speedy Friar to run untouched to complete the 64-yard touchdown.

FD went into the half leading 35-6.

The Titans avoided the shutout after failing to reach the end zone in their regular season meeting. Titan Anton Mesa intercepted Friars quarterback Daniel Phillips at the 40-yard line after the Tiyan defense got a hand in on Phillips throwing motion. Mesa went through two Friars before breaking free for the 40-yard pick-six.

Friar Kobe Tupaz blocked the ensuing point after to keep the Titans at six points, where they still trailed FD 14-6 early in the 2nd quarter.

Up next for the Friars is Guam High, where they defeated the Panthers 35-7 in the regular season.

“We’re very excited to face Guam High, but we’re just going to play how we always play and hopefully not start out slow like when we last challenged them,” added Sudo.

“We’re just going to play hard, that’s it,” added Rokop.

PHOTO GALLERY BROUGHT TO YOU BY:

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Friars running back Vicente Taitingfong spins away from the first hit from the Titans defense. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

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Friar Jose Nelson corrals the bobbled catch for an interception, the Friars fourth of the night. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

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The Titans line up for 3rd and long against the Friar defense. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

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Friar Bryton Cepeda breaks free to complete the 93-yard interception return for a touchdown. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

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Friars receiver Devin Sudo notices the open field ahead of him as he sprints for to complete a 64-yard touchdown catch. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

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Titans running back Kobe Quimbao uses a stiff arm to avoid the tackle from Shawn Guerrero. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

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(photo by Richard Camacho IV)

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National Guard Athletes

Scott Eclavea

Scott Eclavea is a jiu-jitsu black belt and an accomplished MMA fighter. The Guard has given him an outlet in combatives to display his martial art skills, where he’s become a head instructor for that program. Eclavea has served since coming out of high school and the Guard has only changed his life for the better.

 

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