FRIARS STEAMROLL PANTHERS IN SEMIFINALS

FRIARS STEAMROLL PANTHERS IN SEMIFINALS

📅24 October 2015
Share this article:

By Robert Balajadia

For the first time this season the FD Friar defense gave up two offensive touchdowns in a game. The good news for them was that it didn’t matter – at all.

FD accumulated 503 yards of offense, blowing out the Guam High Panthers 51-13 in their semifinals game Friday night at the GW field. The unbeaten Friars have made it back to the championship game and are looking to bring home the teams first title since the 2007-08 season.

A 9-7 game in the 1st quarter quickly got out of hand in the 2nd where FD scored four touchdowns to take a halftime lead of 37-7.

Friars receiver Devin Sudo had three touchdowns on the night, two from the air via quarterback Daniel Phillips, and an 82-yard reverse play on the Friars opening offensive drive.

“I think it was all the penalties and all the on field fighting,” said Sudo on what sparked the Friars offensive to create separation. “The extra week of rest really pumped us up too, we all really wanted to play.”

Running back De’Aundre Cruz totalled 165 yards on the ground only having played in the first half and fullback Jake Benito led the team in rushing touchdowns with two to go along with 73 yards on just five carries. Fellow half back Leon Shimizu had nine carries for 113 yards and a score in the 3rd quarter.

For Cruz, playing Guam High has been a brought out the best in his abilities after running over 150 yards in each of his games against the Panthers dating back to last year. The extra week of rest only benefited Cruz, who has been dealing with injuries all season, but making it to the championship was the only thing on his mind.

“I don’t know why it’s always against Guam High, I always just try to do my best every game,” said Cruz with a smile on his big night.

Not Too Close

The Panthers offensive roar was quickly muzzled after the teams first touchdown, which was a 78-yard bomb from quarterback Jujuan King to receiver Xavier Jones. The Friars believed an offensive interferance call was missed on the play, but Guam High bottled up their lightning chance to pull within 9-7 midway through the first quarter.

Cruz had just fumbled at the goal line on a 34-yard run where he fought off four Panthers on the sideline to nearly give FD a two touchdown lead. Guam High let King fire away a bomb on third-and-long to get the Panthers on the board.

Cruz bounced back on the Friars next offensive series by running up the gut for a 15-yard score, set up two big runs of 12 and 19 yards. A three-and-out series for the Panthers allowed the FD offense to get right back into form with Phillips hitting Sudo for a 36-yard touchdown catch on a post route to go up 23-7.

Wendy's Players of the Game, #8 Roy Taimanglo, #24 De'Aundre Cruz, and #14 Devin Sudo.  (photo by Daniel Paran)

Wendy’s Players of the Game, #8 Roy Taimanglo, #24 De’Aundre Cruz, and #14 Devin Sudo. (photo by Daniel Paran)

Another empty offensive trip gave the Friars back the ball where they then turned to Benito on a fullback give for a 26-yard touchdown to take a 30-7 advantage. Shimizu then ended the half on a 61-yard barn burner to the end zone, getting FD’s total to a whopping 37-7 halftime lead.

Benito reached the end zone for the second time in the 3rd quarter from 43 yards out and Phillips hit Sudo on a fade route late in the quarter to take the 51-7 lead.

The only thing that went wrong for FD was a special teams PAT miss from sure-shot kicker Jerome Artero, who went 5-of-6 for PAT’s on the night.

Guam High welcomed back Juan King Jr. after King broke his tibia during Week 1’s win against the Tiyan Titans. King couldn’t do much with the Friars ‘Maroon Wall’ allowing only him six yards of total offense.

Guam High did manage to get a garbage time score late in the 4th quarter when backup quarterback Solomon White broke loose for an 81-yard touchdown through the left side of the Friars defensive reserves. Aside from the two huge touchdown plays, Guam High only accumulated two yards of net offense. Before White’s long touchdown run, the Panthers only had two yards of rushing.

The Friar defense sacked King five times with RJ Rokop, Pierre Aflague, Kobe Tupaz, and Noah Argallon all getting a piece of the defensive action. Defensive back Roy Taimanglo picked off Jujuan King that set up six points for the Friars in the 2nd quarter.

On To The Big One

The FD Friars will play the winner of the other semifinals game between the Southern Dolphins and GW Geckos Saturday. Regardless of who they’ll be facing, the Friday night output from both sides of the ball has FD optimistic and confident heading into the final week.

“I’m feeling pretty confident heading into the championship game, but we still have to play a lot harder. We have to come out with the same mentality next weekend,” said Sudo.

Along with being mentally ready, the Friars will be relatively healthy with no major injuries occurring against the Panthers. Cruz, who is no stranger to in-game nicks, looks the healthiest he’s been all season and that only bodes well for the Friar hopeful.

“I feel great this week and I’m ready. This year I want to try and get back what we lost out on last year,” said Cruz.

PHOTO GALLERY BROUGHT TO YOU BY:

mfc logo 2

Michael Benito of the Friars barely gets away from Panthers' Solomon White and scores a touchdown.  (photo by Daniel Paran)

Jake Benito of the Friars barely gets away from Panthers’ Solomon White and scores a touchdown. (photo by Daniel Paran)

Xavier Richardson runs along the sidelines for a huge gain in yards after receiving the Friars' punt return.  (photo by Daniel Paran)

Xavier Richardson runs along the sidelines for a huge gain in yards after receiving the Friars’ punt return. (photo by Daniel Paran)

In a last-ditch effort, Solomon White dodges one Friar after another and brings the ball all the way to the endzone.   (photo by Daniel Paran)

In a last-ditch effort, Solomon White dodges one Friar after another and brings the ball all the way to the endzone. (photo by Daniel Paran)

Jujuan King fakes a pass and runs the ball to gain some yards for the Panthers.  (photo by Daniel Paran)

Jujuan King fakes a pass and runs the ball to gain some yards for the Panthers. (photo by Daniel Paran)

Friars' QB Daniel Phillips drops back for a long range pass to a teammate.  (photo by Daniel Paran)

Friars’ QB Daniel Phillips drops back for a long range pass to a teammate. (photo by Daniel Paran)

Friar Bryton Cepeda makes a two-point conversion after faking a field goal attempt.  (photo by Daniel Paran)

Friar Bryton Cepeda makes a two-point conversion after faking a field goal attempt. (photo by Daniel Paran)

Share this article: