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GECKOS SURVIVE HISTORIC TITAN PERFORMANCE

The defending champion GW Geckos were in hot water for an entire half as the Tiyan Titans put the IIAAG on notice, nearly coming away with a victory Saturday night during the Geckos homecoming. The Geckos found a way to win the game, surviving a historic performance from the leagues newest members.

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By Candido Taman

Senior Leo Diaz made history Saturday scoring Tiyan High’s first touchdown in their football team’s existence. Although the defending champs took the 21-13 victory over the Titans, Tiyan High School made a statement by putting he defending champs in hot water for an entire half.

“I was watching Leo Diaz in the previous games, he’s a kid with a lot of talent,” said GW head coach Ryan Rios. “I was telling my players at anytime he can break it; when he scored it was a wake-up call for our team.”

Diaz shocked everyone in attendance when he took a handoff up the left side and forced his way into the end zone, a rare feat to accomplish against a seasoned Gecko defense.

With less than four minutes left on the clock in the 4th quarter, a pass that was intended for sophomore Vance Perez was bobbled in the air and caught by teammate John Espino put the Gecko offense on the one-yard line.

The play had set up heroics from Damon Hocog for the final score of the game. The George Washington Geckos took their homecoming game, but the league took wide notice that a bright future lies ahead for the Titans.

Remember This, Titans

Tiyan’s defense kept the game in their favor with physical play from Mark Laanan, Agusto Salas Alfredo Blas and stand out Leo Diaz forcing GW to punt the ball a number of times, which is where Leo “Lightning” Diaz was able to find his second score of the game.

“The ball bounced one time, I took it; looked up and all I see is the sideline open up. I shook one tackler and read my blocks,” said Diaz on his second 90 yard score that was followed by their very first field goal kick, in school history, which was successful put Tiyan up 13-0 in the second quarter.

Redemption came in the form of a recovered fumble by Mason Pangelinan in the Gecko end zone, which put the Geckos on board 13-6 in the third quarter.

That defensive score by GW sparked up their offense to get on board from their consistent ground attack.

Player of the game Ryan “Hollywood” Quitugua might not have been in the endzone for a score, but he produced the yards needed to get them there, and then some.

Wendy's Player of the Game: Geckos running back Ryan Quitugua

Wendy’s Player of the Game: Geckos running back Ryan Quitugua

The Gecko ground attack proved successful yet again getting them to the red zone along with the legs of mobile quarterback Brendan Santos.

From nine yards out, Santos found junior receiver Jared Taisipic at the bottom corner of the end zone for their next score. A bad snap on the conversion gave “Hollywood” Quitugua the go ahead run putting GW up 14-13.

“We didn’t take them as the opponent they are; we came in thinking that we were just gonna have the game handed to us. It was our homecoming. Tiyan came to play,” said Quitugua on Saturday’s match up.

2015 football standings

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The Tiyan Titans didn't get the win, but they made history. Titans Mark Laanan, Leo Diaz, and Anthony Blas led the Titans charge. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

The Tiyan Titans didn’t get the win, but they made history. Titans Mark Laanan, Leo Diaz, and Anthony Blas led the Titans charge. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

Geckos #88 grabs a big interception against the Tiyan Titans.  (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

The Geckos grab a big interception against the Tiyan Titans. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

IMG_1522

(photo by Richard Camacho IV)

Gecko Ryan Quitugua is stopped behind the line of scrimmage for a loss.  (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

Gecko Ryan Quitugua is stopped behind the line of scrimmage for a loss. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

IMG_1453

Titans ball carrier Leo Diaz breaks free around the corner for a touchdown run. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

Fighting for the first down, the Geckos ball carrier rolls through two Titans.  (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

Fighting for the first down, the Geckos ball carrier rolls through two Titans. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

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