Connect with us

Football

MAROON & GOLD END FOOTBALL TITLE DROUGHT

Mission accomplished for the ‘Maroon & Gold’. The FD Friars finished their unbeaten season with the 2015 boys football title, their first since the 2007-08 season, with a dominant 27-8 win over the GW Geckos.

[useful_banner_manager_banner_rotation banners=72,74,77 interval=10 width=120- height=600 orderby=rand]

(live audio broadcast: HERE with GSPN’s Robert Balajadia & Guam High Panthers Head Coach Jacob Dowdell on the call. Due to technical difficulties audio picks up late in the 2nd quarter.)

By Jay Leon Guerrero

After leaving the field after being dominated in last year’s IIAAG Football championship game, the FD Friars made it a mission to make it back and bring glory to the maroon and gold. Mission Accomplished.

The Friars finished the 2015-2016 season undefeated and gave coach Bruce Meno his first title as a coach after defeating the defending champion GW Geckos 27-8 on Halloween Night. It was their first title since the 2007-2008 season, and to the boys, it was long overdue.

“It’s a great feeling to get rewarded for all the hard work put in from the boys and the coaches. We learned from last year, we decided to come back the following year and work hard to get back to the championship game,” said Meno. “The seniors are the backbone of this team, each of them played a big role in winning the championship.”

Senior RJ Rokop and Bryton Cepeda accepted the championship trophy from IIAAG President Marty Boudreau as the Friars celebrated on the field with alumni, family and friends.

Rokop and Cepeda anchored the defense to hold the Geckos to a lone touchdown which came with just seconds left in the game.

“We’ve been preparing for this game for a whole year and I’m glad the whole team came out played their hearts out,” said Rokop.

“This is just the beginning, hopefully the team can use their experience and bring home another title next year. I give GW credit because they came out and fought, but our coaches prepared us for a whole year just for this game,” said Cepeda.

First half

The ‘Maroon Wall’ was flawless in the first half. FD defensive coordinator Keone Badua was ready to counter any offensive plays from GW allowing only 10 yards with five tackles-for-losses and a sack in the first half.

Wendy's players of the Game De'Aundre Cruz and Jake Benito controlled the game on the ground, scoring three total touchdowns on the GW Geckos. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

Wendy’s players of the Game De’Aundre Cruz and Jake Benito controlled the game on the ground, scoring three total touchdowns on the GW Geckos. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

De’Aundre Cruz had a heavy workload in the first half with 16 carries for 60 yards that led to a pair of touchdowns for the Friars. In their opening drive, the Friars scored from 14-yards out with senior fullback Jake Benito sprinting down the right side on a 4-and-inches play in the red zone. The Geckos clogged the middle expecting a dive but Benito took the hand off and made a wicked right cut as he dodged two tackles for the opening score to go up 7-0.

GW had no answer on offense, searching for the big play from quarterback Brendan Santos, but the pressure from Kobe Tupaz and Rokop didn’t give him enough time to make accurate throws.

Both defenses stood their ground, trading possessions until the Friars started marching into Gecko territory just before halftime. With time ticking down till halftime, FD quarterback Daniel Phillips went for the big play and connected with senior wide receiver Devin Sudo for a 29-yard TD reception to go up 13-0 by the break.

Second half

Benito and Cruz continued to run aggressively to open up the second half with big gains for first downs to move the chains. Benito capped off the drive with a 19-yard score to put the Friars up comfortably, 20-0.

The Gecko offense continued to get bothered by the Friar defense forcing Santos to throw an interception. First team All-Islander Joaquin Mesa picked off Santos to give possession back to the Friars.

The Friars were unable to make use of the turnover as they were pushed back by a penalty and a sack by Jermayne San Nicolas. The Geckos got the ball back early in the fourth quarter but were unable to move the chains. The Friars got good field possession and scored another insurance touchdown by Cruz from six yards out as the Friar nation started to celebrate.

The Friars storm the field after the clock reaches zero, celebrating their 2015 football title. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

The Friars storm the field after the clock reaches zero, celebrating their 2015 football title. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

But the Geckos, showing true champion spirit did not give up. Santos, a senior, ran for a first down and connected with Devin San Agustin for 30 yards which set up an 11-yard TD reception to receiver Jacob Frias. Santos later connected a two point conversion to Luis Hofshneider to end the game at 27-8.

Santos completed 8 passes for 59 yards, he also led the Geckos in rushing with 18 yards. Defensive MVP Damon Hocog had a game high 8 tackles, San Nicolas had 5 tackles and a sack for the Geckos. Both Hocog and San Nicolas are juniors and will anchor the defense next season for head Ryan Rios. Rios has seven titles in his 12 year coaching era at GW, his lowest finish is fourth place.

Cruz rushed for 107 yards with a TD, Benito had 79 yards and 2 touchdowns. Mesa had 5 tackles and an interception for the Friars, Kobe Tupaz had 4 tackles, 2 tackles-for-losses and a batted down pass defense for the maroon and gold.

“It’s an amazing feeling to win this for our school. Our coaches created plays against different teams; they worked really hard to get us to the championship,” said Benito. “I honestly didn’t know what to expect prior to the season starting. As the season progressed, I realized our true potential so it’s great to win a championship.”

PHOTO GALLERY BROUGHT TO YOU BY:

mfc logo 2

The FD Friars all hold up the IIAAG trophy with plenty of pride. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

The FD Friars all hold up the IIAAG trophy with plenty of pride. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

The FD Friars all hold up the IIAAG trophy with plenty of pride. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

The FD Friars all hold up the IIAAG trophy with plenty of pride. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

The Friars and Geckos shake hands after the championship game's conclusion. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

The Friars and Geckos shake hands after the championship game’s conclusion. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

The Friar fanbase in full support #FriarNation. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

The Friar fanbase in full support #FriarNation. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

The Friar secondary denies receiver Noah Blas a chance at a reception. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

The Friar secondary denies receiver Noah Blas a chance at a reception. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

Running back De'Aundre Cruz finds space in between the Geckos linebackers. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

Running back De’Aundre Cruz finds space in between the Geckos linebackers. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

Friars Jake Benito gets tackled by a pair of Geckos, but not before he reaches the end zone for his 2nd touchdown of the game. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

Friars Jake Benito gets tackled by a pair of Geckos, but not before he reaches the end zone for his 2nd touchdown of the game. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

De'Aundre Cruz storms the ground as he frees himself for a big run. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

De’Aundre Cruz storms the ground as he frees himself for a big run. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

Jake Benito rides the big wall of blockers for a big gain. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

Jake Benito rides the big wall of blockers for a big gain. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

_D337815

De'Aundre Cruz storms the ground as he frees himself for a big run. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

De’Aundre Cruz storms the ground as he frees himself for a big run. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

Geckos Brendan Santos gets his pass swatted by Friars lineman Kobe Tupaz. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

Geckos Brendan Santos gets his pass swatted by Friars lineman Kobe Tupaz. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

_D337783-2_D337779

Ad

Athletes Birthdays by W5

GPS Sports Calendar

May

June 2021

July
SU
MO
TU
WE
TH
FR
SA
30
31
1
2
3
4
5
Events for June

1st

Events for June

2nd

No Events
Events for June

3rd

Events for June

4th

Events for June

5th

6
7
8
9
10
11
12
Events for June

6th

Events for June

7th

No Events
Events for June

8th

Events for June

9th

No Events
Events for June

10th

Events for June

11th

Events for June

12th

13
14
15
16
17
18
19
Events for June

13th

Events for June

14th

No Events
Events for June

15th

Events for June

16th

No Events
Events for June

17th

Events for June

18th

Events for June

19th

20
21
22
23
24
25
26
Events for June

20th

Events for June

21st

No Events
Events for June

22nd

Events for June

23rd

No Events
Events for June

24th

Events for June

25th

Events for June

26th

27
28
29
30
1
2
3
Events for June

27th

Events for June

28th

No Events
Events for June

29th

Events for June

30th

No Events

Foody’s Fun Facts

Favorites From Year 2

Polls

Which omitted high school sport did you miss the most?

View Results

Tokyo Olympics Countdown


2021 Tokyo Olympics

COMING SOON …

FRIDAY

 

 

UFC Fight

July 25: Trevin Jones vs. Tony Kelley

QUICK HITS

The Guam Legislature recently paid homage to Michael Reidy, who passed away stateside in March. Reidy was instrumental in getting Guam into the Olympics in 1988 as well as a founding father of the island’s paddling community.

 

——————————————————–

 

Nadine Del Carmen graduated from Santa Clara University on June 11. She was named captain of the Santa Clara women’s tennis team in her senior year and she will be attending Georgetown University in the fall to pursue her masters and will be playing for the Hoyas women’s tennis team.

 

 

More in Football