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MATUA SAINTS STING COWBOYS IN SHUTOUT

The Matua division keeps getting tougher as Sunday showcased two premier teams in a showdown between the Cinnaban Saints and Southern Cowboys. The Saints got the victory scoring the games only touchdown as the Cowboys fall for just the second time this season.

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By Mike Nauta Jr.

As the regular season in the 2015 Triple J Ford GNYFF Youth Football League nears its end, teams in all divisions are vying for playoff positioning. In the Matua Division, the Southern Cowboys took on the Cinnabon Island Saints Sunday afternoon in a battle for second place.

The Cowboys were looking to bounce back from a tough loss last week dealt at the hands of the Windward Memorial Hal’s Angels.

Both teams brought the best out in one another as the hotly contested battle was decided on one score. When the game came to a close, it was the Saints who squeaked by their opponents with the 8-0 victory.

“We came mentally and physically prepared to play the Cowboys today,” said Saints quarterback Andrew Perez. “They are always a tough team so we didn’t take them for granted. This game came down to who wanted it the most.”

Neither team was able to capitalize in each of their first possessions of the game as both were forced to punt the ball. As the opening quarter rolled on, play was centered right-around midfield for the most part.

Late in the opening period, the Saints fumbled the ball and the Cowboys managed to recover. Despite the takeaway, Southern couldn’t produce points and eventually gave the ball back to a hungry Saints team.

Cinnabon continued to pressure the Cowboys defense going into the second quarter. With Perez calling the plays, the Saints marched their way downfield and eventually got into the red zone. Looking to keep their opponents from scoring the Cowboys defense tried mixing things up.

However, a determined Perez eventually ran a quarterback keep up the middle that paid dividends for the game’s first score. A converted two-point try upped the Saints lead to 8-0.

  Wendy's Player of the Game, Andrew Perez of the Saints.  (photo by Daniel Paran)

Wendy’s Player of the Game, Andrew Perez of the Saints. (photo by Daniel Paran)

With less than two minutes left in the opening half, the Cowboys made a last ditch effort to end the scoreless drought as quarterback Jared Stanley went to the air looking to find teammate Noah Diaz but to no avail. Both teams went into the half with the Saints holding on to their one possession lead.

The complexion of the game changed for almost the entire second half as both teams saw more yellow (flags) on the ground then a single player could count on both hands. With several opportunities inside the red zone, the Cowboys were hurt the most as they drew seven penalties in one series combining for nearly 70 yards.

Not willing to give their opponents any chance at scoring, the Saints held their own for the final two periods and keeping the Cowboys out of the end zone.

After forcing another turnover on downs on the Cowboys, the Saint’s Perez ran out the clock by kneeing on three straight downs. When the final whistle was blown, it was the Saints who celebrated victory and held on to second place in the division standings.

“We were fortunate enough to pull away with a victory, who knows what the outcome would’ve been if they limited their penalties,” said Perez who eventually earned player of the game honors. “Playoffs will be interesting as our division has tough teams.”

Other Scores

Mandikiki – Packers 3, Giants 2
Manha – Packers 28, Giants 26
Metgot – Packers 27, Giants 0
Matua – Giants 12, Packers 0

PHOTO GALLERY BROUGHT TO YOU BY:

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Vance Carlos sprints along the sideline as his teammate blocks off a Saint defender.  (photo by Daniel Paran)

Vance Carlos sprints along the sideline as his teammate blocks off a Saint defender. (photo by Daniel Paran)

Jared Stanley jukes a Saint with ease before pushing forward.  (photo by Daniel Paran)

Jared Stanley jukes a Saint with ease before pushing forward. (photo by Daniel Paran)

Noah Diaz runs the ball for a nice return after receiving the opening kick off.  (photo by Daniel Paran)

Noah Diaz runs the ball for a nice return after receiving the opening kick off. (photo by Daniel Paran)

Both Eric Russel of the Cowboys and Saints' Patrick Salas reach out for a pass.  (photo by Daniel Paran)

Both Eric Russel of the Cowboys and Saints’ Patrick Salas reach out for a pass. (photo by Daniel Paran)

The Saints make a huge push to get the ball in to the end zone for the only touchdown of the game.  (photo by Daniel Paran)

The Saints make a huge push to get the ball in to the end zone for the only touchdown of the game. (photo by Daniel Paran)

Saints quarterback Andrew Perez drops back to make some space before making a pass.  (photo by Daniel Paran)

Saints quarterback Andrew Perez drops back to make some space before making a pass. (photo by Daniel Paran)

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DID U KNOW?

Since forming the GNYFF in 2009, the league has never gone without a season until 2020. The league announced their plans to cancel the 2020 season amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

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ALL SPORTING EVENTS HALTED DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS ISSUE

QUICK HITS

RIP: Former Guam football player Phil Mendiola, shown here with son Tano, passed away in Las Vegas due to a heart attack. Mendiola played for numerous Guam teams from youth to varsity. He was 39.
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Morgan McKenna (left with black face mask) poses for a photo with Guam Football Association Technical Director Sang Hoon Kim (seated, with blue face mask) and Guam Football Association Assistant Technical Director Ross Awa (standing) after signing his letter of commitment to play intercollegiate men’s soccer for Muskingum University in Ohio. The Fighting Muskies compete in NCAA Division III’s Ohio Athletic Conference.

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