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PACIFIC RIM BOWL BRINGS STAR TALENT

The first annual Pacific Rim Sun Bowl lived up to its name as the sun was just above bearable despite starting late in the Sunday afternoon. The Steel Blazers defeated the visiting Japan Blaze Cats and Team Legacy took out all the best players in the league.

By Candy Taman

The first ever Pacific Rim Sun Bowl lived up to its name as the sun was just above bearable despite starting late in the Sunday afternoon. The first of two show downs, the 4th-seeded Steel Blazers from the recently completed women’s football league went up against the visiting Japan Blaze Cats at the Raiders Field in Tiyan.

Then immediately after would be the three-time defending champions Legacy would face the Guam Women’s all-star team, a mix of the Lady Raiders, Falcons, Steel Blazers, Sindalu, and Tough Chicks alongside players from the Japan Blaze Cats.

Steel Blazers def. Japan Blaze Cats 6-2

A mixed Japan team consisting of the Wild Cats and Tokyo Blaze combined together to take the hard-hitting Steel Blazers. Both teams having to convert back to the previous eight-man style of play definitely utilized the width of the field.

Japan’s offense struck first opening up with an inside run attack led by running back Haruka Ushiyama.  This proved to be challenging against, what seemed like, the Steel Curtain defense. SB linebacker Alyssa “Honey” Meno brought their offense on the field with a recovered fumble resulting in excellent field position.

The Steel Blazer offense countered with a ground game of their own led by fullback Sherae Fejeran but to no avail due to multiple penalties. Making use of their defensive stand outs, Tabitha Reyes and Mel Manglona checked in to the back field to punch in multiple runs to the outside to get them into the red zone.

Key physical blocks by quarterback TJ “the Predator” Rodriguez and Cassandra Tajalle were the difference in the game. Using self-created momentum, Rodriguez punched in the first score of the game following a failed two-point conversion putting SB up 6-0 in their opening drive.

(photo by Kyle Twardowski)

(photo by Kyle Twardowski)

The ensuing Blaze Cat possession proved familiar on the ground with their #43 (Ushiyama) using her speed to beat the Blazers to the outside. The first true test for that black and gold defense came down to a 1st and goal situation, to which their defensive line showed its toughness.

The Blaze Cats attempted to run multiple times inside their tackles but were met by veteran defensive lineman Patricia Martinez who introduced Ushiyama to the wrong side of the goal line. Realizing inside wasn’t an option, the Blaze Cat offense diverted back to their speed game hoping to put that SB secondary in a 1-on-1 situation but were denied the opportunity.

Following the turn over SB found themselves deep in Blaze Cat territory giving that defense a chance to show its true colors. A bobbled snap by SB that was recovered in the end zone gave Japan their first and only score of the game. SB would remain on top throughout the remainder of the game earning the win.

Legacy def. Guam All-Stars 14-0

The two punch combo of rookie Ewy Malaca and veteran Olivia Flores on the ground seemed to put the all-star team in a daze for majority of the game, giving Legacy another dominant win over the leagues best players. Flores, no stranger to the end zone, found her way twice to secure the 14-0 win over the combined Japan-Guam all-star team.

The 11-woman exhibition match between these two teams was truly one of a kind with the addition of selected Japan players to the all-star roster. Despite the language barrier between Japan and Guam, the familiarity of the sport made it much easier for our local players to gel with their Japanese counter parts.

Sindalu QB Chelsea Goffigan started off action against a familiar foe in Team Legacy. An arsenal of weapons was available for the all-star team starting with the ground work of the Tough Chick and Lady Falcon offense; The Taitague, Mailloux, and Iriarte tag team proved to be effective to gain yards on the Legacy defense but a first-quarter turnover would put the Legacy offense on the field. In the 2nd half of play, the all- star offense went Far East to Japanese QB Atsuko Takasaki and RB Anna Takayama to give Legacy a different look.

As for our visitors from Japan, they were not afraid to take it to the air with Takasaki showing signs of comfort as the signal caller.

PHOTO GALLERY:

(photo by Kyle Twardowski)

(photo by Kyle Twardowski)

(photo by Kyle Twardowski)

(photo by Kyle Twardowski)

(photo by Kyle Twardowski)

(photo by Kyle Twardowski)

(photo by Kyle Twardowski)

(photo by Kyle Twardowski)

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QUICK HITS

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UOG hired Tatiana Sablan as the new volleyball coach. Sablan served as the original volleyball coach for UOG back in 2016 and she has been rehired to lead the more “beach” oriented program in 2022-23.

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