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SHARKS NIP TITANS TO GET FIRST WIN

Juan Cepeda scores two touchdowns as the Sanchez Sharks win their first game of the IIAAG Football League season over the winless Tiyan Titans.

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By Patrick Lujan

It’s been a rough season so far for both the Sanchez Sharks and the brand new Tiyan Titans.

In the battle of 0-5 teams, it took an overtime period to finally decide the outcome. In the end, the Sharks pulled off the 12-6 win at JFK’s Ramsey Field Saturday night.

After the Sharks defense stopped the Titans on the first possession of the extra period, it took just two runs to seal the deal.

Sanchez’s trademark wishbone offense handed the ball twice to Juan Cepeda on power plays, following the blocking of Dandan Cruz and into the end zone for the win.

“We’re moving on,” Sharks assistant coach Andre Artero simply said. “We suited up only 23 guys for this one. As you know, we had to forfeit our first two games because of the lack of players.”

Cepeda put the Sharks on the board in the second quarter with a nice 30-yard counter play for pay dirt.

Tiyan, which has given up almost 30 points per game coming into the contest, held its ground the rest of the way and finally hit the big one with about six minutes left in the game.

Coach Rowel Carreon had a play in mind, but quarterback Saun Alvarez apparently had a better idea on 4th-and-long.

“(Saun) told me, ‘Coach I got it. I’m going to hit Leo (Diaz) on the nine’,” said Carreon. “The line blocked really well and he threw it up real well for Leo to grab.”

The speedy Diaz got behind the Sanchez secondary and sprinted his way in for a 60-yard pass-and-catch to tie the game.

“It’s really disappointing we don’t have a win yet, but these things take time. The team is only starting to gel now. If we had a longer season, this team would do a heck of a lot better,” coach Carreon said.

“They’re progressing. We’re almost right were we would be. I expected all this. This is a new team and we  can’t expect to win right away.”

The Sharks wrap up their season against the Okkodo Bulldogs next Friday night while the Titans take on the JFK Islanders to end their season next Saturday.

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PHOTO GALLERY BROUGHT TO YOU BY:

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Sharks running back  Dan Cruz barely makes it past a Titan as he rushes through the middle.  (photo by Daniel Paran)

The Titans quickly recover a fumble before the Sharks could get to it.  (photo by Daniel Paran)

The Titans quickly recover a fumble before the Sharks could get to it. (photo by Daniel Paran)

Austin Retuyan connects with a long pass for a huge gain in yards for the Titans.  (photo by Daniel Paran)

Austin Retuyan connects with a long pass for a huge gain in yards for the Titans. (photo by Daniel Paran)

Titans quarterback Ryan Soulek calls out to his team before hiking the ball.  (photo by Daniel Paran)

Titans quarterback Ryan Soulek calls out to his team before hiking the ball. (photo by Daniel Paran)

The Sharks linemen set the ball and ready themselves to guard their quarterback.  (photo by Daniel Paran)

The Sharks linemen set the ball and ready themselves to guard their quarterback. (photo by Daniel Paran)

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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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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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