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WARRIORS ROMP RAMS IN SEMIS

A week after a very close contest between the Pepsi Warriors and Cars Plus Rams, the Warriors made sure their final meeting in 2015 wasn’t going to be as close in a decisive shutout victory Saturday afternoon.

By Michael J.A. Nauta Jr.

Post season action in the Miller Football League kicked-off on Saturday afternoon with the defending champion Pepsi Warriors going to battle against the CarsPlus Rams. While the Rams entered the game hoping to garner an upsetting victory, the Warriors were on a mission to punch their ticket back to the finals for the third-straight year.

A week ago, the Rams gave the defending champs a run for their money in a closely played game. However, yesterday was a totally different story as the Warriors mauled their opponents with a 33-0 shutout victory.

After winning the coin toss and electing to receive, the defending champions opened the game needing only five snaps to score the games first points taking a 7-0 lead. Using the running game, Pepsi’s Hosea Ware pounded out four runs totaling 47 yards.

The Warriors defense smothers Rams quarterback Leeray Zapatos. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

The Warriors defense smothers Rams quarterback Leeray Zapatos. (photo by Richard Camacho IV) 

On the fifth play of the drive, quarterback Danny Manibusan connected with teammate Alex Azcaraga on a slant route that went 51-yards into the end zone. A converted PAT tacked on the extra point.

CarsPlus took their turn offensively for the first time in the game and went with a no-huddle offense for the first few plays. Despite being able to move the chains downfield, the Rams would run into some problems against a tough Pepsi defense. A few yards short of entering Pepsi territory, the Rams had to eventually punt the ball giving possession back to the Warriors.

Pepsi carried their offensive momentum at the start of the second quarter. R.J. Bryand began things with a big 12-yard run. Not too long after, Manibusan zeroed in on teammate Vince Espinal who caught a pass and put his team on the one-yard line. Manibusan took matters into his own hands on the next snap and scored on a one yard plunge.

The successful point after upped the Warriors lead to 14-0. CarsPlus quarterback Leeray Zapatos tried to get his offense going with a few minutes left in the half. However, time on the clock ran out before the Rams could post points on the board.

Warriors Alex Azcaraga hauls in a catch for big yardage. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

Warriors Alex Azcaraga hauls in a catch for big yardage. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

Returning to second half action, the Rams were first with the ball. However, that would be short-lived as a fumble gave the Warriors the ball back. Capitalizing on the turnover, Pepsi added seven more to their tally after an Espinal TD reception and a converted PAT. Things worsened for the Rams as the half progressed.

The Warriors built a 27-0 lead after three quarters of play. In the final period, another touchdown by Pepsi’s Valiant Borja changed the scoreboard making it a 33-0 game. The eventual signal to end the game was blown, giving Pepsi the win all while clinching their third straight championship berth.

The Warriors advance to finals and await the winner between the Hal’s Angels and Island Eagles. The two teams play one another on Sunday at 2pm at the Eagles Field in Mangilao.

Warriors Hosea Ware shoulders through the defense for tough yards. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

Warriors Hosea Ware shoulders through the defense for tough yards. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

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