The 'Blue Empire' victorious in both divisional match ups

tony@samoanews.com

Last Thursday kicked off week No.6 for the American Samoa High School Athletics Association's (ASHSAA) football season; and despite the the buckets of rain, Samoana's Blue Empire came out strong to collect their third victory of the season in the varsity division, after sending the Lions home scoreless.

Coverage of the 2017-2018 ASHSAA football is sponsored by Congresswoman Aumua Amata.

The Sharks' Junior Varsity squad is currently atop the JV standings as the No.1 seed after demolishing the Lions in a 34- 6 victory last week.

It was yet another 30+ scoring game for the Sharks — their 4th win in a row — thanks to their rhythmic ‘Air Attack’.

For the Varsity Division, Samoana has moved up to the No. 2 spot in the standings after Tafuna defeated the Vikings.

The Sharks are now 3-2 and last week's game was the second time the Sharks have defeated Leone this season.

VARSITY DIVISION

SAMOANA 14, LEONE 0

The first half of the Lions and Sharks varsity match up was scoreless, as both defenses came out strong to deny any big conversion by either team, not to mention it was a Fumblerooskie evening, as the football and field were slippery and wet. Both teams turned the ball over numerous times in the opening half.

It was during the second half of play that the Sharks came out, desperately needing a win. Their offense, led by Anthony Feala and Moses Michael Samia, managed to take the Sharks into Lions territory and into the red zone after Samia came up with some amazing catches to move the chains downfield.

The action started in the sixth minute of the third quarter.

 6:02 into the second half of play, and Samoana played a threatening second and goal situation from Leone’s 2-yard line, where Feala sent Louis Malala Jr. straight up the middle with the hand off for the opening touchdown of the game.

The two-point conversion was a fake field goal conversion for the Sharks, as Zephaniah Pati quickly turned to lob a pass to Antonio Pule for a successful extra point conversion, putting them ahead with an 8-point lead in the second half.

Late in the third quarter, with just 2:12 remaining, the Lions pinned deep in their own 1-yard line with a desperate offensive drive to get out of the red zone, were disappointed to see the snap from the center to their quarterback, fumbled in the end zone and recovered by Samoana’s Pulefano ‘Bunky’ Misitana for a defensive touchdown for the Sharks, which extended their lead to 14-0.

The field goal conversion was a bad snap towards the holder, as the Lions rushed the backfield to deny Samoana an extra point attempt.

The Sharks managed to hold on to their lead into the final quarter of play, sealing a 14-0 victory again Leone.

The main factor in Samoana’s victory was their defense, as the Sharks "Big D" led by Antonio Pule, Bunky Misitana, Solomona Seiuli and Sebastian held the fort down for the Blue Empire in their third straight victory into the second round of action.

JUNIOR VARSITY

SAMOANA 34, LEONE 6

The Sharks and Lions JV game opened up the triple header scheduled for last Saturday.

The Sharks ‘Air Attack’ led by offensive coordinator Keith Leuta proved to be unstoppable, as the Sharks scored five touchdowns, all on pass attempts from quarterback Jr. Tanielu.

The Sharks didn’t hesitate to get on the board early, after the opening offensive possession of the game.

9:52 into the opening quarter and Tanielu fires a long one to Sam Mikaele for the opening touchdown of the game, a 25-yard reception that put Samoana ahead with a six-point lead.

The Lions, led by quarterback Oakland Salave’a, were swarmed by Samoana defenders from all corners of the field, as the Sharks defense, led by Masaichi Aviu and Paul Fano, shut down the Lions throughout the opening quarter of the match.

2:27 into the second quarter of play, and Samoana strikes again from the air – Samoana’s first down from Leone’s 15-yard line and Tanielu looks to John Uga’itafa for their second touchdown of the game, a quick slant pass to Uga’itafa that extended Samoana’s lead to 12.

While the Lions couldn’t stop the Sharks option game of Run-n-Gun, the Blue Empire continued to wreak havoc into half time, keeping it in the air as usual.

 Tanielu quickly lobbed a pass over a Leone defender and into the hands of Avery Seumanutafa, a 5-yard conversion for Samoana’s third touchdown of the game.

The two point conversion by Fano was immediately plugged up in the backfield by Cyan Fiatoa and a host of Lions, as Samoana extended their lead by 20 points.

Late in the third quarter, Samoana continued to stick with their air attack.

2:58 into the second half of play — Samoana’s second down at midfield — and Tanielu charges up to fire a long one out to BJ Anderson for their fourth passing TD of the game, extending the lead to 26.

The two-point conversion, a quarterback draw by Tanielu was good enough to put them ahead by a dominating 34 points, heading into the final quarter of play.

But the Lions were still searching for answers,  and they finally came through.

7:29 into the final quarter of play, and Salave’a leads the Lions with a threatening second down situation from Samoana’s 39-yard line, where Salave’a airs a long pass out to Legget for their first and only touchdown of the game.

The two-point conversion was unsuccessful, as the play action pass by Salave’a was immediately stopped by Fano behind the line of scrimmage for a loss.

The Sharks were able to maintain their lead and win their fourth straight victory of the regular season.

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