Samoana Sharks Varsity edge the Vikings out in a stunning victory
This past weekend was the fifth week of the American Samoa High School Athletic Association (ASHSAA) 2017- 18 Football Season — the final week of the first round, which concluded with Samoana High School’s second win of the season in the Varsity Division — a shocker —it was a two- point victory over Head Coach Sua’ese Pooch Ta’ase and his Faga’itua Vikings.
Coverage of the 2017-18 ASHSAA Football Season is proudly sponsored by Congresswoman Aumua Amata.
This was ‘the’ match that ASHSAA Football fanatics claimed that Samoana had a chance to prove themselves if they defeated the Vikings — and indeed they did — in both divisional competition of the East Side Battle.
Samoana’s passing game finally pulled through for them in their Friday Night Lights battle against the reigning champs of the league – with two passing touchdowns that allowed them the lead throughout the final half of their game.
SAMOANA SHARKS 14 – FAGA’ITUA VIKINGS 12
The passing game wasn’t the only thing that claimed the Sharks second victory of the regular season – credit also goes to their defensive side of the ball. With Sebastian, Solomona lSeiuli, and Antonio Pule leading Samoana’s defensive front, the Sharks were able to hold on, and stop the Vikings bruising running game.
Late in the opening half of the game, 1:22 seconds remaining in the second quarter, and the Vikings running game was threatening inside Samoana territory – Vito Kitiona at the helm for the Vikings sounded the snap on the Sharks 15-yard line, and rolled out with a play action pass to find Jacob Umu in the end zone for the opening touchdown of the game.
Just when the Vikings thought they’d get away with the lead into halftime – the Sharks said ‘Not Today!’ when Anthony Feala spotted Zephaniah Pati on the long route, and Feala bombed a long one to Pati for their first touchdown of the game, with just 58 seconds remaining in the first half; Samoana came roaring back to tie the game with six a piece.
Suddenly, just when Samoana’s flame of hope started to light, the Vikings turned off the lights when they came back with just seconds remaining, and pulled off a last second TD – 28 seconds remaining in the first half, and Vito Kitiona finds Steven Fiso on the post route for a long reception that spotted them a first down situation on the Sharks five yard line.
From there, Kitiona sent Advent Migi straight up the middle for a five yard touchdown reception, their second touchdown of the half, as they came back and took the lead 12 - 6.
Their two-point conversion was no good when Seiuli sacked Kitiona immediately in the backfield for a loss.
7:25 in the third quarter of play, and Samoana spots another fortunate down inside Vikings territory. After a few running plays to gain yardage, Feala turned to his air attack from the Vikings 20-yard line – Feala finds Elliot Lelei on the post route, and hooked up with Lelei for Samoana’s second touchdown of the game.
As Samoana is the only team known in the league that can make field goals by way of Lelei – Samoana’s fake field goal conversion totally caught the Vikings off guard, as they didn’t rush the kicker nor maintained coverage, and the Sharks were able to fake the kick and opted to pass out to (#11) for a successful two-point conversion – the conversion that brought them back to take the lead as well as the win with a 14 - 12 victory.
SAMOANA SHARKS 34 – FAGA’ITUA VIKINGS 6
The Faga’itua Vikings started this one off by shooting themselves in the foot with false start penalties and holding penalties, spotting themselves an offensive conversion deep inside their territory – where they snapped the ball and their quarterback was forced and sacked in the backfield for a safety by Paul Fano and Masaichi Aviu of the Sharks as they took the two-point lead.
Samoana’s offensive side of the ball was noticed to have some changes in the opening quarter of this one, as they brought Fano to be their starting quarterback, as Fano led the Sharks right back to the goal line to claim their opening touchdown of the game.
6:23 into the opening quarter, and Fano crosses the goal line for the first touchdown of the game – an option quarterback keep from Faga’itua’s 15- line. Their two-point conversion in the hands of Fano again on a quarterback sneak was good enough to give them a 10 - 0 lead.
It wasn’t until the fifth minute of the quarter when the Vikings option game finally came through after patiently waiting for windows to start opening. 5:24 in the opening half, and the Vikings Jesse Toilolo catches a 25-yard pass from his quarterback for Faga’itua’s first touchdown of the game.
3:44 still in the first quarter, Samoana managed to get back into Vikings territory and play a desperate third down on the Vikings 5-yard line — Jr. Tanielu pitched the ball out to Fano who stormed towards the corner of the end zone for his second touchdown of the game.
8:22 in the third quarter of play, and Tanielu finds John Uga’itafa on a quick slant pass to open up the second half of play with another Samoana touchdown. Their two-point conversion, a quarterback keeper by Tanielu was good enough to extend their lead and win it for their Sharks 32 - 6.