Running backs seem to keep coming out of the woodwork for coach Brandon Miller and the Guam High football team. DeAndre Weaver, a sophomore who began the season at wide receiver, became the Panthers’ fourth tailback and just missed becoming the team’s first 100-yard rusher this season.
Weaver and Zachary Fry each ran for touchdowns as Guam High made it a happy homecoming by beating Southern 13-6 Saturday at Naval Station. Weaver finished with 97 yards on 12 carries for the Panthers, who improved to 4-4 and claimed a fourth regular-season victory for the first time in the team’s 10 seasons.
As a result of Simon Sanchez’s 28-8 victory over John F. Kennedy, the Panthers also sealed a berth in next month’s four-team Interscholastic Football League postseason playoffs.
“This is just the first step,” Miller said. “We want to take it further.”
In South Korea, Seoul American completed its fourth unbeaten season in the five-year history of the Department of Defense Dependents Schools-Korea league. Daniel Burns rolled up 188 yards of offense and Trinidai Stansel scored twice as the Falcons blanked Osan American 24-0.
Guam High 13, Southern 6: Weaver got the Panthers on the board with an 18-yard run on the fifth play of the game. Davin Apiag’s 26-yard TD pass to Chris Fruge tied it 6-6 in the third quarter.
Fry’s 4-yard TD run in the fourth quarter and Ryan Ford’s extra-point kick put the Panthers ahead for good. Fry’s run capped a drive that quarterback Torus Washington kept alive with an 18-yard gain on fourth-and-11. Washington had 49 yards on five carries.
Paul Salgado had five tackles, two for losses; Chris Brown had an interception; and Rey Tenorio came up with a fumble recovery for the Panthers.
Miller feels his team is a “dangerous” one going into the IFL playoffs and the DODDS-Pacific Far East semifinal Nov. 3 when Guam High hosts Yokota at Blue Jacket Field.
“We don’t care what (playoff) spot we’ll be in,” he said. “People will look at us and go, ‘That’s a dangerous team. You don’t know what they’ll bring to the table. Is this the passing Panthers? Is this the grind-it-out Panthers?’ And when we get the pieces put together, it will be something to see.”
Seoul American 24, Osan American 0: At Yongsan Garrison, the defending Class AA champion Falcons continued a remarkable regular-season run in which they’ve amassed a 22-1 record and outscored opponents 682-199.
Despite that success, coach Julian Harden says a look beyond the stats shows the Falcons’ run has been anything but easy, given the large turnover of players in DODDS’ transient environment.
“To build a program, you need seasoned folks and upperclassmen. Seniors graduate, and by the time the seasoned players are ready, they transfer somewhere,” Harden said. “It takes time to build. None of our victories were us whipping up on people. We got a couple of breaks that played in our favor, and when we needed to click, we clicked.”
Stansel ran 11 times for 89 yards and two touchdowns, Demetrius Johnson rushed for the Falcons’ other TD and Joe Han kicked a 34-yard field goal and was 3-for-3 on extra-point kicks.
Burns gained 152 yards on seven carries and was 3-for-13 passing for 36 yards. Kawika Feleciano had 11 tackles and blocked a field goal try, Joe McLean had 10 tackles and forced a fumble, and Mark Lieberg had nine tackles and a fumble recovery.