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ASAN, Guam — With a home football field to finally call their own, Guam High’s Panthers celebrated by handing a stunning defeat to the defending island champions — and showing their intent to contend for the title themselves.

R.J. Bryand returned a fumble 24 yards for the final touchdown, and Jason Branson and Devon Jacobs each ran for scores as Guam High blanked Simon Sanchez 18-0 on Saturday at newly inaugurated Panthers Field.

"We have speed and truly committed kids," said Billy Henry, who won in his Guam High coaching debut and has been working with his charges for seven weeks. "The July 21st start has paid off."

Some 300 fans witnessed the Panthers’ first victory over the Sharks in Guam High’s 11-season football history.

"It’s a great feeling," Henry said of seeing family members and other people in the community "out in force. The kids really showed their appreciation. They have a sense of ‘home’ now. We have an actual field and we’re happy and proud of it."

Outsized by the bigger Sharks, the Panthers "beat them with speed and endurance," Henry said. "We kept them between the lines, got up in the ends and crashed down to shut down the offense."

Once, the Sharks did manage to penetrate to the Panthers’ 10-yard line, only to turn the ball over on downs. Henry credited Simon Sanchez for playing "right to the end. We had our hands full."

Jacobs got the Panthers on the board with a power sweep from 8 yards out in the second quarter. Branson’s 59-yard scoring run closed the third quarter.

Guam High completed the scoring when Ed Cruz forced a fumble and Bryand scooped it up and ran 24 yards to the end zone.

Branson rushed seven times for 109 yards. Bryand had eight tackles, Jacob Bunch seven and Logan Dimmick and Devon Newbold six each. The Sharks’ Jeric Abisia had 72 yards on eight tries and Manny Bamba recorded seven tackles.

Brett Maluwelmeng contributed to this report.

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