Defense, Sweet power Guam High to inaugural home night grid win
AGANA HEIGHTS, Guam – A rare non-rainy Saturday, balanced offense and staunch defense helped Guam High inaugurate night football on its home field with the Panthers’ second straight shutout to open the season.
Sean Sweet accounted for two touchdowns and 195 yards total offense, D.J. Cruz ran for a score and Nygee Smith recovered a fumble for a TD as the Panthers blanked Simon Sanchez 27-0. In two games, Guam High has outscored opponents 69-0.
“We’re pretty proud of that,” coach Jacob Dowdell said. “The defense put on a show. We dominated Simon Sanchez like we’d never dominated them before.”
Smith recorded 12 tackles and his inside linebacking partner Theatris Eaton added 10, as did Logan Demmmick. Brandon Saville led Guam High with 13.
Smith and Eaton were moved from their defensive end positions to inside linebacker this week to demonstrate “that they can play more than one position,” said Dowdell, who plans to move them to outside linebacker for next week’s game with George Washington.
“And they have a slew of hard-hitting players who complement these guys.”Helping matters was the fact that not a drop of rain fell. “The Lord blessed us,” Dowdell said. “First time in weeks.”
Sweet went 15-for-22 for 143 yards and ran eight times for 52 yards, including a 1-yard touchdown run. Cruz had 87 yards on 16 carries, including a 15-yard touchdown run, and caught two passes for 23 yards.
Matt Eaton led the Panthers’ receivers with 94 yards on six catches, including a 45-yard touchdown strike from Sweet. Opposite him was Marcus Domingo, who caught two passes for 22 yards and a touchdown. “He opens things up on the other side for Matt,” Dowdell said.
The victory preceded Guam High’s toughest test thus far this season – on Saturday at 7 p.m., the Panthers (2-0) host the Geckos (1-0); Guam High beat George Washington 7-6 in last October’s Bamboo Bowl for its first island football championship.
“It will definitely be our strongest challenge yet,” Dowdell said.