SANTA RITA, Guam – For the second straight season, the Interscholastic Football League semifinals became the undoing of Guam High’s drive for the school’s second league championship.

After falling behind 20-0, George Washington scored 24 unanswered fourth-quarter points, helped by 10 penalties called against the Panthers, and the Geckos clinched a spot in Saturday’s Bamboo Bowl by upsetting regular-season champion Guam 24-20 Saturday at Southern High School.

“George Washington played hard, my kids played hard, we had a lot of calls go against us, but we’ll just continue on. I’m proud of the guys,” a disappointed Panthers coach Jacob Dowdell said.

In the same scenario last October, the Geckos edged the regular-season champion Panthers 21-20 in the semifinals. Guam beat Okkodo 33-6 for third place, while the Geckos lost the title game 39-32 to Simon Sanchez.

Not having junior running back-defensive back Lewis Harris, who injured a knee in the Panthers’ final regular-season game, hurt Guam on Saturday, Dowdell said, adding he had to use inexperienced freshmen in his place. “Once they (Geckos) figured it out, it was evident,” Dowdell said.

Lorden Aguon went 12-for-17 for 180 yards and scored on a 6-yard run for Guam, didn’t throw for a touchdown and was intercepted twice.

Juwan Jacobs rushed eight times for 76 yards, including a 25-yard touchdown run, and caught two passes for 36 yards. Robit Cabe returned a fumble 90 yards for a touchdown. Tegan Brown had 115 yards on nine carries and 17 tackles and Terry Geller caught two passes for 22 yards.

George Washington (5-3) will play a Bamboo Bowl rematch on Saturday against defending champion Simon Sanchez (7-1), 22-0 winner in the other IFL semifinal over Okkodo (3-5), while on Friday, the Panthers play the Bulldogs in the third-place game. Both games will be played at times and sites to be determined.

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