Despite losing their first two games, coach Jacob Dowdell says he’s seeing continued improvement in some areas for his Guam High Panthers. They fell to 0-2 Friday in the Interscholastic Football League via a 28-18 loss to Father Duenas Memorial on the Panthers’ new turfed field.

“I’m not disappointed,” Dowdell said after the contest, in which Juan King and Avery Fernandez combined for 175 yards and two rushing touchdowns and Kaimama Bamba threw for 170 more.

Much of the growing pains stem, Dowdell said, from the fact that the Panthers are much smaller than the teams of the two previous years that won the IFL’s regular-season title. “We’re getting outmuscled, veterans vs. young players,” Dowdell said. “We’re taking our lumps, but we’re getting better every game.”

Bamba went 9-for-18, with Lewis Harris catching six passes for 88 yards and one touchdown. “Bamba threw the ball well. … He’s developing at quarterback,” Dowdell said.

Then, there were King, who had 85 yards on eight carries including a 60-yard scoring run, and Fernandez, who ran 35 yards for a touchdown and finished with 90 yards on nine attempts.

“They did an outstanding job of picking up blocks downfield,” Dowdell said.

Christian Duenas rushed for two scores and DeAndre Cruz Leon Shimizu each ran for one touchdown for the Friars (1-1).

Next up for the Panthers is a 7 p.m. start at John F. Kennedy’s on Sept. 13.

“We can’t get anything but better, and we plan to put that away quickly,” Dowdell said.

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