After Saturday night’s win against the Guam High School Panthers, the only thing standing in the George Washington High School Geckos way of a title is the Father Duenas Memorial School Friars.
The Geckos’ football team, in the semifinals, under their home-field lights, defeated the Panthers, 20-7.
“I know that a lot of our team has heart, and we can do it,” said Ricky Macias, Geckos’ starting quarterback. “I trust in our coaches, and they made us come together as a team."
With the win, the Geckos advance to next Saturday’s finale against the four-time defending champion Friars.
The Friars, who finished the 2019-2020 regular season undefeated, have won 47 straight games.
The Geckos, in the 2018-2019 championship game, lost to the Friars in double-overtime.
A quick score
In the first quarter, Geckos’ star running back Eian Naputi broke open a scoreless tie with a 46-yard touchdown run up the middle.
“It feels good to help out,” said Naputi, who, for the past three weeks, had been sidelined with an injury.
Macias, in the second quarter, connected to Gabriel Arceo-Gilbert with a 30-yard touchdown reception.
“He (Arceo-Gilbert) has improved a lot,” Macias said. “During practice, he’s been catching more.”
At the half, the Geckos led 13-0.
Two quarters away from a trip to the Independent Interscholastic Athletic Association of Guam championship game, the Geckos entered the field in the second half ready to play.
George Washington’s Noah Quichocho, the reigning IIAAG defensive MVP, intercepted Panthers’ quarterback Travon Jacobs.
“I just played the game, like any other," Quichocho said. "Defensive MVP is a pretty big title, but I don’t use the title as something I keep in my head."
On GW's next set of downs, after driving close to the Guam High goal line, the Panthers’ defense stopped the Geckos.
Pinned deep in their territory, a Panthers' mistake led to the Geckos' third touchdown.
As a snap rolled past Jacobs, linebacker Jonahs Gumabon recovered the ball in the end zone.
“The championship game is going to show who wants it more,” Naputi said. “I know they’re going to go hard. We’re going to go hard too.”