With enough time for one final play in the fifth annual Triple J Guam National Youth Football Federation All-Star Game, the Raptors defeated the Mustangs - and they did it with defense.
On Saturday, at John F. Kennedy High School’s Ramsey Field, with a last-second safety, the Raptors defeated the Mustangs, 16-14.
The Raptors, composed of the best athletes from the Matua Division, had a roster loaded with talent from the Guahan Eagles, Faha Outlaws, Raiders, and Broncos.
The Mustangs - laden with talent from the AM Insurance Steelers, Southern Cowboys, Guam Packers, and the 2019 Matua Division champion Windward Memorial Hal’s Angels - had one of the deepest youth football teams ever to have played the game.
In a game as easy to follow as Advanced Placement calculus, with all eight teams' jerseys peppering the field, Raptors’ RJ Camacho locked his eyes on Mustangs running back Eric John Sablan.
Camacho, an Outlaw, with a gritty game-winning safety, snuffed Sablan, a Packers proven entity.
“If our defensive line wasn’t doing their job, I wouldn’t have gotten that (safety),” Camacho said. “Thank you to my defensive line, and thank you to my team.”
The Raptors, scoring all of their points on special teams and defense, walked off the field as champions.
On the opening kickoff, Raptors’ Josiah Quintanilla, an Outlaw multipurpose player, recovered a fumble deep in Mustangs territory and ran in for a 5-yard touchdown.
“I was sprinting down, and they tried to lateral,” Quintanilla said. “The lateral wasn’t there. It dropped.”
“This is a great team,” he said. “I love these guys."
Evening the score with a 25-yard touchdown reception, Mustangs quarterback Alex Sojo connected to Aaron Johnson. All season, the Angels' Sojo-to-Johnson connection stumped the best defenders.
The Raptors, scoring their second defensive touchdown after Brian Hayes swooped and scooped up a fumble and ran into the end zone, led at halftime, 14-8.
In the second half, tying the game 14-14, Sojo connected to Angels teammate Jayven Mendiola.
The Mustangs, respecting the Raptors defense, went for the 2-point conversion. In what proved to be the game-saving play, Raptors’ Kin John San Nicolas blocked the point-after try.
San Nicolas, a Raider, gave the Raptors life.
With two minutes remaining and without overtime in All-Star football, the Mustangs needed their offense back on the field. Mustangs’ Vance Meno, another Angels impact player, recovered a perfectly executed onside kick.
With the Mustangs driving, Raptors’ Jake Cruz, an Eagle, intercepted Sojo.
The Raptors, on their final drive, with a 25-yard rush from San Nicolas, ran to the Mustangs 36-yard line.
With 35 seconds left, Steelers defender Lance Muna Aguon elevated and, on their own 5-yard line, made what seemed to be the game-saving interception.
With the Mustangs pinned deep inside their red zone, 95 yards of real estate to the Raptors goal, Sojo went to work.
On first-and-10, Raptors’ Rai Peredo blitzed through O-line and sacked Sojo on the 2-yard line. Peredo, an Outlaw, set up the game-winning play.
On second-and-13, Camacho, knifing through a hole, snuffed Sablan for the safety.
“That was very fun,” Camacho said. “I love my teammates.”