King scores twice, blocks PAT as Guam edges JFK
UPPER TUMON, Guam – Juan King Jr. shone the brightest in a Friday night game played in dim, makeshift lighting due to electric power problems on the island.
The senior took two short bursts into the end zone for touchdowns and blocked the extra-point kick that would have tied it late in the fourth quarter as Guam High edged John F. Kennedy 20-19 at the Islanders’ home Ramsey Field.
“He put the team on his back,” coach Jacob Dowdell said of King, who plays offense, defense and punts on special teams. “He literally never came off the field. And he did it all.”
It was the third win in four games for the Panthers, but only their first in a game played on the field. Guam’s first two wins came via forfeit the first two weeks of the season. JFK fell to 2-2.
King, who had 102 yards on 14 carries, followed the second of his touchdown runs with a two-point conversion pass to give Guam a 14-0 lead. JFK cut the margin to 14-7, at which point Dowdell was ejected from the game because some of his players weren’t properly padded.
Dowdell said he was happy the way his assistant coaches “stepped in and held the ship together.”
Solomon White provided the winning points for the Panthers in the third quarter with a 56-yard touchdown pass to D.J. Williams.
The Islanders mounted a charge, scoring to cut the gap to 20-13, recovering an onside kick, then scoring again to get within a point. That was when King made his special-teams game-saving play.
“At 5-foot-7, he had to elevate to get that kick,” Dowdell said. “That goes back to his preparation and conditioning.”
The game was played despite the rolling blackouts that have affected the island since two power transformers failed earlier this month. With Upper Tumon, JFK’s home village, affected by the load-shedding outages, portable floodlights were brought in to provide some lighting.
“I’m just hoping we don’t put our kids in that kind of position again,” Dowdell said. “At the end of the day, though, it was a win. It is what it is.”
The Panthers next host Okkodo, while in the island’s oldest rivalry, the Islanders travel to George Washington. Both games kick off at 7 p.m. Friday.