Guam overcomes tough injury to win opener
AGANA HEIGHTS, Guam – Jujuan King might have fallen off his game after watching his brother Juan suffer a broken right leg during Guam High’s season-opening football game against Tiyan on Saturday.
Instead, the senior quarterback accounted for a pair of touchdowns and 158 yards total offense, leading the Panthers to a 32-0 shutout of the Titans as Guam rebounded from the first winless season in school history.
“Jujuan did a great job,” coach Jacob Dowdell said of his senior quarterback. “He could have taken a turn for the worse, but he led the team tonight.”
Jujuan King went 7-for-19 for 112 yards, including a touchdown pass to Makoa Bamba, and rushed three times for 46 yards and a score.
Avery Fernandez, another junior, stepped in for Juan King, a junior running back, and rushed seven times for 37 yards and caught a pass for 17 yards. “That was a reflection of our policy of ‘next man up’ at Guam High,” Dowdell said.
Chase Spotanski, a freshman, ran 10 yards for a touchdown, highlighting what Dowdell called a solid performance by the Panthers’ underclassmen.
“He’s a future star at Guam High,” Dowdell said of Spotanski. He also cited the play of freshman center Nate Williams, who “stepped up and did a good job. All the freshmen stepped up. We had a chance to play all the players on our roster.”
Xavier Richardson had two interceptions and two pass breakups, in addition to 18 yards on three rushes and a touchdown. Donovan Johnson had seven tackles, including two sacks, and Trip Chauret had eight tackles for the Panthers.
That defensive effort led to the first shutout victory for Guam since taking the 2013 third-place playoff game 36-0 over Okkodo. “We finally got the monkey off our backs.” Dowdell said.
Juan King is expected to miss between 4 to 6 weeks recovering from the leg break, Dowdell said. “We hope to have him back for the championship.”
Tiyan’s debut marked the first time the Interscholastic Football League has fielded eight teams.
Father Duenas opened with a 14-6 win over John F. Kennedy. Southern and defending IFL champion George Washington each got victories by forfeit over Simon Sanchez and Okkodo on Friday.
Next for Guam is a Friday home date with Simon Sanchez; kickoff is at 7 p.m.