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First ever women’s tackle football champs
THE women from the Circle K Island Stunnerz have written a story for themselves that will go down in the history books.
On Saturday afternoon, the Stunnerz took on a very feisty and tough 76 Steel Blazers in the Bud Light Guam Women’s Tackle Football League Championship game. At the end of four intense quarters of hard-hitting action on the gridiron, the Stunnerz came away with a 50-47 victory to clinch the first ever women’s tackle football title.
“This was a game filled with excitement and intensity. We faced off against a very strong Steel Blazers team. It was about working hard and continuing to climb,” said Island Stunnerz post-season MVP Vanity Palomo.
In the opening minutes of the game, everyone in attendance knew both teams were setting this match up to be one that comes down to the wire. The Steel Blazers started their first offensive drive with back-to-back running plays by TJ Rodrigues and Deana “Showtime” Garcia. On the third play of the opening quarter, Paulette Nededog busted through the Stunnerz defense for a touchdown and a 6-0 lead.
Circle K realized they were playing the game of their life and quickly responded with six points of their own to equalize the game. Moments later, Kristin Thompson split the uprights for two more points and an 8-6 lead.
The excitement didn’t stop there. In the next series for the Steel Blazers, Garcia sped her way from 20 yards out for another 76 touchdown and a 12-8 lead.
The Steel Blazers turned up the heat defensively and finished the last three minutes of the quarter without allowing the Stunnerz any more production offensively. In the opening minutes of the second quarter, the Steel Blazers upped their lead to double-digits (18-8) after Chandrea Roberts turned the motors on for a 45-yard touchdown run. It was from that point on that the Island Stunnerz regrouped and responded.
The Stunnerz trio of Palomo, Merced Flores, and Lorina Guerrero worked the ball downfield for their team that eventually put them in the red zone.
Despite being pushed back on a penalty, the Stunnerz’s Christine Deleon pummeled her way through the goal line stance of the Steel Blazers for the TD. Thompson sailed another through the uprights for the successful conversion to make it an 18-16 game.
With minutes left before the halftime break, 76 had one more drive to put together and it proved successful for yet another score and made conversion that increased their lead to 26-16.
Island Stunnerz wasted no time in the second half reassuring their presence on the field as they scored a touchdown on the opening kick-off.
Guerrero received the kick and switched on the turbo engines to run the ball back 51 yards for the touchdown. At the restart of play, the Steel Blazers responded, as Nededog put on a show of her own and took the ball back 70 yards for a kickoff-return for a TD and making it a 32-22 game. A converted kick by 76 increased their lead to 34-22.
The duo of Guerrero and Thompson weren’t quite finished yet and found the end zone and converted a kick respectively to cut their deficit to 34-30.
With 3:52 left in the third period, the Stunnerz continued to pour out the offense and this time, a nine-yard TD run by Guerrero followed by a successful PAT gave Circle K a 38-34 lead.
From that point on, it was a seesaw battle for both teams as points continued to be traded back and forth. The Steel Blazers regained their lead (41-38) with only ticks left in the third quarter when Garcia returned a kick for a 72-yard TD, followed by Nededog’s run for the extra point.
Despite the strong battle both teams put forth, only one could emerge victorious. When the final seconds of the clock ticked away, the scoreboard reflected the Island Stunnerz holding on to a 50-47 lead that proved enough to claim the league’s first ever championship.
According to league President Linda Salas, the season was a successful one and she looks forward to seeing the ladies next year. “A huge congratulations to the Island Stunnerz [and] thank you to the coaches, supporters, and fans.”
View more photos in our gallery.