By Michael J.A. Nauta Jr.

As the regular season in the Miller Football League nears its completion, teams are battling one another in hopes of building momentum before postseason action arrives. Yesterday afternoon, the Hal’s Angels went to battle against the Island Eagles at the Eagles Field in Mangilao. From start to finish, both teams gave fans in attendance a game that kept everyone at the edge of their seats. At the conclusion of the game, it was the Angels who picked up the “W” after squeaking past their opponents (13-12) by a mere point.

Early in the match, defense was the name of the game as the two teams found difficulty posting points on the scoreboard. The Eagles were first on offense and looked to strike. However, a huge sack by the Angels’ J.J. Fushay on third down forced the Eagles to punt.

With their first attempt offensively, the Angels went unsuccessful as the Eagles’ defense returned the favor by forcing their opponents to a three and out. The pattern continued for a majority of the opening period with both teams finding some difficulty getting into the end zone or splitting the uprights. With less than a minute before the quarter ended, the Eagles turned a huge defensive stop into the game’s first points. A short rally led by Angels quarterback Steve “S.P.” Phillips came to a halt as the Eagles’ J.J. McCloud Jr. turned an interception into a “pick-six” giving his team a 6-0 lead.

Later in the second quarter, the Eagles nearly upped their lead into double-digits after quarterback J.J. McCloud Sr. connected with teammate Daray Davis for a 40-yard pass reception that put them into Angels territory. A couple of plays later, the Eagles march downfield was stopped after a Chris Santos interception forced a change of possession.

Before the halftime break, the Angels went to work as they moved the chains deep into Eagle land. Turning to the trio of Storm Rosario, Jared Ada, and D.J. Cruz the Angels entered the red zone with less than 50 seconds in the half. It wouldn’t be too long before Phillips hooked up with Rosario for a 12-yard touchdown reception to equalize the game. On the ensuing play, Cruz would split the uprights on the PAT attempt to give the Angels a 7-6 lead.

Momentum continued in favor of the Angels as second half action continued. Relying on his aerial assault, Phillips managed to locate teammate Ada from right outside the end zone for a touchdown and six more points. Despite missing the PAT the Angels held a 13-6 lead. Late in the fourth period, the Angels weren’t the only team the Eagles battled, but the clock as well. With time ticking away, answers on offense were needed right away.

Remaining calm, Eagles backup quarterback Daray Davis launched a pass that found a wide open Reggie Baylor who cruised 59-yards downfield for a touchdown making it a one-point game. Instead of going for the tie, the Eagles went for the lead on a two-point conversion attempt. The difference in the game came at the unsuccessful attempt. For the remainder of the game, the Angels defense buckled down as the clung on to their lead for the victory.

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