Makati City – The 4th season of the Philippine American Football League kicked-off with the game from the defending back-to-back undefeated champions versus an old but new team. The Wolves faced a newly formed Datu team composed of their vets with an addition of some of the players of the now-disbanded Cavemen.
The game started with the Wolves’ receiving team. Receiver Derrence Pascual almost made it to the end zone but unfortunately dropped the ball at the 15-yard line. The Wolves offense started with a quick pass to running back Brian Monroe who got a 3-yard gain with an outside run. The next play was a hand-off to Monroe who got another 5-yards. With a fake hand-off, quarterback Luke Zetazate passed the ball to wide receiver Ivan Klaric for a touchdown. The extra point was not converted. The score was 6-0.
The ball was recovered by the Wolves again shortly after the kick was received by the Datu. The pack started the offense on their 35-yard line with a pass to wide receiver Miguel Dela Peña. He gained 12-yards and another first down before being taken down by defensive back Miguel Ochoa assisted by defensive lineman Bright Samuel. Zetazate decided to run the ball outside for a 10-yard gain however, there was a holding call against the offense which was a 10-yard penalty. The ball was passed to Monroe and gained another 5-yards. There was another hand-off to Monroe but was stopped at the line of scrimmage. It was 3rd and 10 and the pass was incomplete. The offense decided to go for their 4th but Zetazate found himself surrounded with the Datu defense. An intentional grounding violation was called against him after he attempted to throw the ball before he could be hit. The line of scrimmage was moved 10-yards back and their 4th down was repeated. However, they decided to go for a punt but were unsuccessful. The score remained at 6-0.
The Datu offense started on the Wolves’ 20-yard line. Quarterback Aaron Velasquez passed the ball to wide receiver Lawrence Oliver III mid-field who fell immediately after the catch. The ball was handed-off to running back Nick Flowers with an outside run and an almost 10-yard gain before the take down from defensive lineman Kim Luy. However, a holding penalty was called against the offense. Velasquez passed the ball to wide receiver Maximo Carlos for a 10-yard gain. Velasquez decided to sneak the ball with an outside run but was tackled at the line of scrimmage by linebacker Darwin Gonzales assisted by defensive back Jeremy Musni. The ball was handed-off to Flowers but Gonzales immediately got the tackle once again. The Datu decided to go for their 4th down but a flag was thrown before Velazquez threw the ball to Oliver at the red zone for a first down. The catch was good and the 1st quarter ended shortly after. The ball was handed-off to Flowers with a run up the middle for a touchdown. They went and got a 2-point conversion with a pass to Oliver. The score was now 6-8 in favor of the tribe.
Pasucal made another 65-yard return. It was supposed to be a touchdown but was ruled out because of an illegal-block-from-the-back call against the receiving team. The Wolves started on the Datu’s 20-yard line. The ball was handed-off to running back Chris Unciano but was taken down by defensive lineman Stephen Reyes at the line of scrimmage. The ball was then handed-off to Monroe for a run up the middle but was stopped 2-yards before the line of scrimmage. The Wolves called a timeout after an incomplete pass. They decided to trick the defense with the snap count but did not get the free play. No penalties were called and the down was repeated. They did another hard count expecting to trick the defense again but a false start was called against the offense instead. The pack decided to use their punt team. The score was still 6-8.
The Datu started on the Wolves’ 30-yard line with an incomplete pass. The next play was a 15-yard pass in the middle to Oliver with a takedown from linebacker Larry Favorito. After an incomplete pass, Velasquez tricked the defense with a fake hand-off followed by an outside run. He got the first down before he was tackled by defensive back Dave Hilao. The tribe called a timeout and resumed the game with another QB outside run with a 5-yard gain. Even with a bad snap, Velasquez was able to complete a pass to Oliver for another first down with the tackle from defensive back Dags Mambuay. They started a yard short from the red zone. After a bad snap, the fumble was recovered by defensive lineman Marco Cordova.
The Wolves started their offense on the 2-minute warning for the 1st half. The defense called a time out before the pack could start their play. The game resumed with a pitch to running back David Jumola with a 5-yard run to the outside to stop the clock. The next play was an incomplete pass followed by a pass to Klaric for a first down with the tackle from defensive back Kane Alferos assisted by linebackers Gian Mathay and Will Yeh. Klaric caught the next ball on the 20-yard line with the takedown from Flowers. However, the ball was intercepted by Velasquez and was taken down by Dela Peña on the Wolves’ 15-yard line with only 1:20 left in the half.
Velasquez with another outside run and a stop by defensive lineman Ben Affainie after gaining 3-yards. After an incomplete pass, Cordova sacked Velasquez which ended the first half.
The 2nd half started with the Wolves’ kicking team and Flowers for the return. The stop was made by kicker Mark Hill. A holding penalty was called against the returning team. They started a few yards before the Wolves’ 20-yard line. After an incomplete pass, tight-end Gio Vergara caught a short pass on the line of scrimmage and was taken down by linebacker Alden Garcia. The tribe decided to go with their punt team after an incomplete pass. After a bad snap, the ball reached the end zone and was called a safety which tied the score to 8 all.
Pascual made another excellent return but had to be ruled out once more because of an illegal block from the receiving team. The Wolves started on their 20 with a hand-off to Monroe. He got a 30-yard gain before he was tackled by defensive lineman JP Suarez assisted by linebacker Iñigo Pulido. Zetazate faked a pass then ran the ball to the outside but was 2 yards short on the first. They gained another 4-yards with a run by Jumola who was tackled by Carlos, assuming the position of safety on the defense. The ball was handed-off to Monroe but was pushed further back by defensive lineman Marco Bangit which resulted in a loss of 5-yards. After another fake hand-off, the ball was caught by tight end Ricarte Santos on the red zone before he was pushed out of bounds by Yeh, Mathay, and Smooth. However, Zetazate got a 10-yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct which eventually got him thrown out of the game shortly after. Klaric went in and assumed the quarterback position. He ran the ball for his first play as QB and gained about 5-yards. The Wolves decided to go for a 35-yard field-goal attempt but called a time-out before they made the play. The kick fell short and the score was still tied at 8.
Velasquez decided to run the ball again but a flag was thrown mid-way into the play for a horsecollar violation on the defense. This was 15-yards and an automatic first down for the tribe. The 4th quarter started with a short pass to Oliver with a gain of 4-yards before he was pushed out of bounds by Mambuay. After another incomplete pass, defensive back Khalil Tan forced a fumble and recovered the ball.
Klaric gained 5-yards with a run before he was tripped. He attempted another run which gave the pack a fresh set of downs. The game was paused because a man was down on the field. After an incomplete pass, the ball was handed-off to Monroe for another 5-yard gain with a run up the middle. The offense then called for a timeout. As the game resumed, Klaric went for another run but a flag was thrown for illegal formation which was a 5-yard penalty and repeat down. Klaric decided to pass the ball but was tipped by Pulido before it reached the intended reciever. The Wolves attempted for a field-goal but a false-start violation was called against them. The kick was blocked by Ko Garcia.
With only 7 mins left in the game, the ball was handed-off to Flowers but was immedately pushed back then outside by Tan. After an attempt to convert a pass, the ball was handed-off to Oliver for an outside run with a 5-yard gain. The tribe decided to go for their 4th with another hand-off to Oliver who went for an outside run and got the first down. The last 2-minutes of the game was announced after back-to-back incomplete passes. A bad snap resulted in a loss of yards for the offense bringing them closer to the Wolves’ end zone. A flag was thrown in the field for delay of game agaist the tribe. They decided to punt but after a bad snap, the ball was dropped in the end zone which meant another safety. The Wolves were now up by 2.
There was only 1:10 left in the game. The return was made by Jumola who ran to the outside after reaching midfield. The ball was handed-off to Jumola with a 3-yard run. With only 0:05 left in the play clock, Jumola ran the ball again with a gain of 2 yards. Datu then called a time-out. After a bad snap, the ball was down. The tribe called for another time-out. There was only 0:12 left in the game and the pack went for a punt. The game ended with a score of 10-8 in favor of the back-to-back champs.
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