Ada and Tkel, the 1-2 punch for the Dave Ada-mentored Eastern crew, were at their usual dominant selves, passing and rushing their way against the Northern defense as the defending champion Lightning swept all of their four matches for another unbeaten season.
The Lightning will face the Southern Thunder in the finals on Jan. 10 at 1pm also at the Airport Field in a rematch of last year’s championship showdown.
Ada, the Lightning’s chief quarterback, completed four of his eight passes, including three touchdowns for 118 yards, while Tkel rushed for 71 yards, including a pair of 29 and 21-yard TD runs in the first and third quarters.
Tkel opened up the scoring for the Eastern side with that 29-yard TD run and Michael Jones added the extra point for a quick 7-0 lead.
Ada then threw back-to-back TD passes to Matthew Kapileo (39 yards) and Keremes Terry (22 yards) to give the Lightning a 19-0 lead heading into the second period.
Ada, not to be outdone, scored with his own 13-yard TD run with Jones kicking another extra point and Kimo Angailen sacked Northern QB Anthony Quitugua for a safety to pad the Eastern lead to 28-0 at the turn.
The Lightning were not yet done with their offense, as Tkel added a pair of TDs in the third to round out their scoring.
Tkel caught Ada’s 20-yard pass early in the third and Jose Camacho made the 2-point conversion for a 36-0 spread.
Tkel, moments later, made his third TD in the game, slipping and weaving his way against the Northern defense with Jones kicking the extra point to enjoy a commanding 43-0 lead.
The Vikings almost failed to penetrate the Eastern defensive line as the latter foiled and thwarted the former’s every scoring opportunity all game long.
The Joe Ocampo-mentored Northern crew only managed to score against the Lighting midway in the final period, courtesy of QB Anthony Quitugua’s 38-yard TD pass to Freddie Guerrero.
That turned out to be the final count, 43-6, as the Eastern defense prevented the Vikings from scoring further in the remaining minutes of the match.
This was also the first time the Lightning offense failed to reach the 300-yard mark, as they only tallied 272 (118 passing yards and 154 rushing yards) against the Vikings defense.
Angailen led the Eastern defense with seven tackles and one sack while Tkel, Ryuta Onuki, and Ryutaro Litulumar had three tackles apiece. Anthony Tenorio made 2.5 sacks, while four other Lightning players contributed 2 tackles each.
Quitugua completed only seven of his 20 passes for 62 yards, while Guerrero and Seldreyton Skera combined for 60 yards in reception. Don Pangelinan had a game-high nine tackles, while Mariano Kaipat had three, and Skera and Derick Aguon got two each. (Jon Perez)