The Eastern Lightning dropped a 12-6 decision against Team Guam in the Second Annual Marianas Youth Football Friendship Games held last Saturday at the Raiders field in Tiyan.
The game was tied at 6-6 with less than 10 seconds to go when Team CNMI’s defense collapsed and allowed the hosts to reach the end zone for the final tally.
Though the Lighting fell short, it was a big improvement on the visiting squad’s performance after being blown out the first time the two teams met in November 2013 on Saipan.
Lightning quarterback Donavin Ada tried to lead the visitors’ offensive thrust early in the game, but the Guam defense held their own and later forced them to punt.
Guam, in their offensive drive, managed to reach halfway of the field. Gabriel Stanley then cut through the CNMI defense to reach the end zone and put the hosts on the board, 6-0.
The Lightning pair of Ada and Zander Tkel struck hard in the second period to tie the ball- game.
Ada put Team CNMI within 20 yards, while Tkel finished the job after puncturing to a host of Guam defenders to the delight of the Lightning bench.
The game seemed headed into overtime as the score stood at 6-6 until the final seconds of the fourth period.
Guam, however, would not want to disappoint the hometown crowd and found a way to sneak past the CNMI defense for the game-winning play that broke the hearts of the visiting squad.
Despite the loss, Commonwealth Football League Association president John Blanco commended the gallant effort put up by the Dave Ada-coached Lightning crew.
A third goodwill match is scheduled in November, which Saipan would be hosting at the CPA Airport Field.