Maafu and 'brothers' help Arcadia upend Peoria - East Valley Tribune: VarsityXtra

Maafu and 'brothers' help Arcadia upend Peoria

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Posted: Friday, November 4, 2011 11:04 pm | Updated: 11:25 pm, Fri Nov 4, 2011.

There may be only one other Maafu that shares a last name with Sosaia on the Arcadia football team, but, according to him, there's a bevy of other Arcadia "blood brothers" just waiting to create a big hole for him to run through.

That's why it's fitting that, after a 94-yard sprint down the sideline, the running back Maafu pointed to the sky with his "brothers," who rustled his hair and gave him back slaps as he smiled his way up the sideline. With that 94-yard jaunt, Maafu cemented the 21-7 victory and first round-playoff win for the seventh-seeded Titans.

With the win Maafu and his "brothers" go on the road to No. 2 Peoria Liberty in the Div. III quarterfinals next Thursday night.

"I was surprised, to be honest, to see those two big noseguards, and I didn't think I was going to be able to make it through," Maafu said about the game-clinching run. "But you know, my line worked all hard and gave me those holes. (The offensive line) is my family. I think I'm the only one in the world who has more brothers than any other person in the world who has brothers."

In a game which both teams struggled offensively, Maafu also busted up a seam for a 44-yard rush in the third quarter, only to be stripped and have teammate Cody Neal-Purkiss pick up the ball and take the credit for the 13-7 lead.

Maafu had 270 yards on 24 carries.

"How about a turnover, and stuff like that, and big plays, that's the difference in the game," said Peoria coach Doug Clapp. "They make a big play and we fumble the ball down here. A couple of crucial calls and it's a different game. Big plays."

Peoria drew first blood after quarterback Nick Salute led the Panthers (7-4) on a 76-yard, 6-play drive that culminated with Salute's keeper for a 1-yard TD on fourth down in the first quarter.

But Arcadia answered with its own 17-play drive that ended with a Maafu 2-yard touchdown and a failed two-point conversion to put it at 7-6.

"I knew this would be a game that may be an 8-7 game or 14-15 game, so we thought if we could get the two-point conversion it would help," Arcadia coach Jim Ellison said. "It didn't work; I was a little upset it didn't, but we were able to overcome that."

The Titans were able to make up the difference on Maafu's 44-yard run-and-fumble, and later his two-point conversion.

Down 14-7 with 6:26 left on the clock, Peoria drove to Arcadia's 22 after converting a pair of fourth-down conversions. But after the second conversion, Salute, who finished with 10-for-21 passing for 146 yards, lobbed an interception with the wind in his face.

Peoria gained only 95 yards on 24 carries.

"I can't use (the wind) as an excuse, but yeah, it doesn't help you when you don't get a grip on the ball and you use the same ball in the rain and wind," said Clapp. "It's not perfect. But, they beat us, that's it."

 

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