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Islanders Keep Up Winning Ways

Ryan Buchan, Islanders Staff Writer
May, 10, 2008

FRESNO, Calif. -- Islanders respond to difficulties and push themselves into the Central Valley Football League Championship. The 42-16 victory over the Fresno Pirates put Pacifica one game closer, in a long journey, to a coveted Minor League Football National Championship.

Early mistakes allowed Fresno to take a 13-0 lead, but the Islanders fought back. “We got to reach down and say to ourselves we got to step up,” said head coach Jack Burgett. “We stepped up real well.”

Another challenge for the Islanders was to play without linebacker Joe Maningo, who got injured half way through the second quarter. Maningo had already picked up five tackles. Maningo’s injury was to his knee and is expected to sit out next week.

Other players on the defense stepped up and filled in for their injured teammate. Danny Burgett, son of Jack Burgett, played a terrific game at linebacker. Danny Burgett had 7 tackles and a sack. His performance made his father proud. His great game showed that his long commute did not bother his performance, flying in from Idaho the day before. Something he has been doing most of the season. “If you have an opportunity keep playing, why not,” said Danny Burgett. “Once you play, you always want to play.”

Danny Burgett was not the only player to step up on the defensive side of the ball. Defensive tackle Sam Iosia had four tackles and two sacks.
One of his tackles could not come at a better time. With the Pirates marching down the field and deciding to go for it on fourth-and-an-inch, Iosia blew past the offensive line and took down the sneaking quarterback in the backfield. “Shot the gap and made the sack,” Iosia said, “just made the plays when it counts.”

Iosia’s clutch tackles earned him defensive player of the game.
Overall the defensive line created a nightmare for Fresno’s quarterback, sacking him a total of six times. Defensive end Ben Unutoa had two sacks, and Sione Kofeloa had one sack.
The defensive in the secondary was not much easier for Fresno to pick a part. Jason Dillard ended a Pirate fourth-quarter drive, by intercepting a pass and returning it the full length of the field for a touchdown as time expired.
Jermaine Hargraves also had a pick, In his first chance at action after sitting out several weeks with a knee injury.
Hargraves contributed to the Islanders performance on both side of the ball. Besides picking off a pass on defense, Hargraves also had one carry for a five-yard touchdown and caught one pass for 17 yards. “I don’t have a position,” Hargraves said. “I’m an all purpose guy right now, I’m an athlete.”

Quarterback Jason Piccolotti had an easy job with multiple receivers to pick from.
Donyell Crain had five receptions for 112 yards, and came up just two yards short of a touchdown twice. “I got a feel for the defense, and Jason (Piccolotti) put me in the right spot and so did my coach,” Crain said. Crain was the offensive player of the game.
Other notable receiving performances are: Andre Kelley had 73 yards on two catches, Obioma Ngumezi had two receptions for 49 and a touchdown and Nick Iano had one catch for 18 yards.
The Islanders will face the
Central-Cal Crusaders for the second time this season next week. This time it is for the CVFL championship.



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