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ORANGE COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL PREP EXTRA | GARDEN
GROVE LEAGUE

Los Amigos' Niumata Runs, Catches, Too

October 10, 1998|EVAN LOVETT | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Andrew Niumata, always a threat running the ball, added a new dimension Friday night, catching three touchdown passes in Los Amigos' 29-26 victory over Santiago at Garden Grove High.

Niumata, who ran for 155 yards and one touchdown in 19 carries, led the Lobos (3-2, 2-0). He also caught five passes for 143 yards.

"All the teams know I can run, so tonight we tried a little something different," Niumata said.

Niumata had the first score of the game, catching a 48-yard pass from Ao Sualua near the end of the first quarter. Sualua threw for 206 yards on 13-for-23 passing.

"We had good chemistry tonight," Niumata said. "We were connecting."

The Cavaliers (3-2, 0-2) took the lead midway through the second quarter on touchdown runs from Kaiolo Leauasoga and Daniel Melendez. The 14-7 lead would be their last of the game.

Los Amigos answered with a 27-yard pass from Sualua to Niumata. The Lobos headed into halftime with a 15-14 lead courtesy of a two-point conversion pass from Niumata to Debose White.

The second half started the same way the first half ended, with a touchdown pass from Sualua to Niumata. The 56-yard bomb was the first of two touchdown receptions by Niumata in the third quarter.

"Niumata's our man," Los Amigos Coach Roger Takahashi said. "He had a great game and we needed him to step up tonight."

Santiago scored an 80-yard touchdown to close out the third quarter on a halfback pass from Leauasoga to Albert Lara.

James Thomas scored on a 20-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter to pull the Cavaliers within three points. Santiago had one more possession in the fourth quarter, but quarterback Brian Pilkington was sacked three consecutive times to stifle Santiago's chances.

Thomas, the county's leading rusher, was held to 81 yards in 16 carries.

"I have to hand it to our defense, they came through when they had to," Takahashi said.

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