St. Francis running back Viliami Teu stood on a dark pathway that led from the Westmont High football field to the locker rooms.
He was being interviewed after his team’s only defeat this fall, a 16-12 loss to Serra in the Central Coast Section Division I championship game that ended the Lancers’ magical season.
As Serra players and family members walked up the pathway to leave the stadium that late November night, a number of them stopped to tap Teu on the shoulder pads, paying respect to a player who was special all season.
Teu, whom his friends call “Juju,” ran for an average of 184.3 yards per game. He finished with 2,211 and scored 28 touchdowns. Along the way, he broke the West Catholic Athletic League’s single-season rushing record with 1,449 in seven league games.
For this, Teu is the Bay Area News Group’s player of the year.
In the regular season, the San Jose State-bound Teu ran for 344 yards in a league-record 45 carries as St. Francis pounded Serra 44-21. He rushed for 284 yards against Valley Christian, 276 against Bellarmine and 185 on the night the Lancers ended De La Salle’s 30-year unbeaten streak against regional opponents.
“Cut back ability is so hard to defend,” Archbishop Riordan coach Mark Modeste said.
“Great player,” added Serra coach Patrick Walsh.
St. Francis’ Viliami Teu breaks free for a big run on the winning drive against De La Salle on Sept. 10, 2021, in Mountain View. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group)
The only time Teu had double-digit carries and didn’t gain triple-figure yards this season was in the final game of his high school career when Serra did a 180 from the regular-season game three weeks earlier. In the rematch, the Padres held Teu to 70 yards in 21 carries.
Teu credited Serra for being the better team that night but also took a moment to reflect on his senior season.
“I am going to remember everything,” Teu said. “Every practice. Every film session. Every game with this team. It’s been a blessing. I just want to say thank you to the coaches and my teammates. I hit every goal that I wanted to hit before the season and I wouldn’t have done any of it without the team.”
All-BANG football team
Tuesday, Jan. 11
Bay Area News Group high school football defensive player of the year: Zeke Berry, De La Salle
Friday morning high school sports: Top-ranked Campolindo holds off Clayton Valley Charter
Bay Area News Group boys high school athlete of the week: Marlow Buettner, Berkeley soccer
Bay Area News Group …read more
Source:: The Mercury News – Sports
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