POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Oct 28, 2012
A reminder of the program's past helped spur 'Iolani to its latest division title.
On the eve of the Raiders' homecoming game, 'Iolani coach Wendell Look had the team watch a documentary on the football program's patriarch, Father Kenneth Bray, to remind them that the ILH Division II crown was just part of what they were playing for on Saturday.
"These kids have a responsibility to uphold and carry on the legacy of all the former athletes, especially the ones who played for Father Bray," Look said.
The eighth-ranked Raiders (4-3 ILH, 7-3 overall) responded with a 28-10 win over the Wolfpack on Eddie Hamada Field to win the division for the ninth straight year and will return to the Division II state tournament for a shot at a sixth consecutive state title.
Senior running back Yuuya Kato carried the ball 26 times for a season-high 155 yards and a touchdown, while quarterback Reece Foy completed 16 of 20 pass attempts for 181 yards and three scores.
Pac-Five quarterback Keoni Tom-Millare powered the Wolfpack's ground attack with 118 yards on 26 carries. But the Raiders' defense came up with interceptions by Mata Leota, J.T. Los Banos and Kevin Togami and forced a fumble as 'Iolani avoided a winner-take-all playoff rematch with Pac-Five, which ended the season at 2-5 and 3-7.
"You have to give (the Raiders) credit. With all the distractions of homecoming the kids stepped up and played probably the best game of the season today," Look said.
The first of 'Iolani's four takeaways was perhaps the most pivotal. Pac-Five took the opening kickoff and held the ball for 6 minutes, 40 seconds, running the ball on its first 11 plays to drive to the 'Iolani 17. Leota, who finished with a team-high 11 tackles, then intercepted Pac-Five's first pass of the game inside the Raiders 5.
The 'Iolani offense converted the turnover into a 10-play drive that ended with Foy rolling to his right and connecting with Tanner Nishioka for a 14-yard touchdown pass.
Pac-Five drove into 'Iolani territory twice more before halftime but managed just a 21-yard field goal by Gabriel Shimizu and 'Iolani took a
14-3 lead into halftime.
"Our plan was to play smash ball, run the clock and try to keep their offense off the field and shorten the game," Pac-Five coach Kip Botelho said. "But we have to put points on the board. We get behind and we're in a track meet with them."
Kato posted his highest total of the season behind an offensive line that started three juniors and two sophomores in center Spencer Kiehm, guards Nathaniel Oishi and Jase Kugiya, and tackles Adam Uehara and Kamu Borden.
"I didn't think I'd get the ball that much, but I'm proud of our line," Kato said. "I wouldn't have kept getting the ball if it wasn't for the line and how they were pushing."
At Eddie Hamada Field
|Pac-Five (2-5, 3-7)||0||3||7||0||--||10|
|'Iolani (4-3, 7-3)||7||7||7||7||--||28|
Iol--Tanner Nishioka 14 pass from Reece Foy (Jordan Genovia kick)
Iol--Chad Hanaoka 23 pass from Foy (Genovia kick)
Pac--FG Gabriel Shimizu 21
Iol--Chase Kanekuni 16 pass from Foy (Genovia kick)
Pac--Keoni Tom-Millare 1 run (Shimizu kick)
Iol--Yuuya Kato 1 run (Genovia kick)
RUSHING--Pac-Five: Tom-Millare 26-118, Kaupena McKee 1-2, Kauila Chock 1-8, Kekoa Iseri 2-6, Justin Layco 1-2, Roycen Routt 2-7, Cody Kim 2-7. 'Iolani: Kato 26-155, Foy 5-8, Hanaoka 3-12, Kanekuni 1-3, Nishioka 1-2, Max Maneafaiga 1-0, Kyle Kekina 1-8, Team 2-(minus 2).
PASSING--Pac-Five: Kim 6-11-0-44, Tom-Millare 6-15-3-79. 'Iolani: Foy 16-20-0-181, Nishioka 0-1-0-0.
RECIEVING--Pac-Five: Routt 4-50, Tsubasa Brennan 5-52, Reece Alvarado 1-5, Layco 1-1, Sosiua Havea 1-15.
'Iolani: Hanaoka 7-94, Nishioka 4-49, Austin Ohira 2-11, Kanekuni 2-22, Tyler Teruya 1-5.