Opportunism is fast becoming Pearl City’s calling card.
The unbeaten Chargers forced six turnovers on McKinley and converted the giveaways into 21 points in a 39-21 victory yesterday at Roosevelt’s Ticky Vasconcellos Stadium.
Pearl City coach Kai Kamaka was grateful for that on an afternoon when the Chargers offense withered for stretches in the scorching sun.
"Our defense has been giving us a lot; I think their average is four and a half per game," Kamaka said. "So when they do stuff like that, we’ve got to turn those turnovers into points."
Once the sun went down, the Pearl City offense emerged to feast. Running back Cyrus Coen went for 118 yards and three second-half scores to put it away.
The resourceful Chargers (4-0 overall, 3-0 Oahu Interscholastic Association White) remained a victory behind Kaimuki atop the league standings, despite missing starting quarterback Dustin Bataya. The junior was out as a precaution after taking a hit to the head last week against Nanakuli.
Last year’s starter, Isaac Shim, managed to hold things together with a first-quarter touchdown pass and 132 yards for the game. But it was largely the Chargers’ defense and special teams that carried the day, especially in a disastrous third quarter for the Tigers (1-4, 1-3).
What hurt McKinley the most was a fumble by quarterback Alex Ironside when the junior went for a pass in the Chargers’ red zone. The ball slipped out of his hand against pressure and lineman Josiah DeMello alertly scooped up the ball on the run and took it back 81 yards for a 14-7 lead with a successful Shim keeper conversion.
"My friend DJ (Moe), that’s my boy; he caused the fumble and I happened to be in the right place at the right time," said DeMello, who also had the catch on Shim’s lone touchdown pass. "I picked that up and was able to run. It bounced a couple times right into my hands. I had a nice block by my DB, Ronson (Barrett). That was good, too."
Then, with McKinley on the move again on the next drive, Barrett picked off an errant Ironside pass and took it back 55 yards for a two-touchdown lead.
McKinley had one of its four fumbles on the ensuing kickoff return, giving Pearl City excellent field position at the Tigers’ 47. Four plays later, Coen cut to the right for a 35-yard scoring run, his first of the game. He would add touchdowns of 4 and 48 yards in the fourth quarter.
"(Turnovers) are a big part of the problem throughout the year," said Tigers coach Joseph Cho. "You can’t say enough about our defense, we just gotta get our act together on offense. It’s turnovers, but (especially) turnovers for touchdowns that hurt us."
It was actually the Tigers who turned the first turnover of the game, a fumble on Pearl City’s second play, into seven points. McKinley led 7-6 at the half.
"Great place (at the half)," Cho said. "We drove (coming out for the third quarter), and they scored to get ahead on (DeMello’s return). That was really the biggest turning point. We go down and score, I think we’re in pretty good hands."
His team had a final glimmer with 8:34 left in the game on a fortuitous tipped-pass touchdown from Ironside to Jace Bolosan to make it 33-21. But that was as close as it would get.
|Pearl City (4-0, 3-0)||0||6||21||12||—||39|
|McKinley (1-4, 1-3)||7||0||7||7||—||21|
McK–Alex Ironside 1 run (Jethro Quidilla kick)
PC–Josiah DeMello 7 pass from Isaac Shim (kick failed)
PC–DeMello 81 fumble return (Shim run)
PC–Ronson Barrett 55 interception return (David Laranol kick)
PC–Cyrus Coen 35 run (kick blocked)
McK–Mathias Tuitele-Iafeta 3 run (Quidilla kick)
PC–Coen 4 run (pass failed)
McK–Jace Bolosan 12 pass from Alex Ironside (Quidilla kick)
PC–Coen 48 run (kick failed)
RUSHING—PC: Coen 12-118, Ray Cooper 6-42, Shim 5-6, Shawn Lopez 2-(minus 26). McK: Solomon Dixon 15-34, Fiafia Duarte 7-28, Joash Togiai 7-24, Tuitele-Iafeta 4-10, Sunny Chuang 2-3, Jace Bolosan 1-2, Ironside 3-(minus 13).
PASSING—PC: Shim 9-22-0-132. McK: Ironside 13-26-2-164.
RECEIVING—PC: Lopez 2-51, Diacorri Briscoe 2-31, Shawnson Batungbacal 2-28, DeMello 1-7. McK: Bolosan 4-41, Dixon 3-66, Jason Guan 2-23, Jordan Yoon 2-20, William Rollman 2-14.
JV score–Pearl City 35, McKinley 0
Waipahu 30, Waialua 14
The Marauders defense held the Bulldogs scoreless for the first three quarters on route to their victory.
Devin Kaneshiro ran for 135 yards on the ground and found the end zone twice for Waipahu.
|Waipahu (2-1, 2-1)||14||10||6||0||—||30|
|Waialua (1-3, 1-4)||0||0||0||14||—||14|
Waip–Victor Moananu 1 run (Eraeji Au kick)
Waip–Jerry Tanupo Jr. 23 run (Brysen Kaseli kick)
Waip–Devin Kaneshiro 1 run (Kaseli kick)
Waip–FG Kaseli 25
Waip–Kaneshiro 5 run (pass failed)
Wail–Jesse Hurst-Kawalu 46 pass from William Sacapulo-Uepa (Hurst-Kawalu pass from Sacapulo-Uepa)
Wail–Kamalei Rosa 51 pass from Sacapulo-Uepa (pass failed)
RUSHING—Waip: Kaneshiro 25-135, Tanupo Jr. 3-44, Drake Yoshioka 4-22, Moananu 8-12, Colin Adnres-Paguirigan 1-4, Sailele Tulafale 1-(minus 7). Wail: Sacapulo-Uepa 9-20, Kenny Siaosi 5-16, Rose 1-(minus 5).
PASSING—Waip: Yoshioka 1-5-0-39, Mason Corpuz-Slade 1-3-0-6. Waial: Sacapulo-Uepa 9-32-2-178.
RECEIVING—Waip: Edward Agag 1-39, Tulafale 1-6. Wail: Rose 5-149, Hurst-Kawalu 2-53, Christian Agcaoili 1-14, Siaosi 1-2.
Junior Varsity–Waipahu 41, Waialua 0
Kalaheo 59, Kalani 22
Jesse Carney ran for 379 yards and six scores as the Mustangs steamrolled the Falcons to remain undefeated.
Carney carried the ball 15 times and had 80- and 67-yard touchdown runs in the second half. Justin Pagan carried the ball 15 times for 153 yards.
FRIDAY’S LATE RESULTS
Kaimuki 41, Nanakuli 0
|Kaimuki (3-0, 3-1)||7||20||14||0||—||41|
|Nanakuli (0-4, 0-4)||0||0||0||0||—||0|
Kaim–Chester Sua 1 run (Siosiua Uhatafe kick)
Kaim–Sua 1 run (Uhatafe kick)
Kaim–Mason Kualii-Moe 5 pass from Dallas Reis (kick failed)
Kaim–Sua 47 run (Uhatafe kick)
Kaim–Sua 11 pass from Reis (Uahtafe kick)
Kaim–Tre Paderes 1 run (Uhatafe kick)
RUSHING—Kaim: Sua 12-188, Paderes 6-12, Nahoa Spencer 1-1, Reis 1-(minus 7). Nan: Kahde Paris 6-18, Gary Shelton 11-10, Kameran Self-Gomes 2-2, Brady Kaaihue 12-(minus 4), Joseph Shelton 4-(minus 19).
PASSING—Kaim: Reis 6-10-0-69. Nan: J. Shelton 2-4-0-12, G. Shelton 1-2-0-10.
RECEIVING—Kaim: Justice Sarcedo 2-29, Kualii-Moe 2-20, Sua 1-11, Nick Motellang 1-9. Nan: Paris 2-14, TEAM 1-8.
Junior Varsity–Kaimuki 13, Nanakuli 12