There was never a doubt in the mind of Victor Moananu.
Even after being wrapped up in the first half, the senior running back plowed ahead for 168 yards after intermission as Waipahu rallied from a 20-10 deficit for a 31-20 win over Kalaheo last night.
The battle between Oahu Interscholastic Association White Conference contenders left the Marauders 3-1 in league play (4-1 overall) and dropped the host Mustangs to 3-2, spoiling their homecoming night.
Moananu finished with 214 yards on a season-high 36 carries, while Waipahu’s defense took Kalaheo’s prolific rusher, Jesse Carney, out of the picture. Carney finished with 24 yards on just seven carries.
Even with that unusual statistic — Carney entered the game averaging 230 rushing yards per game — coach Chris Mellor’s Mustangs were in charge of the first half, thanks to a stingy defense and a multitude of alley-oop lobs to receivers Nainoa Frank (seven receptions, 139 yards, two touchdowns) and Sage Richardson.
"Their receivers were doing such a great job, it was like watching Xbox," Waipahu coach Sean Saturnio said. "Credit to their offensive play-calling. They saw a weakness in us and it was classic punch, counter-punch. We had some personnel issues going into the game and some backups stepped up into their roles."
The Marauders regrouped at halftime, using the extended session (due to homecoming festivities) to refocus. One thing they didn’t change, though, was their no-huddle philosophy.
"Coach said, ‘Just believe, keep believing and have heart,’ " Moananu said. "We ran our bread-and-butter plays. If they can’t stop it, just keep running it. The O-line did a great job."
The visitors pounded away between the tackles out of their flexbone set, marching 71 yards to score on Moananu’s 13-yard burst to pull within 20-17 with 9:15 remaining in the third quarter.
After a Kalaheo four and out, the Marauders needed just four plays to score again. Mark Bumanglag’s 5-yard keeper gave Waipahu the lead for good, 24-20, with 6:15 left in the third.
Kalaheo, which had vast success in the air during the first half, was shut out after halftime.
Waipahu put the game out of reach on a 35-yard touchdown run up the gut by Moananu with 9:29 to go, capping a run of 21 unanswered points.
The first half was unusual enough. Kalaheo quarterback Justin Pagan passed for all three of his touchdowns as his team went up 20-10.
Though the Marauders limited Carney to "only" 24 rushing yards in the first half, the Mustangs capitalized on solo coverage on Frank and Richardson.
After Waipahu muffed a punt return — with a recovery by Richardson — Pagan connected with Frank on a 32-yard touchdown, an omen of things to come.
A botched pitchout by Bumanglag was recovered by Kalaheo linebacker Quincy Mason at the 7-yard line to give the Mustangs a prime opportunity.
That set up a 6-yard lob into the end zone from Pagan to Richardson to give Kalaheo a 14-0 lead with 6:45 left in the first quarter.
Slowly, Waipahu found its groove. A 63-yard drive culminated with a 1-yard plunge by Moananu over the goal line to bring the Marauders to within 14-7 with 10:16 to go in the second quarter.
Another touchdown pass from Pagan to Frank, a 13-yard alley-oop, gave Kalaheo a 20-7 lead with 8:29 to go in the half.
Brysen Kaseli cut the lead to 20-10 with a 37-yard field goal midway through the second quarter.
|Waipahu (4-1, 4-1)||7||3||14||7||—||31|
|Kalaheo (3-2, 3-2)||14||6||0||0||—||20|
Kalh–Nainoa Frank 32 pass from Justin Pagan (Danille Ferguson kick)
Kahl–Sage Richardson 6 pass from Pagan (Ferguson kick)
Waip–Victor Moananu 1 run (Brysen Kaseli kick)
Waip–Frank 13 pass from Pagan (kick failed)
Waip–Kaseli FG 37
Waip–Moananu 13 run (Kaseli kick)
Waip–Bumanglag 5 run (Kaseli kick)
Waip–Moananu 35 run (Kaseli kick)
Junior varsity–Kalaheo 20, Waipahu 13
RUSHING–Waip: Victor Moananu 36-214, Mark Bumanglag 11-66, Greg Alip 1-19, Devin Kaneshiro 3-17, Tydro Ate-Taito 4-5, Drake Yoshioka 2-(-3). Kalh: Pagan 9-53, Jesse Carney 7-24, Anthony Maglinti 3-2.
PASSING–Waip: Yoshioka 2-7-1-59, Bumanglag 1-5-2-0. Kalh: Pagan 13-37-0-233.
RECEIVING–Waip: Sailele Tulafale 1-36, Justice Amadeo 1-23, Yoshioka 1-0. Kalh: Frank 7-139, Quincy Mason 3-52, Carney 2-36, Richardson 1-6.
Pearl City 27, Waialua 21
The Chargers needed overtime to remain undefeated in the OIA White.
Pearl City’s Ray Cooper ran in a 20-yard touchdown to get the win.
Waialua’s defense came up big with two interception returns for touchdowns, including a 47-yard return by Christian Whittaker to send the game into overtime.
|Pearl City (6-0, 5-0)||0||13||0||8||6||—||27|
|Waialua (2-5, 2-4)||7||0||7||7||0||—||21|
Wail–Destry Lunasto 10 interception return (Kamalei Rosa kick)
PC–Cyrus Coen 4 run (David Laronal kick)
PC–Shawn Lopez 63 pass from Dustin Bataya (run failed)
Wail–Kyle Michael 23 pass from William Sacapulo-Uepa (Connor Prindle kick)
PC–Diacorri Briscoe 23 pass from Bataya (Briscoe pass from Bataya)
Wail–Christian Whittaker 47 interception return (Prindle kick)
PC–Ray Cooper 20 run
RUSHING–PC: Cooper 13-76, Coen 8-27, Bataya 10-5. Wail: Kenny Siaosi 1-6, Jesse Hurst-Kawalu 1-(minus 1), Michael 1-(minus 1), Sacapulo-Uepa 10-(minus 2), Ezra Travis 11-(minus 6).
PASSING–PC: Bataya 8-18-2-69. Wail: Sacapulo-Uepa 12-29-3-156, Michael 1-1-0-21.
RECEIVING–PC: Briscoe 4-38, Lopez 3-21, Laronal 1-10. Wail: Michael 6-75, Hurst-Kawalu 4-72, Christian Agcaoili 1-16, Rosa 1-9, Travis 1-5.
Junior varsity–Pearl City 35, Waialua 0
Kaimuki 54, Kalani 14
Chester Sua scored four touchdowns as the Bulldogs crushed the Falcons by 40 points.
Sua rushed for 93 yards on 16 carries to fend off 243 yards passing by Kalani’s Wilkins Kato.
|Kaimuki (6-1, 5-0)||7||21||20||6||—||54|
|Kalani (0-6, 0-5)||0||7||0||7||—||14|
Kaim–Chester Sua fumble recovery (Keoki Kaiahua kick)
Kaim–Kevin Tofiga 26 pass from Dallas Reis (Kaiahua kick)
Kaim–Siaosi Hala’api’api 5 run (Kaiahua kick)
Kaln–Yoshi Tamukai 65 pass from Wilkins Kato (Kazuto Moribe kick)
Kaim–Sua 2 run (Kaiahua kick)
Kaim–Sua 1 run (Kaiahua kick)
Kaim–Sua 15 pass from Nahoa Spencer (kick blocked)
Kaim–Spencer 51 run (Kaiahua kick)
Kaln–Jun Cho 1 run (Moribe kick)
Kaim–Kaiahua 80 interception return (kick failed)
RUSHING–Kaim: Sua 16-93, Spencer 3-68, Tre Paderes 3-31, Brandon Kekoa 3-17, Kainoa O’Brien 2-5, Hala’api’api 2-5. Kaln: Cho 14-53, Kuia Kaau 1-(minus 6), Kato 4-(minus 15).
PASSING–Kaim: Spencer 3-6-0-60, Reis 2-6-0-41. Kaln: Kato 21-47-3-243, Kaau 2-3-0-0.
RECEIVING–Kaim: Wiseman Demei 1-40, Tofiga 1-26, Sua 1-15, Paderes 1-15, Justice Sarcedo 1-5. Kaln: Tamukai 4-83, Dane Onaga 4-47, Michael Says 1-45, Keano Kuia 5-31, Cho 6-25, Kyle Yamada 3-12.
Junior varsity–Kaimuki 26, Kalani 8