Make no mistake, it’s only the first of October, but Kamehameha’s season was on the line.
In a game it couldn’t afford to tie, the 10th-ranked Warriors put together a 16-play, 90-yard drive capped by Christian Akana’s 2-yard touchdown run with 16 seconds left to slide past No. 4 Punahou 9-3 last night at Aloha Stadium.
The Warriors (4-3, 2-2 Interscholastic League of Honolulu) remained in the race for the league’s Division I state tournament berth on a must-have drive that ate up most of the game’s final 6 minutes.
Kamehameha was 3-for-4 on third down during the drive, but its biggest conversion came on fourth and inches when Punahou (4-2, 2-2) was whistled for an encroachment penalty, resulting in a first down.
"They had to make some clutch plays and they made them," Punahou coach Kale Ane said of the final drive.
After the penalty, Jason Muraoka, one of three Warriors with at least 50 yards rushing, bolted up the middle for 15 yards, setting up Akana’s plunge that was the difference in a close game between two physical defenses.
"We always try to preach that we’re conditioned enough that when it comes down to the fourth quarter, our conditioning is the difference," Kamehameha coach David Stant said. "That last drive was a great drive. Guys just sucked it up and made plays and our defense kept us in the game the entire night."
Buffanblu running back Steven Lakalaka, who rushed 31 times in a 24-19 win over ‘Iolani last week, had only five offensive touches in the first half.
A bruise suffered against the Raiders limited him to 34 yards on 11 carries.
"He tried to come back in the second half but wasn’t himself," Ane said, "and when we lose someone like him, it’s tough on our offense."
Punahou faces Damien next week, while Kamehameha takes on Pac-Five in its final games against Division II schools.
After that, it’s two games remaining against Division I opponents in the ILH to determine who gets the league’s lone Division I berth in the state tournament.
"This was do-or-die for our season," Stant said. "In order for us to do anything we had to come in and beat Punahou to give us any kind of hope."
|Punahou (4-2, 2-2)||0||0||3||0||—||3|
KS–FG Kanekoa Pawn-White 28
Pun–FG J. Christian Fairbairn 38
KS–Christian Akana 2 run (kick failed)
RUSHING–KS: Tyler Meditz 15-63, Jason Muraoka 10-52, Akana 12-50, Keanu Haina 2-5. Pun: Steven Lakalaka 11-34, Isaac Savaiinaea 1-3, Zachary Hernandez 1-1, team 1-0, Liloa Travis 5-(minus 5), K.T. Tuumalo 1-(minus 7).
PASSING–KS: Akana 8-18-1-84 . Pun: 6-14-2-51, Lakalaka 1-2-0-38.
RECEIVING–KS: Charley Bollig IV 2-41, Muraoka 2-2, Brandon Akiona 1-16, Raymond Pedrina 1-15, Tristan Peterson 1-6, Keoni Bush-Loo 1-4 . Pun: Lakalaka 2-21, Mountan Mitchell 2-(minus 5), DeForest Buckner 1-38, Noah Willey 1-35, Tuumalo 1-0 .
Pac-Five 42, Damien 0
Wolf Pack quarterback Jake Foster threw three touchdown passes in the first half and Pac-Five became the fifth team this year to shut out the Monarchs.
Foster finished 20-for-27 for 169 yards before he was replaced late in the third quarter.
Everett Kim caught two of those TD passes and Jordan Doi led the Wolf Pack (2-5, 1-3) with five catches for 73 yards and a score.
Damien (0-7, 0-4), which has scored just 13 points this season, was held to seven first downs.
At Aloha Stadium
|Damien (0-7, 0-4)||0||0||0||0||—||0|
|Pac-Five (2-5, 1-3)||14||14||7||7||—||42|
Pac–Everett Kim 10 pass from Jack Foster (Brendan Sagucio kick)
Pac–Kahale Fagarang 36 fumble return (Sagucio kick)
Pac–Jordan Doi 22 pass from Foster (Sagucio kick)
Pac–Kim 7 pass from Foster (Sagucio kick)
Pac–Landon Burkhart 4 run (Sagucio kick)
Pac–Austin Ursua 33 run (Sagucio kick)
RUSHING–Dam: Alan Mohika 10-25, Dylan Yonamine-Baysa 3-17, Daylan Demello 3-12, Bronson Kauleinamoku 5-11, Dustin Lungay 1-(minus 3). Pac: Ursua 2-41, Darius Anderson 6-30, Foster 3-20, Burkhart 2-11, Tyler Watkins 1-4, Carter Kauwenaole 1-(minus 2).
PASSING–Dam: Yonamine-Baysa 3-7-0-46, Mohika 3-10-0-16. Pac: Foster 20-27-1-169, Ursua 0-1-0-0.
RECEIVING–Dam: Lungay 3-39, Shayvis Wilson 2-5, Demello 1-18. Pac: Doi 5-73, Ryan Alvarado 4-23, Kim 3-24, Anderson 3-1, Chalson Baitlon 2-34, Kellen Nakamoto 2-8, Kauwenaole 1-6.