Mana Kaahanui ran for three touchdowns and Aiea’s defense took care of the rest as Na Alii completed an unbeaten run through the preseason with a 32-6 home win over an overmatched Castle team.
Aiea improved to 2-0 while Castle, which suited up 30 players, dropped to 0-2.
“The defense played well,” Aiea coach Wendell Say said. “I am happy for them. But the offense lost its focus a little bit.”
Aiea kicker Jae Won Huh broke the ice for Na Alii, giving the team a 3-0 lead on an 18-yard field goal before it even earned a first down. Aiea got the ball at the 19 when Castle punter Kela Shea tracked down a bad snap but couldn’t do anything with it.
Shea had the same problem with Aiea’s defense when he was under center, going 2-for-16 for just two yards in the first half. In all, the Knights went backward in the first half, generating minus six yards. And that was just on plays on the field. The offense was called for five penalties for 40 yards.
Shea finished the game 7-for-27 after rallying in the second half.
Aiea figured out its offense on its fourth series, throwing five swing passes on a nine-play drive to score its first touchdown. Isaiah Hernandez-Fonoti hit Johnathan Gray in the seam from 18 yards out but Huh’s kick missed to keep the score 9-0 Aiea.
Huh made up for the miss in Aiea’s next series, booting a 32-yarder with plenty of room to spare to make it 12-0 Aiea.
Shaenen Hernandez-Fonoti spelled his brother at QB for a drive late in the first half, leading the team down the field so that running back Mana Kaahanui could punch it in from a yard out. Huh’s kick was blocked, but Na Alii went into the locker room with a comfortable 19-0 lead.
Castle came out energized in the second half, running the ball on the first four plays but seeing the drive end when Aiea’s Michael Taliulu picked off a pass. That sealed Castle’s fate.
Castle (0-1) 0 0 6 0 — 6
Aiea (1-0) 9 10 7 6 — 32
A-FG Jae Won Huh 18
A-Johnathan Gray 14 pass from Isaiah Hernandez-Fonoti (kick failed)
A-FG Huh 32
A-Mana Kaahanui 1 run (kick failed)
C-Pono Makekau 69 interception return (run failed)
A-Kaahanui 1 run (Huh kick)
A-Kaahanui 2 run(Huh kick failed)
Rushing—Castle: Don Kaio 9-31, Kela Shea 8-(minus 23), Jesse Medeiros 2-4, Makana Rombawa 1-2. Aiea-Blaze Ongory-Mathias 2-15, Mana Kaahanui 11-58, Isaiah Hernandez-Fonoti 4-26, Jalen Medeiros 7-18, Shaenen Hernandez-Fonoti 2-(minus 2).
Passing—Castle: Kela Shea 7-26-1-21. Pono Makekau 1-3-0-2. Aiea: Isaiah Hernandez-Fonoti 19-29-1-249. Shaenen Hernandez-Fonoti 2-4-0-35.
Receiving—Castle: Cullen Shiroma-Fernandez 3-20, Joseph Lilio 1-2, Avery Carvalho 1-0, Jesse Medeiros 1-1, Ikaika Kanekoa 1-2. Aiea: Jalen Medeiros 2-16, Kamakana Apelu 5-82, Ualesi Sale 1-4, Jantzen Shinmoto 6-66, Jarrel Chaviera 2-25, Kalei Liilii 1-23, Shane Jennings 1-35.
JV—Aiea 14, Castle 8