No. 1 Kahuku laid its claim as the best team in the state with a statement win over then-No. 2 Farrington last week.
Right on its heels is the new No. 2, Punahou, which is making statements of its own on a weekly basis.
Ryan Tuiasoa rushed for 271 yards, a school-record in the state championship era, and the Buffanblu matched their largest margin of victory over ‘Iolani under coach Kale Ane with a 56-14 blowout on Friday afternoon in an Interscholastic League of Honolulu game at Alexander Field.
Punahou (5-0, 6-1) improved to 12-1 in its last 13 games against the Raiders (2-3, 5-3), ranked eighth, with a 42-point win matched only in 2008, when the Buffanblu won the state title.
Punahou has now beaten all five ILH teams by at least 20 points.
"I don’t think there’s a limit to how good we can be," Tuiasoa said. "Losing to Kahuku was the best thing that could happen to us because that was a reality check (that) is driving us every week."
Since that 21-13 loss to Kahuku in mid-August, the Buffanblu have won five in a row, outscoring their opponents 203-49.
Even coach Ane admits he’s surprised by his team’s early success.
"We’re not satisfied, but we’re very pleased with what we’ve done," he said. "My dad always said to keep looking behind you because somebody is going to catch up."
That doesn’t seem likely if the Buffanblu continue to play the way they did Friday.
Tuiasoa bested the previous record of 226 rushing yards by Micah Strickland in 2003 by halftime, scoring four touchdowns before the break.
Sophomore Kanawai Noa posted his sixth 100-yard receiving game of the season, catching touchdown passes of 67 and 9 yards to finish with 107 receiving yards by the half.
Through seven games, Noa is just six yards shy of 1,000.
"Punahou is that explosive — probably one of the top two teams in the state," said ‘Iolani coach Wendell Look, who passed Eddie Hamada as the school’s all-time winningest coach last week. "Look at the weapons they have (and) look at my guys."
‘Iolani quarterback Reece Foy completed 24 of his 27 pass attempts for 214 yards and didn’t commit a turnover.
It didn’t matter.
Punahou scored on its first six drives as it totaled 393 yards in the first half alone.
‘Iolani’s only chance at stalling a drive came on the opening possession, when Punahou had fourth and 1 at midfield.
The Buffanblu elected to punt, but offsetting penalties resulted in a re-kick. Ane then decided to go for it and Tuiasoa rushed for 10 yards and a first down, setting up the first of his four scores.
"I’m getting old, so I wasn’t able to make that call fast enough," Ane said. "After the penalties I took advantage of it and decided to go for it."
A starting linebacker as a junior, Tuiasoa made the move to running back in the offseason and has run for more than 100 yards in wins over ‘Iolani, Saint Louis and Kamehameha.
"For college I was looking at playing linebacker, but the thing is the team needed a running back and I just like being the guy to do the things our team needs to win," said Tuiasoa, who is listed at 6 feet and 215 pounds.
at Alexander Field
|Iolani (2-3, 5-3)||0||7||7||0||—||14|
|Punahou (5-0, 6-1)||21||21||7||7||—||56|
Pun–Ryan Tuiasoa 7 run (Charles McDonald kick)
Pun–Kanawai Noa 67 pass from Larry Tuileta (McDonald kick)
Pun–Noa 9 pass from Tuileta (McDonald kick)
Iol–Yuuya Kato 1 run (Jordan Genovia kick)
Pun–Tuiasoa 53 run (McDonald kick)
Pun–Tuiasoa 1 run (McDonald kick)
Pun–Tuiasoa 20 run (McDonald kick)
Iol–Kato 5 run (Genovia kick)
Pun–Luke Morris 5 run (Alexander Trifonovitch kick)
Pun–Noah Willey 15 pass from Jackson Faringer (Trifonovitch kick)
RUSHING–‘Iolani: Kato 10-41, Max Maneafaiga 4-2, TEAM 1-(-2), Chad Hanaoka 1-(-5), Reece Foy 8-(-17). Punahou: Tuiasoa 21-271, Mooris 3-37, Heisman Hosoda 1-13, Tuieta 1-10, Darreon Schwartz 2-8, Faringer 1-(-2).
PASSING–‘Iolani: Foy 24-27-0-214, Easton Tsubata 3-5-0-26, Austin Jim On 1-1-0-8. Punahou: Tuileta 10-19-0-142. Faringer 4-4-0-57.
RECEIVING–‘Iolani: Hanaoka 9-71, Kato 4-41, Tanner Nishioka 4-32, Austin Ohira 4-27, Chase Kanekuni 3-43, Matthew Manago 2-18, Kyle Kekina 1-11, Tyler Teruya 1-5. Punahou: Noa 6-107, Keanu Chee 3-22, Willey 2-35, Dylan Combs 1-13, Trent Sitar 1-13, Dylan Cunningham 1-9.