It’s a pretty safe bet that there were a few more smiles at Punahou’s homecoming celebration than at ‘Iolani’s.
The Buffanblu scored on their first seven drives and added a defensive score in between in a 56-0 mashing of the Raiders at Kozuki Stadium in the homecoming game for both teams on Saturday.
"What can you say, they are tough," ‘Iolani coach Wendell Look said. "They are not No. 1 in the state for nothing."
No. 1 Punahou plays Saint Louis next week, while ‘Iolani closes its regular season against Pac-Five.
Sophomore running back Wayne Taulapapa got things started for the Buffanblu with four of his team’s first five touchdowns, and the defense took over from there. Taulapapa played only one quarter — when Punahou built a 42-0 lead — but carried the ball 18 times for 126 yards, almost all of them straight up the gut behind 310-pound guard Semisi Uluave and 260-pound fullback Reupena Fitisemanu. The Buffanblu started the game by handing off to Taulapapa seven straight times.
"It’s great. Running the ball is always fun," Taulapapa said.
"The O-line did a great job. The thing about them is they don’t stop. They just keep on going and I just have to hold onto the ball."
With ‘Iolani stacking to stop the power game, Punahou quarterback Larry Tuileta went 5-for-6 for 135 yards and a touchdown to Kanawai Noa, who hauled in all three of his targets for 67 yards.
Punahou put its reserves in early in the second quarter, and backup quarterback Ephraim Tuliloa was just as effective, hitting on all five of his passes in the first half for 69 yards and two touchdowns. He finished the game 6-for-7 for 77 yards and added 50 yards on eight carries on the ground.
‘Iolani had no chance, but who does against Punahou’s defense?
Punahou has allowed only 4.7 points per game this season, at this point better than Siuaki Livai’s 2005 Kahuku state champion for the lowest average in the state championship era. Punahou still has to contend with Saint Louis and the ILH playoffs, but the Buffanblu did shut out Kamehameha, including a defensive stand by its backups. Punahou’s second- and third-team defenses were just as good against the Raiders.
"They practice just as hard as us," said Punahou starting linebacker Kalama Chung, who was a force for the quarter he played with a forced fumble. "They know what they have to do. They know their assignments and stuff."
‘Iolani played without perhaps its most important player on both offense and defense. Running back Jordan Ross sat out with a ankle sprain and defensive back Max Look was out with a thigh bruise. Punahou was shorthanded on defense, with lineman Canton Kaumatule sitting out to rest the shoulder and elbow injuries that have plagued him all season.
"The scary part is that (Kaumatule) didn’t play today," Look said. "Just think if he would have played today."
|Punahou (6-0, 4-0)||42||14||0||0||—||56|
|Iolani (4-4, 2-3)||0||0||0||0||—||0|
Pun—Wayne Taulapapa 3 rush (Charles McDonald kick)
Pun—Taulapapa 6 rush (McDonald kick)
Pun—Kanawai Noa 15 pass from Larry Tuileta (McDonald kick)
Pun—Taulapapa 24 rush (McDonald kick) Pun—Taulapapa 4 rush (McDonald kick) Pun—Reupana Fitisemanu 1 rush (McDonald kick)
Pun—Dayson Watanabe 24 fumble return (McDonald kick)
Pun—Dylan Combs 30 pass from Ephraim Tuliloa (McDonald kick)
Rushing—Iol: Tamatane Aga 19-50, Brent Tonaki 3-11, Austin Jim On 1-2. Pun: Wayne Taulapapa 18-126, Ephraim Tuliloa 8-50, Heisman Hosoda 5-46, Jonathan Mathias 2-14, Johnny Richardson 2-13, Cade Brittain 1-7, Reupana Fitisemanu 1-1.
Passing—Iol: Easton Tsubata 7-17-0-37, Austin Jim On 10-17-1-136, Steele Rezentes 0-1-0-0. Pun: Larry Tuileta 5-6-0-135, Ephraihm Tuliloa 6-7-0-77.
Receiving—Iol: Chase Kanekuni 4-107, Keoni-Kordell Makekau 5-40, Tyler Teruya 2-11, Chad Hanaoka 4-5, Conor Hannum 1-5, Matthew Miyamoto 1-5. Pun: Kanawai Noa 3-67, Dylan Combs 3-75, Dakota Torres 1-38, Slater Hobbs 3-24, Matt Christman 1-8.
Kalani 60, Anuenue 6
(Stats not reported)