Nick Kapule passed for 326 yards and Wayne Taulapapa rushed for 142 yards, including a key touchdown run in the fourth quarter, as No. 2 Punahou rallied past No. 5 Kamehameha 28-17 on Friday night at Aloha Stadium.
Punahou improved to 2-0 in ILH play (5-0 overall) only after overcoming a 17-7 halftime deficit. The Buffanblu scored 21 unanswered points in the final quarter.
Kamehameha (3-2, 0-2) was superb defensively, with four first-half sacks of Kapule.
The Buffanblu started handing the ball to Taulapapa, who had 16 of his 22 carries after halftime.
"(Kamehameha) was doing a good job in the first half against our run, so we tried to get balance back in our offense," Taulapapa said. "Nick did a great job of spreading them out with his great passing, plus the O-line put a big emphasis in the second half about running the ball."
Kamehameha used nifty trick plays to get its early lead. Justice Young, a backup quarterback, lined up as a receiver, took a lateral pass and launched a 48-yard bomb to Jaycob Cabunoc for the Warriors’ first score. Later in the first quarter, wide receiver Kumoku Noa took a reverse pitch from quarterback Fatu Sua-Godinet and heaved a 23-yard TD pass to Cabunoc.
After Adam Stack’s 23-yard field goal on the final play of the half, Kamehameha had a 17-7 lead.
Kapule was 7-for-18 in the first half for 145 yards. In the second half, he was 16-for-22 for 181 yards with two of his three TD strikes.
"We just worked on all the small things and got together as a team. We got fired up," Kapule said. "We had to get our running game going to help our passing game. Kamehameha got in my head a little bit. They’re a great team and their coaching is great. Our coaches helped me see what they were doing."
Kapule got into a rhythm during an early fourth-quarter drive, hitting Enoch Nawahine for a 14-yard touchdown to bring Punahou within 17-14.
After a Kamehameha three-and-out, the Buffanblu drove 77 yards in just six plays. Kapule found Eamon Brady for a 52-yard gain on a pump-fake pass. Then he hit tight end Christopher Tuliloa on play-action for a 10-yard TD and Punahou was ahead for the first time, 21-17, with 6:37 to play.
After another Warriors three-and-out, Punahou drove 60 yards in eight plays. Taulapapa burst up the middle for a 36-yard touchdown to put the game seemingly out of reach, 28-17, with 3:29 to go.
Kamehameha drove to the Punahou 10-yard line, but stalled out after a sack and three incompletions. It was a tough follow-up to a narrow loss against Saint Louis last week, playing without starting QB Thomas Yam (collarbone).
"We didn’t win," Kamehameha coach Doug Cosbie said. "We didn’t do enough."
No. 1 Saint Louis 28, ‘Iolani 17
Jimmy Gonsalves rushed for career highs of 129 yards and three touchdowns as the Crusaders pulled away in the late going while starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa sat out with a knee injury.
Gonsalves scored on runs of 3, 1 and 2 yards and reserve QB Chevan Cordeiro passed for 249 yards (24-for-31) and a TD without a pick as Saint Louis improved to 2-0 in league play (4-0 overall).
The Crusaders relied on a ground attack and finished with 181 rushing yards on 37 carries.
The Raiders (2-3, 0-2) tied the game in the second quarter on Tai-John Mizutani’s 19-yard strike to Tamatane Aga. After Mizutani ran in for the 2-point conversion, it was 14-all with 4:11 left in the second quarter.
However, Aga was flagged when he spiked the ball on his touchdown. That set ‘Iolani back on the ensuing kickoff and Saint Louis took advantage of a short field. Gonsalves had several big pickups on option pitches, including a 16-yard gain in the go-ahead drive. His 1-yard TD made it 21-14 with 1:39 left in the half.
Keoni-Kordell Makekau (11 receptions, 125 yards) booted a 37-yard field goal to bring the Raiders within 21-17 with 1:09 remaining in the third quarter, but they got no closer. Their next two possessions ended in turnovers, and Saint Louis used a deliberate, run-oriented five-minute drive late in the game to seal the win. Gonsalves scored on a 2-yard blast and the Crusaders took an 11-point lead with 2:50 left.
Christian Naeole had 2 1/2 sacks for ‘Iolani.