[ HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL ]
Waianae gets down
and dirty, tops Pearl City
Pearl City went into Waianae as one of the hottest football teams on Oahu, but the most heat the Chargers gave off last night was from the friction created by the swarming Seariders' hits.
The Seariders could have gone by the nickname of Mudriders as they subdued the Chargers in the first half and held on for a 30-22 victory on a Raymond Torii Field that was more brown than green due to rare Leeward rainfall.
"We're relieved," Waianae coach Daniel Matsumoto said. "We were able to hold onto the ball and made our first downs at critical times."
It was the second time a team riding high went to Waianae this season only to come away feeling dreary on the way home. The Chargers (5-2, 4-2 Oahu Interscholastic Association Red West) were favored to beat the Seariders (3-3, 3-2), and it would have been their first victory over Pearl City after 19 losses. But Waianae didn't care about the odds. Nor did it care when rival Nanakuli came to town on Sept. 6 with a 2-0 record, only to get whipped 39-8.
The Seariders went to that old-fashioned, tried-and-true tradition -- the running game. Chris Lave carried the ball 31 times for 226 mud-filled yards and four touchdowns.
Michael Yamauchi-Yamate, who was a monster on defense for Pearl City all night and covered from head to toe in mud, didn't blame the weather.
"We just lost," Yamauchi-Yamate said. "We lost as a team and there's no excuses."
Just as Nanakuli did a month ago, Pearl City took a quick lead on the second play of the game as Nathaniel Nasca caught a Jensen Cabanero pass down the left sideline for a 73-yard score and a 7-0 edge.
The Chargers nearly went up by two TDs after a Steven King interception in Waianae territory, but the Seariders' Ikaika Luhia sacked Cabanero on fourth down from the 33.
Quarterback Uilau Faliuga's 37-yard pass to Dillon Guzman set up Lave's first score, a 1-yard run to make it 7-6.
A fumble recovery by Waianae's Ene Tua led to a 10-yard touchdown run by Lave early in the second quarter. Lave gave his team an 18-7 halftime cushion with a 7-yard scoring run.
"I'd rather play when it's dry," Lave said. "But it was a little bit fun. I made sure to keep two hands on the ball or it would have popped out. We had confidence and I don't think Pearl City respected us as much as they should have. They played a good game, but we wanted it more."
Pearl City never got its passing game up and running, despite using three quarterbacks -- starter Jensen Cabanero and backups Chaston Bertola and Dale Valledor.
"If it wasn't wet, we would have gone with Jensen the whole time, but each of them has their own abilities to offer," Pearl City coach Onosai Tanuvasa said. "The breaks in the game went back and forth, but we got behind and then ran out of time. I don't know how Waianae lost two (league) games. They're a well-coached team with terrific athletes."
The Seariders increased their lead to 30-7 in the third quarter as Clayton Francisco caught a 13-yard scoring strike from Faliuga and Lave set up his 5-yard TD run with a 44-yard jaunt.
The Chargers rallied as Nasca caught his second and third TDs of the game -- of 34 and 20 yards from Cabanero -- and added a 2-point conversion catch from Cabanero to make it 30-22 with 8:57 left.
Pearl City drove 50 yards on its final possession, but was stopped on four downs with less than two minutes left at the Waianae 40. Aaron Birn's 10-yard sack of Cabanero on third down helped seal the victory.
"Most definitely, Pearl City could have done it tonight," Matsumoto said. "They've accomplished a lot. I think the weather suited our game a little bit more."
At Waianae H.S. field
PC -- Nathaniel Nasca 73 pass from Jensen Cabanero (Steven King kick)
|Pearl City (5-2, 4-2)
|Waianae (3-3, 3-2)
Waian -- Chris Lave 1 run (run failed)
Waian -- Lave 10 run (pass failed)
Waian -- Lave 7 run (run failed)
Waian -- Clayton Francisco 13 pass from Uilau Faliuga (run failed)
Waian -- Lave 5 run (pass failed)
PC -- Nasca 34 pass from Cabanero (Nasca pass from Cabanero)
PC -- Nasca 20 pass from Cabanero (King kick)
RUSHING -- Pearl City: Dale Valledor 3-15, Nasca 1-11, Cabanero 5-6, Royal Kaua 1-3, Michael Yamauchi-Yamate 1-1, Chaston Bertola 1-(-10), Team 1-(-16). Waianae: Chris Lave 31-226, Maka Tanele 9-33, Tafilele Pauulu 2-5, Jared Laa 2-3, Uilau Faliuga 6-(-2), James Robinson 1-(-4).
PASSING -- Pearl City: Cabanero 16-32-0-223, Bertola 1-6-0-(-6), Valledor 0-3-0-0. Waianae: Faliuga 2-8-1-44.
RECEIVING -- Pearl City: Nasca 7-155, Keone Peiper 4-47, Royce Yuen 1-9, Michael Tanuvasa 2-6, Bertola 3-0. Waianae: Dillon Guzman 2-44.
Junior varsity -- Waianae 34, Pearl City 0