Complete Prep Football Coverage


POSTED: Saturday, September 19, 2009

The big blue giant has been awakened.

Defending state champion Punahou awoke from its slumber—three losses in its first four games—to upset No. 1 Saint Louis 23-21 last night at Aloha Stadium.

Punahou improved to 2-1 in the Interscholastic League of Honolulu (2-3 overall) and kept its title hopes alive with the stunning victory over previously unbeaten Saint Louis (4-1, 1-1).

Punahou relied on a new-look ground game—108 rushing yards on 27 attempts—and two stunning bombs by Kaiana Eldredge. They got key stops from a swarming defense—which faced a new double-slot tight formation by Saint Louis—and a huge scoring catch and run by linebacker/wide receiver Jeremy Ioane.

“;I didn't want to go down,”; said Ioane, who also had a sack. Last week, he dropped what would've been a sure touchdown against Kamehameha. “;I wanted to make up for last week and do whatever it took to get in the end zone.”;

Punahou led most of the way, but Saint Louis was always within striking distance. The Saints trailed 23-15 with 6 minutes left before embarking on an 11-play, 64-yard touchdown drive. Jeremy Higgins' 4-yard keeper after a fake to fullback Vonn Feao brought the Saints within 23-21 with 2:51 left.

The ensuing 2-point conversion failed, however, when Higgins' pass missed wide receiver Jordan Fukumoto. Punahou cornerback Jordan Honjiyo won the battle of Jordans by jamming Fukumoto at the line of scrimmage.

“;I played him inside out,”; Honjiyo said. “;Can't let him get the slant, and the D-line did a good job closing the passing lanes.”;

Punahou ate time off the clock before punting back to Saint Louis with 58 seconds left. The Saints, however, were out of bullets and their drive stalled at the Punahou 42 as time expired.

Higgins passed for 256 yards, but had just one touchdown pass and was under severe pressure from a Punahou line that got two sacks from Jonathan Sani Fuimaono and two batted passes by Deforest Buckner.

Both teams alternated quarterbacks for portions of the first half. Saint Louis had speedy backup Marcus Mariota on the field for a few snaps, but Higgins did most of the directing in a drive that culminated with Jesse Correa's 21-yard field goal with 6:51 left in the first quarter.

While Punahou's first two series ended in interceptions tossed by Eldredge and Liloa Travis, Saint Louis didn't generate a sustained drive against a front seven led by Fuimaono. Saint Louis drove and stalled twice in the first half, settling for field goals of 21 yards (Correa) and Aaron Goo (25 yards).

Punahou's offense answered right back. Caires and Steven Lakalaka did all the leg work as the Buffanblu went 68 yards without a pass. A personal foul call on Saint Louis was followed by Lakalaka's 13-yard burst up the middle for the game's first touchdown. Punahou led 7-6 with 3:23 to go in the half.

Saint Louis followed that with a 70-yard bomb from Higgins to Duke Bukoski and took a 12-7 lead with 2:55 remaining in the second quarter.

Punahou bounced right back with an 80-yard bomb from Eldredge to Forrest Kim for a 13-12 lead with 2:01 to go in the half.

The Buffanblu struck on their first series of the second half. A 45-yard pass from Eldredge to Ioane on a corner route, plus Kaimi Fairbairn's PAT kick, gave Punahou a 20-12 lead with 9:30 remaining in the third quarter. It was almost identical to a play during Punahou's loss to Kamehameha last week, when Ioane dropped a pass that would've been a touchdown. This time, he made the catch, eluded three tacklers and skipped past the pylon for the score.

Saint Louis continued to alternate Higgins and Mariota and settled for a 30-yard field goal by Goo to cut the lead to 20-15.

The Crusaders gambled on their next series, going for it on fourth and 1 from their 15-yard line. The run by Feao was stuffed by Ioane and Geoffrey Miller, setting up a 40-yard field goal by Fairbairn. Punahou led 23-15 with 6:27 remaining.


No. 2 Kahuku 68, McKinley 0

Viliami Pasi ran for 113 yards and scored three touchdowns as the Red Raiders shut out the Tigers.

Kahuku's running backs combined for 284 yards on the ground with seven touchdowns.

The defense held McKinley to 31 offensive yards.


No. 6 Waianae 42, Nanakuli 0

Seariders quarterback Puletua Wilson accounted for 237 yards and four touchdowns as the Seariders routed the Golden Hawks.

His 75-yard run to paydirt in the first quarter set the tone early as Waianae put 35 on the scoreboard before intermission.

Waianae's defense frustrated the winless Golden Hawks as they held Nanakuli to 61 total yards.


Kapolei 28, Waipahu 21 OT

In the ever-so-tough OIA Red West, the Seariders held on for an overtime victory against a pesky Mauraders squad.

Waipahu forced overtime after Mark Bumanglag's 8-yard rushing touchdown knotted the score at 21.

Kapolei quarterback Noah Pascua threw for 135 yards and his lone touchdown pass in overtime to Christian Estabillo put the Hurricanes ahead. The Kapolei defense sealed the win after recovering a forced fumble on third down.


Kaimuki 17, Roosevelt 16, OT

Johnnie Tuitele scored a touchdown in overtime and Kaleo Maurico made the extra point to lead the Bulldogs over the Rough Riders.

Roosevelt scored on its first possession of the extra period when Asten Koki caught a pass from Matthew Lono-Holani, but the kicker missed the extra point.

Both teams were limited to a field goal in the first half.


Aiea 27, Kaiser 24

Na Alii withstood an early onslaught by the Cougars on their way to a victory in a OIA White match-up.

Freddy Taliulu led the Aiea attack going 10-for-18 passing with 130 yards. Vaa Anae punched in two touchdown runs along with his 56 yards to help improve Na Alii to 5-1.


Anuenue 27, Pearl City 13

Ikaika Armitage ran for a pair of touchdowns in the first quarter to help Na Koa breeze by the Chargers.

Ray Cooper III ran for a 46-yard touchdown to put Pearl City on the scoreboard in the second quarter, but Keli'ikoa Aki scored from 4 yards out and Ikaika Gante made the 2-point conversion.

Cooper collected 200 yards on the ground for the Chargers, but Anuenue countered with 328 rushing yards by seven different players. Gante led the way with 86 yards.


No. 8 Leilehua 29, Campbell 26

Andrew Manley led a second half barrage to lead the Mules to a come-from behind win.

Manley put the team on his back in the second half, scoring three touchdowns and guiding the Leilehua offense to 29 points after the team trailed 20-0 at halftime.

Manley finished with 280 yards on 21-for-36 passing.


Damien 37, Word of Life 18

Makana Ka'anoi made his debut as a starting quarterback a memorable one, passing for three touchdowns and running for three more as the Monarchs posted their first league win.

Ka'anoi, a 6-foot-2, 195-pound senior, moved from defensive back and overcame an erratic start for Damien (1-4, 1-2 ILH). He misfired on his first six pass attempts and was picked off twice, but completed 14 of his last 16 tries for 227 yards. All three of his scoring tosses went to speedy Shayvis Wilson, who finished with seven catches for 123 yards.

“;I told them to hold this feeling for as long as you can. Savor it,”; first-year head coach Punahou Aina said after notching his first victory.

Word of Life (0-3, 0-2) ran out of its spread and double-wing sets for a total of 223 yards on 50 attempts, but fumbled the ball away three times. With several personnel changes, Damien could make a run at the D-II league crown.

“;If we get healthy, this might be our catalyst,”; Aina said.

A botched punt snap by Word of Life gave Damien the ball at the Firebrands' 39-yard line. Ka'anoi found Wilson on a rollout pass for a 9-yard touchdown, and Damien led 6-0 with 41 seconds left in the first quarter.

Ka'anoi added a 2-yard sneak for a touchdown to cap a six-play, 60-yard march, and the Monarchs led 12-0 with 6:30 to go in the second quarter.

Switching from a shotgun set to a double-wing offense, Word of Life went on a 12-play, 61-yard drive for its first score. Richard Landford's 1-yard plunge brought Word of Life within 12-6 with 1:25 left in the half.

Damien answered with a 31-yard bomb to end the half. Ka'anoi's pass to Wilson on a deep post boosted Damien's lead to 18-6. The scoring play came after the Monarchs drove to the 4-yard line, and then were assessed with a huge holding penalty during a wild scramble by Ka'anoi.

A fumble recovery by linebacker Nephi Tuitele stopped a Word of Life drive at the Monarchs' 18-yard line. Seven plays later, Ka'anoi found Wilson on 28-yard play-action pass to the end zone, and Damien led 24-6 with 7:14 to go in the third.

Ka'anoi broke off a 62-yard touchdown on a keeper to give his team a 31-6 lead with 3:26 remaining in the third. He added an 18-yard keeper to the end zone with 5:01 left.


ILH Division ILeagueOverall
 WLPFPAWLPFPAStreakvs. ranked teams
Saint Louis11834741194110L12-1
ILH Division II
Word of Life0218790318121L30-1
OIA Red East
OIA Red West
OIA White
Pearl City1374901481126L3