[ ILH FOOTBALL ]
Damien’s Faualo runs past
Pac-Five in 26-14 victory
In addition to carrying the football 19 times for 133 yards and a touchdown, Damien senior running back Vaa Faualo carried the hopes and dreams of a playoff berth as he led the Monarchs past Pac-Five 26-14 yesterday.
The anticipation was heightened for the fans because this was not only a rematch of the teams' season-opening game that ended in a 19-all tie, but one that held playoff possibilities for the winner.
The much-needed victory kept Damien (3-3-1, 1-2-1) within 1 1/2 games of the Interscholastic League of Honolulu Division II-leading Iolani Raiders as the Monarchs got some help early from the mistake-prone Pac-Five team.
Three turnovers by the Wolfpack on their first 10 touches set the Monarchs up for a quick 13-0 lead on two field goals by Faualo and a 27-yard touchdown toss from quarterback George Martin to wide receiver Bronson Sonico.
The lead at the half was 19-0 following a 58-yard touchdown dash by Faualo, who also had a 52-yarder negated on a holding call.
Pac-Five sophomore quarterback Bryson Bernie (5-for-15 for 60 yards and two interceptions) was harassed into ineffectiveness by an aggressive Monarch defense. Junior Nathan Alvarado took over for an injured Bernie in the third quarter and helped lead the Wolfpack (3-4-1, 0-3-1) to the end zone twice. He completed 15 of 24 passes for 137 yards, but it wasn't enough to offset early miscues.
Damien's second-place finish in last year's ILH Division II championship game whet the fans' appetites for greater accomplishments, but a stumble out of the gates early in the season forced the team to refocus on the essentials.
"Early in the season, we were still growing as a team," said Monarch co-head coach Dean Nakagawa in reference to the season-opening tie. "We needed to learn to put four quarters together. Players have stepped up and filled the leadership void."