Tyler Ching put down his bat and glove following Kalani’s baseball season in the spring and immediately reached for a football.
A linebacker on the Falcons’ six-win team in 2013, Ching knew there was an open spot to fill at quarterback and decided to give it a shot. Three months later, he found himself behind center on opening night Saturday and threw for 250 yards and four touchdowns in a 32-0 win over Waialua in an OIA Division II game at Kaiser Stadium.
“I was joking around throwing before practice with coach Howard (Peralta) and I was like, ‘watch me throw this a couple of times,” Ching said. “He was like, ‘we might have to try you out next year,’ and as soon as I finished baseball, he told me to come out with the quarterbacks and I was working with them.”
Ching said it only took about a month before he won the starting job and admitted to feeling anxious on Saturday night.
At times, he hurried throws when he didn’t need to and was only 10-for-30 in the game, but averaged 25 yards a completion. Junior Blaise Manabe, a three-year starter at receiver, helped out his QB, catching touchdown passes of 70, 55 and 32 yards.
“We had the Hurricane warning and (last) Friday’s practice was canceled but all of the receivers came out and worked with (Ching) and worked on our timing,” Manabe said. “He’s really serious about getting everything worked out and we’re focused on perfecting our plays.”
Kalani coach Greg Taguchi praised both Ching’s arm and his mind in helping him win the starting job.
“He had the strongest arm out of everybody and he’s very intelligent,” Taguchi said. “You have to be intelligent to run this offense and make smart decisions.”
Ching thought he did ‘OK’ in his quarterback debut but expects to get a lot better as the season gets going.
“I could have done a lot of things better,” he said. “I had a lot of anxiety coming in. I think I’ll be better next game and at least more calmed down.”
Kalani 32, Waialua 0
At Kaiser Stadium
Waialua (0-1, 0-1) 0 0 0 0 — 0
Kalani (1-0, 1-0) 13 12 7 0 — 32
Kaln—Blaise Manabe 55 pass from Tyler Ching (Marc Teshima kick)
Kaln—Kai Reed 9 pass from Ching (kick failed)
Kaln—Manabe 70 pass from Ching (run failed)
Kaln—Payton Awaya 30 interception return (pass failed)
Kaln—Manabe 32 pass from Ching (Teshima kick)
RUSHING—Wail: Elmer Agtina 3-11, Mila Lele 3-(minus 1), Caelan Alejandro 7-(minus 7), Royce Tashiro 14-(minus 29). Kaln: Gage Quinabo-Reis 11-44, Brandon Nahina 8-17, Manabe 3-3, Ching 3-1.
PASSING—Wail: Alejandro 7-17-2-44, Tashiro 3-12-0-35. Kaln: Ching 10-30-0-250.
RECEIVING—Wail: Thomas Pule 4-36, Lele 2-14, Tashiro 2-10, Christian Paracuelles-Calaro 1-14, Brandon Aceret 1-5. Kaln: Manabe 3-157, Reed 3-31, Tyler Ho 2-45, Quinabo-Reis 1-10, Juwan Bohannon 1-7.