Graduates help Pearl City reload

by Jason Kaneshiro on August 16, 2014

Pearl City is in rebuilding mode after losing 33 seniors off a state tournament team. Having Dominic Maneafaiga among the returnees is a pretty good place to start.

Maneafaiga, a senior running back, scored on a 44-yard punt return, a 1-yard reception and a 32-yard run in Pearl City’s 34-6 season-opening win over Roosevelt on Friday.

Maneafaiga also kicked three PATs to account for 21 total points for the Chargers and had a 90-yard punt return called back due to a penalty at the end of the first half.

He’s among the returnees off last year’s team that went 6-2 to tie for second in the OIA White, reached the league title game and ended 2013 with a 13-7 loss to Kauai in the Division II state tournament.

The 33 seniors are no longer on the roster, but their influence lingers.

“It helped to get to the state tournament, at least (the returnees) had that feeling of what it takes to get there,” Pearl City coach Robin Kami said. “So the seniors from last year helped us out getting this ball rolling for the underclassmen.”

The Chargers have 26 seniors this year and pulled up six sophomores to the varsity.

Dominic and Joe Maneafaiga represent both classes and accounted for the bulk of Pearl City’s yardage on Friday.

The Chargers offense ran 26 plays in the game and a Maneafaiga was involved in 20. Dominic ran for 83 yards on 14 carries and caught a 1-yard touchdown pass from Jordan Taamu, a returning starter at quarterback. He took handoffs on Pearl City’s first nine plays of the second half and Joe had three more carries as the Chargers didn’t attempt a pass after taking a 27-0 lead into halftime.

Taamu, who threw for 1,602 yards and 12 touchdowns last year, completed three of his four throws for 32 yards with two going for scores.

Roosevelt had a thin roster for the opener and scored with less than a minute left in the game, ending a run of shutouts with Keanu Furtado‘s pass to Shayne Teruya. The Rough Riders were blanked in their last three games last season and hadn’t scored since the fourth quarter of a 63-20 loss to Kalani on Sept. 13 last year.

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