‘Iolani got some of its playmakers back in time for Friday’s ILH Division II postseason final against Damien. Even so, the Raiders could still probably use the time off they earned with a 28-7 win at Aloha Stadium.
‘Iolani avoided having to face the Monarchs again in a winner-take-all rematch next week with Friday’s victory and will have the week to recharge going into the Division II state tournament.
The Raiders qualified for the state tournament for the 10th straight year after winning the last six. They’ve been the top seed each of the past five years and had a first-round bye in the past six. The only time ‘Iolani played in the tournament’s opening round was in 2006.
‘Iolani’s defense was closer to full strength on Friday with the return of defensive back Max Look a week after fellow DB J.T. Los Banos returned from injury. Look had five tackles in Friday’s win and Los Banos had a tackle for loss.
‘Iolani coach Wendell Look said the offense also benefited from having receivers Austin and Connor Ohira back in action. The duo combined for eight catches for 66 yards, with Austin Ohira scoring on a 12-yard catch-and run.
Running back Jordan Ross, who had missed playing time in recent weeks with an ankle injury, appeared to aggravate the injury in the first half and finished with 26 yards on four carries. Sophomore Tamatane Aga carried the load for the Raiders’ running game with 82 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries.
“The next guy has to step up and Tama stepped up tonight,” Wendell Look said.
Look said receiver Chad Hanaoka, the Raiders’ second leading receiver with 433 yards and six touchdowns this season, could have played on Friday but was held out. Keoni-Kordell Makekau, who entered the game leading the Raiders with 59 catches, 923 yards and 10 touchdowns, appeared to have his shoulder examined by trainers and ended the night with three catches for 30 yards.
Tyler Teruya, who entered the game with 25 receptions for 191 yards, caught 12 passes for 129 yards and a touchdown on Friday as Jim On relied on the short passing game to complete 78 percent of his attempts (28 of 36) for 253 yards.
“That’s what we want from him,” Look said. “Our quarterbacks, that’s what they’re supposed to do, just take what the defense gives you.”