Of all the drives that ended in touchdowns for Kamehameha in the Warriors’ win over ‘Iolani at Aloha Stadium on Friday night, one that didn’t end with a touchdown celebration might have been the most important.
Kamehameha’s offense scored on four of its last six drives, settling for a field goal on their first one after halftime and taking a knee to end their last one of the game.
The Warriors lined up to receive the second-half kickoff clinging to a 14-7 lead and knowing that ‘Iolani’s offense could put up points in bunches against them even though Kamehameha’s defense entered the stadium with the reputation of being the best in the land. So what did the defense do about it?
It stood on the sidelines and watched the show.
Kamehameha started its first drive of the second half on the 20-yard line after a touchback, and went to work with what worked in the first half.
First and 10 from the 20: Brandon Kahookele 3-yard run.
Second and seven from the 23: Kahookele 8-yard run.
Then it was quarterback Noah Sua-Godinet’s turn. He finished the game 13-for-22 for 113 yards with no interceptions. His receivers were wide open on critical third-down plays, and he hit them in the numbers.
First and 10 from the 31: Sua-Godinet to Kaulana Werner for 11 yards.
Then back to the run.
First and 10 from the 42: Kahookele 2-yard run.
Second and eight from the 44: Kahookele crosses midfield with a 12-yard run.
First and 10 from the 44: Kahookele stuffed for no gain.
‘Iolani stopped Kahookele, so Kamehameha started using him as a decoy, and it worked.
“Our coaching staff in all phases made good adjustments as the game went along,” Kamehameha coach Doug Cosbie said. “Maybe couple steps forward, one step forward.”
Second and 10 from the 44: Sua-Godinet scrambles and loses a yard.
Third and 11 from the 45: Sua-Godinet to Werner for 4 yards.
Drive stalled, right?
Fourth and seven from the 40: Sua-Godinet stands in the pocket and delivers a strike to William Young for 12 yards and the first down. Young comes down with the ball despite tight coverage.
With new life, Kamehameha sticks with the air attack before going back to its feature back.
First and 10 from the 28: Sua-Godinet throws an incomplete pass.
Second and 10 from the 28: Kahookele stuffed, loses a yard.
Third and 10 from the 29: Sua-Godinet comes up huge again, hitting Jordan Paulo for 14 yards to move the chains.
‘Iolani’s defense is supposed to be tired; it has been on the field for 12 plays, half of them bruising runs by Kahookele.
First and 10 from the 16: Kahookele stuffed again, gains just a yard.
Second and 9 from the 15: Sua-Godinet hits Werner for 4 more yards, the third time he has looked for him underneath on the drive.
Third and 5 from the 11: Sua-Godinet, who has been clutch on third downs up until now, throws an incomplete pass.
“We made some progress in different ways, different guys stepping up,” Cosbie said. “The line really came to play.”
Fourth and 5 from the 11: Tyler Fitzsimmons lines up and drills home a field goal to make it 17-7.
Sure, the field goal was a disappointment to an offense accustomed to breaking the plane, but when the field-goal unit got back to the sideline it had stretched the lead to two scores and there were only 4 minutes, 43 seconds left in the third quarter. The Warriors ate up almost all of the fourth quarter. The Raiders picked up two first downs on their possession, but the gun sounded for the fourth quarter with ‘Iolani getting only eight plays in the entire quarter before Kamehameha’s Mason Chow made a diving interception to end that threat.
Kamehameha used six plays on its next drive and followed that up with a 13-play epic before using six on its next-to-last series. Until ‘Iolani exploded for two scores in the final two minutes, Kamehameha had run 40 plays to ‘Iolani’s 15 in the second half. The Warriors scored a touchdown on each of those drives.