Triple overtime games with dramatic endings don’t come around too often, so Hawaii fans lucky enough to be at Aloha Stadium for Damien’s 50-49 victory over Pac-Five on Friday night can savor that experience.
It was a classic case of two longtime rivals going at it hard. The Monarchs had the early momentum and, with Pac-Five’s slow start, it appeared like Damien might win going away.
But, when Wolfpack quarterback Ryan Johnson finally settled into his groove, back they came.
Damien held leads of 15-0, 22-13, 30-27 and, at the end, that winning 50-49 count.
There were only two times where the score was tied — 40-40 at the end of regulation and 43-43 after the second overtime.
Pac-Five took its first lead at 27-22 and also led by as many as 10 points, 40-30, with 9:10 left in regulation. In addition, the Wolfpack had a temporary 43-40 edge in the middle of the second overtime.
So, as you can see, this game was the definition of back and forth.
Monarchs safety Shawn Borges made the winning play, blocking the tying extra-point try by Pac-Five’s Tyler Fukuroda in the third OT.
“It hurt,” Wolfpack defensive back Kealii Carvalho said about that winning play.
“It’s a tough loss,” Pac-Five safety Christian Paet added. “Our offense hasn’t put up more than 30 points in a long time. That’s football. That’s how it is. We can’t be salty from this loss. We’re going to come back stronger than ever.”
Both of those guys were among the many players on both teams who came up with stellar plays.
“It all comes down to how much heart and who wanted it more,” Damien quarterback Marcus Faufata-Pedrina, who finished with 124 rushing yards and 244 passing yards.
Faufata-Pedrina engineered the game-tying drive at the end of regulation, spiking the ball to give Kaimana Cameron a chance to send the game into overtime. Cameron placed the 23-yard field goal through the uprights as time expired.
In the first overtime, Cameron had enough leg on a 47-yard attempt, but it went wide left.
In the second OT, after Fukuroda drilled a 43-yarder for Pac-Five’s 43-40 lead, Cameron came through in the clutch again with a 41-yarder to make it 43-all.
From now on, Cameron can brag that his extra point turned out to be the winning point — after Faufata-Pedrina’s 20-yard TD pass to Justice White — that, at the time, gave Damien a 50-43 lead.
“Oh, no, no difficulty at all. No pressure,” Cameron said about the big-time kicks. “We Practice every day, every day. The coaches stress it, so we have to get it down.”
Cameron was also immense on defense, with two interceptions and a fumble recovery.
Aside from his game-winning block, Borges had a touchdown catch, an interception and a tackle for loss.
“Those two guys (Cameron and Borges) are dynamic players on our team,” Faufata-Pedrina said. “Kaimana is coming back next year and Shawn is a senior. Shawn really wanted it tonight. It was his night and he showed up to play. That’s all there is to it.”
Borges credited teammate Shiloh Kaeo for helping him get through the Wolfpack line for the block.
“I told Shiloh that I didn’t think anyone out here can last this long,” Borges said. “I was telling him that if he went in and blew up the guard for me, ‘I promise you I’ll block this.’ He blew him up and I blocked it.
“This was homecoming night. I told my boys the whole night, ‘Just keep doing what you do and keep your head up and play to the end.’ That’s what we did.”
Damien (5-2, 3-1) can win the Interscholastic League of Honolulu Division II championship outright if Pac-Five (2-3, 0-3) defeats St. Francis (3-2, 2-1) next week. If the Saints win, they will share the regular-season title with the Monarchs.
Johnson, the Wolfpack quarterback, threw for 366 yards and seven touchdowns, including a 15-yard strike to Travis Kaloa in the third OT to get within one point before Borges’ winning block.
Kaloa finished with 10 catches for 119 yards and four TDs. Wolfpack teammate Matthew Hallstein had two TD grabs and 148 receiving yards.