Nicolas Tom appeared a bit winded after crossing the goal line for the final touchdown of Kaiser’s 60-34 win at Waipahu on Friday night.
Hard to blame the Cougars’ triple-threat for being a little leg weary after scoring in all three phases to help power Kaiser (1-3, 1-2 OIA Red) to its first win of the season in a game that ended 10 minutes before midnight.
Tom started at quarterback and cornerback and returned kicks for the Cougars. He completed 11 of 15 passes for 158 yards and a touchdown, a short throw that running back Jensen McDaniel turned into an 88-yard score. He ran for a 1-yard touchdown late in the second quarter and returned a punt 70 yards for a score on the final play of the third quarter.
Tom capped the scoring by intercepting a deep pass and weaving across the field on his way to an 80-yard touchdown.
Tom’s performance was part of a night of big plays for the Cougars, who ignited the fireworks with Andrew Kaufusi’s 91-yard return for a touchdown on the game’s opening kickoff.
McDaniel, who sat out Kaiser’s loss at Kahuku on Aug. 21, ran for 100 yards on just 10 carries and scored twice. Parker Higgins powered for 129 yards on 17 carries and Kaiser had two rushers hit triple digits for the third time in four games.
Defensive end Chance Kalaugher, a standout post player for the Cougar basketball team, menaced Waipahu ball carriers for much of the night and scooped up an errant shotgun snap for a 32-yard touchdown return.
Kamalu Simeona relieved Tom at quarterback in the fourth quarter and threw a 24-yard touchdown pass to Keoua Mahiko. Tom’s interception return pushed Kaiser to the 60-point mark for the first time since a 71-0 win over Roosevelt on Sept. 27, 2013.
Midway through the regular season, Kaiser will play its first home game next Friday against McKinley. After four road games, the Cougars play three of their final four OIA Red games in Hawaii Kai.