(Here’s the story of last weekend’s football game between ‘Iolani and Pac-Five. We had limited space in the print edition.)
No touchdown passes for Reece Foy, no problem for the aerial attack of ‘Iolani.
Instead, the Raiders rushed for 189 yards and got touchdown runs from Kody Mento and Jordan Lee for a 21-6 win over Pac-Five to clinch the Interscholastic League of Honolulu Division II crown.
For good measure, wide receiver Tanner Nishioka delivered a touchdown pass to seal the win for the 10th-ranked Raiders against a physical, tough Wolfpack defense.
Foy, hurried for much of the night in the pocket, was 13-for-19 with a pick for 159 yards. He was sacked just twice, however, and the Raiders ran the ball more than twice as often as they passed. Kody Mento had 74 yards on 21 tough carries, and Lee had 93 yards, including 90 in the second half, on 14 attempts.
“I’m relieved, that’s for sure. It wasn’t easy,” Raiders coach Wendell Look said. “Teenagers tend to do things the hard way and make things difficult, but we played well. Pac-Five had a great game plan of trying to pound it on us. Our kids were resilient enough to finish it off.”
The Raiders scored on their second possession, but came up empty the rest of the half. The Wolfpack made sure to minimize ‘Iolani’s offensive potential by chewing up big chunks of the clock with their throwback double-wing offense.
Tanner Nishioka scampered around right end on a fly sweep for a 9-yard touchdown to give ‘Iolani a 7-0 lead with 2:14 to go in the first quarter. The Raiders had just 10 more plays from scrimmage for the rest of the half. Their next drive ended on an interception by ‘Pack safety Drew Viena.
That led to a 13-play, 66-yard march by the team in orange, including two fourth-down conversions. One came on a key 6-yard lob from quarterback Jack Foster to tight end Kaokuhea Sanborn. Reece Alvarado scored in the ensuing play, a 10-yard burst off the right side out of a wildcat formation.
Down 7-6 with 25 seconds left in the half, Pac-Five opted for a 2-point conversion try, but Alvarado was stopped less than a yard short of the goal line.
‘Iolani receiver Sheldon Gallarde broke away on a screen play and nearly scored at the end of the half, pushed out of bounds at the 8-yard line as time expired.
By intermission, ‘Iolani’s quick-paced, no-huddle offense had registered just 20 snaps to Pac-Five’s 34. The ‘Pack had a major edge in time of possession: 16 minutes, 37 seconds to ‘Iolani’s 7:23.
The Raiders put the game out of reach when Nishioka, the fly man in motion, took a handoff from Foy, rolled right and lobbed an 8-yard touchdown pass to Gallarde, who was wide open.
“It was more like a wounded duck,” Look said.
That made it 21-6 with 17 seconds left in the third quarter.
All kidding aside, the Raiders were able to move the ball on the ground against a tiring Wolfpack defense late in the game.
“We have to be able to run the ball, especially to close out games. That’s how teams play us, so we have to be able to run even if we don’t have a big tight end or big bodies up front,” Look said.
Pac-Five defensive lineman/fullback Ben Keller credited the opposing team.
” ‘‘Iolani’s a great team. We just had too many mistakes,” he said.
Paul Honda, Star-Advertiser