ON THIS DATE: Halftime speech by Joe Francis wakes Pearl City

On this date in 1976, Anthony Canyon scored two touchdowns and led Pearl City to a 14-13 upset of Kailua.

Canyon and the Chargers, who didn’t have a single boy weighing more than 200 pounds, were late to the party. Pearl City was manhandled by the bigger Surfriders in the first half and only advanced the ball past the 50-yard line once. When coach Joe Francis led them into halftime, they only trailed by a single score.

When Francis hit the locker room at Aloha Stadium, he saw a defeated crew but brought it back to life by telling the kids they were better than they showed and only had to execute.

It wasn’t the most original speech, but it worked. Canyon and the Chargers picked up eight of their 12 first downs in the second half and 156 of their 211 yards.

The defense was stout throughout the game but still had work to do in the final minute after giving up a score with 2:40 left. Kailua tried to go for two points and the victory, but Eddie Tangjian came up with a clutch tackle against a Kailua offense loaded to his side.

Canyon finished with 80 yards on 15 carries and David Pawid came up with two interceptions.

The Chargers improved to 3-1 with the upset and shut out Nanakuli in their next game but failed to win the rest of the season with five straight losses. Kailua had a rough stretch of its own, losing its next four games before winning its last two.


  1. Old School September 18, 2020 11:55 am

    Coach Francis was an unreal athlete. He was running Scout QB while coaching at Pac-5, must of been in his late 40’’s or early 50’s. He could still throw and juke.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Star-Advertiser's TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email hawaiiprepworld@staradvertiser.com.