There haven’t been a whole lot of sophomore stat lines that looked like this.
Kapolei quarterback Noa Bailey passed for 272 yards and two touchdowns in the first half as the ninth-ranked Hurricanes took a 17-0 lead over Waianae. He fired two touchdown passes, 37 yards to Ikari Stokes on a screen pass, and 46 yards to Elijah Badoyen on an exquisite corner-route pass.
Bailey did throw two picks. The first went through the hands of a Kapolei receiver, and the second came on the final play of the first half downfield. He finished with 360 passing yards, three TDs, and departed before the end of the third quarter in Kapolei’s 46-0 win on Saturday night.
Kapolei is now 3-2 overall and, more importantly, 1-0 in OIA Open Division play with this victory. Bailey launching 39 pass attempts, with 19 completions, wasn’t the ideal plan for the Hurricanes. Waianae’s front seven limited the ‘Canes to 67 yards on 21 carries. In the first half, Kapolei mustered 20 rushing yards on nine attempts.
Waianae took a sound defeat, but there’s certainly nothing wrong with its rushing defense. Kapolei running back Ezekiel Waiolama came into the game with 294 rushing yards and three TDs. Zion-Jabez Robello had 275 rushing yards and two TDs. By halftime against Waianae, they had a combined 12 yards on eight carries, all by Waiolama.
Bailey nearly doubled his entire season’s output in tonight’s game. He entered the contest with 370 passing yards (30-for-75) and four TDs with three interceptions. Powered by defensive tackle Zefften Thompson-Avilla, Waianae built a wall at the line of scrimmage.
Bailey responded with field vision that belied his young age. He connected with eight different receivers in the first half. That almost never happens.
“We had kept it very close to the vest and we ran the ball (in earlier games), but this Waianae defense is very tough against the run,” Hernandez said. “We weren’t able to bust off big runs, but we’re very happy with Noa and his presence. He’s very calm.”
In fact, it wasn’t necessarily that the Kapolei coaching staff forced the young slinger to spread the ball around.
“He made the right reads and that just comes with practice,” Hernandez said. “Last year he was a part-time starter with the JV. It’s really his first full season, the first time he has full responsibility. He’s the guy. It’s exciting to watch his development.”
It’s no guarantee that Bailey gets all the snaps, though. The season-opening starter, Christian Rapis, has returned from injury. He was 0-for-1 tonight, playing just a handful of snaps. He’s also a sophomore. And freshman Mason Gomez looked good in his role as a backup, firing a 21-yard TD pass. He finished 1-for-2.