Nanakuli coach Keala Watson put the ball in Nainoa Banks’ hands on Friday and the senior quarterback delivered the second highest passing total in school history.
The Golden Hawks broke away from their ground-based attack and gave Banks an opportunity to fling the ball around Castle’s field in their penultimate game of the OIA Red schedule. Banks completed 26 of 48 attempts and made a run at the school record he set last season in throwing for 325 yards and two touchdowns in Nanakuli’s 30-16 loss to the Knights.
Banks set the program’s single-game record last September when he passed for 396 yards in a 52-15 win over Waialua. His total on Friday, along with being Nanakuli’s second 300-yard performance, is the school’s highest against a Division I opponent and he now owns the top three totals in the program’s history. His 290-yard effort in last year’s overtime win over Pearl City ranks third.
Banks entered Friday’s game at Castle with in 32 completions in 79 attempts for 495 yards this season. His production against the Knights accounts for 45 percent of his total completions, 38 percent of his attempts and 40 percent of his passing yards.
“A lot of teams who scouted us have seen we run a lot, so we’re trying something new,” Watson said. “It kind of worked out, we benefited from it. Because we were throwing the ball around everybody got a chance to contribute. Everybody was hungry to contribute to trying to win. It was a nice team effort.”
Banks completed passes to six different receivers with Joey Vea-Quitog emerging as his primary target. Vea-Quitog, who entered the game with nine catches for 90 yards, caught 12 passes for 117 and a touchdown. Chyson Morgan added four receptions for 86 yards and a score.
In the end, the Golden Hawks couldn’t quite keep up with the all-purpose performance of Castle senior Jeremy McGoldrick, who ran for a touchdown, threw for two scores and caught a touchdown pass in the fourth quarter that effectively put the game out of reach.
“He’s their all-star go-to,” Watson said. “We saw him warming up at quarterback. He’s an athlete, he’ll be fun to watch wherever he goes.”
The outcome eliminated Nanakuli (0-7, 0-6 OIA Red) from playoff contention with one game left in the regular season. The Golden Hawks, who went close their season at No. 5 Kapolei on Friday.