It took Roosevelt and ‘Iolani 52 years to meet on the gridiron again for an official game.
This time, it wasn’t so close. The visiting ‘Iolani Raiders scored 28 unanswered points in a 40-7 runaway win over Roosevelt on Friday night at Ticky Vasconcellos Stadium. When the Raiders and Rough Riders last met on Sept. 19, 1969, ‘Iolani escaped with a 7-6 win. Keeper of the vault Jerry Campany shared this ancient history.
Unlike that day, when ‘Iolani had 109 rushing yards, the Raiders rode the ground attack with Brody Bantolina churning away. The ‘Iolani senior came into Friday night’s game with 896 rushing yards. The Rough Riders provided plenty of resistance early on as Bantolina chugged into a lot of 2-yard gains between the tackles.
Eventually, however, Roosevelt’s stalwart defense grew fatigued as the Raiders’ offensive line continued to push. When Bantolina scampered on the right side to the pylon for a 37-yard touchdown in the third quarter, he had 104 yards for the game — and exactly 1,000 yards.
The score was his second TD of the game, and after two more carries, he was done for the night: 18 carries, 126 rushing yards.
‘Iolani RB Brody Bantolina scores on this 37-yard TD run and cracks the 1,000-yard mark during the third quarter at Roosevelt. He finished with 126 yards and two TDs in the 40-7 win. ‘Iolani is now 9-0. @HawaiiPrepWorld @Iolani_Raiders @StarAdvSports pic.twitter.com/T4U3ifkFli
— Paul Honda (@PupulePaul) November 20, 2021
Bantolina now has 22 rushing TDs with 1,022 yards. That kind of production by Bantolina and ‘Iolani’s offensive trench men is a big reason why the Raiders are 9-0 overall.
“The line is a different breed. They’re excellent and they block for me. I couldn’t do what I do without them,” he said.
Senior center Raynne Passi and the mix of older and younger blockers up front were persistent through every play, pushing downfield, to the sidelines, all the way through like very few offensive lines.
“It’s not just Brody. He’s got to have blocking. Those guys have really come together,” ‘Iolani coach Wendell Look said. “Look at what they’re doing out there together. It’s pretty amazing. We tell them, we don’t stop until the whistle blows. Taking that to heart, that’s how we continue to play.”
The O-line asks no quarter, gets none either, but Bantolina is leaning toward some early Christmas gratitude.
“My mom’s been bugging me to buy them pizza for awhile,” he said.
“I can’t thank him enough,” Passi said. “Every time he comes off the hole when we block, it’s all him, you know?”
“Best center in the league,” Bantolina said.
At Ticky Vasconcellos Stadium
‘Iolani (9-0, 6-0 ILH D-I/D-II) 10 9 14 7 — 40
Roosevelt (1-3, 1-2 OIA D-I) 0 7 0 0 — 7
IOL—Allison Chang FG 28
IOL—Brody Bantolina 5 run (Chang kick)
IOL—Safety, punter tackled in end zone
ROOS—Silas Kekahuna 2 run (Porter Ellis kick)
IOL—Kaeo Miyahira 75 pass from Micah Hoomanawanui (Chang kick)
IOL—Bantolina 37 run (Chang kick)
IOL—Miyahira 9 pass from Hoomanawanui (Chang kick)
RUSHING—Iol: Brody Bantolina 18-126, Keao Miyahira 2-82, Cainen Torres 9-11. Roos: Silas Kekahuna 5-21, Kamuela Kaaihue 17-18, Kai He 1-2, Landen Kalani 1-2, Tiana Burgess 4-2, team, 2-(-25), Nicholas Garner 1-4.
PASSING—Iol: Micah Hoomanawanui 13-24-1-173, Kualau Manuel 8-8-0-44. Roos: Kaaihue 9-20-0-103, Christian Aarona 1-1-0-11.
RECEIVING—Iol: Kai Preusser 4-39, Bantolina 2-13, Tristan Martinez 8-46, Keao Miyahira 4-106, Taniela Taliauli 1-3, Tyger Hayashi 2-10. Roos: Jayden Gaopoa-Montgomery 2-24, George Matsunaga 3-52, Keanu Bezares 1-1, Kalua Nahale 2-10, Kekahuna 1-10, Olin Kaaihue 1-17.