Chargers come through on third down

Pearl City’s production on third down helped power the Chargers’ 27-0 win over Roosevelt in a duel of ball-control offenses on Friday night at Ticky Vasconcellos Stadium.

The Chargers failed to convert on their first three third-down situations, but went 6-for-9 over the remainder of the game and turned in three of the night’s pivotal plays while facing third-and-long.

>> Leading 6-0 lead on two Zameer Khan field goals, the Chargers faced third-and-9 early in the second quarter. Coming out of a timeout, Pearl City quarterback Kekainalu Simon found Calvin Mock with single coverage down the right side. Mock caught the ball in stride for a 30-yard touchdown on Simon’s first completion of the game.

>> After Elijah Parrish recovered a fumble at the Roosevelt 37 on the second play of the third quarter, a sack led to a third-and-17. Simon then hit Patrick Nunez cutting across the field and Nunez won a race to the pylon for a 27-yard score.

>> Later in the third quarter, Pearl City had a third-and-15 when Simon swung a screen pass to running back Charles Freitas, who followed his blocking downfield for a 33-yard gain to the Roosevelt 18. The drive ended with Simon absorbing a big hit while throwing his third touchdown pass of the night and the second to Mock.

Pearl City linemen Jasen Pong and Ethan Costales-Paikai were part of the convoy leading Freitas downfield on the screen pass and helped lead the way for the running game along with Roman Moeone, Rustin Tupua and Jeremiah Perifanos-Taamu. Freitas finished the night with 91 rushing yards on 17 carries.

“We started slow in the Lahaina game (a 29-0 loss), got better in the Kalani game and every game they’re getting better,” Pearl City coach Robin Kami said of the offensive line. “They’re coming together at this point.”

The Pearl City defense held Roosevelt’s ground-based attack to 153 total yards and came up with four takeaways in the shutout. Kasey Kikuyama pounced on two fumble recoveries and Jayden Madariaga’s fourth-quarter interception sealed the shutout.

Kami also credited the Chargers’ special teams units for giving Pearl City the field position advantage for much of the night, starting with Robert Yamasaki’s 69-yard kickoff return to open the game.

Pearl City, 2-0 in OIA Division II play, heads to the Windward side to face Kalaheo on Aug. 26 at Kailua.


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