Chargers cut it loose with Canyon at QB

Pearl City quarterback Makana Canyon returns after throwing 10 TD passes last season. Photo by Jay Metzger/Special to the Star-Advertiser.

Through five games this season, Pearl City was almost perfectly balanced on offense.

The Chargers had attempted 107 passes and rushed the ball 110 times. But that balance went out the window with the wind at their back on Friday night at Alex Kane Stadium.

Pearl City coach Robin Kami called 14 straight passes to start the game and quarterback Makana Canyon took advantage of it throwing five touchdown passes in a 47-6 win over Kalaheo in an OIA Division II matchup.

Canyon finished 11-for-23 for 225 yards and Christian Tielu added a sixth touchdown pass for the Chargers (4-2, 4-0 OIA Division II), who had only had a quarterback throw for more than 100 yards in a game once this season before Canyon’s performance.

“We normally don’t do that but we tried to take advantage of the wind in the first quarter,” Kami said. “Makana did a great job tonight. He read (the defenses) really good.”

Canyon surpassed the 100-yard passing mark midway through the first quarter and started the second half on the bench with Tielu taking over at QB.

The Chargers were held scoreless in the third quarter and Canyon, who re-entered the game late in the third quarter, threw a 59-yard touchdown to Po’okela Moses-Espanto on a screen pass on the first play of the fourth quarter that put the Chargers up 40-6.

“We tried to get everyone the ball tonight,” Canyon said. “I’m feeling confident. I trust all of my receivers.”

Senior Thomas King caught a touchdown pass for the fourth straight game and finished with six receptions for 110 yards and two scores.

“Makana’s doing really good,” King said. “He gets the ball out to his receivers and we’re just working on the trust we have with each other.”

Pearl City’s Thomas King caught two touchdown passes and finished with 110 receiving yards on six receptions against Kalaheo. Photo by Jay Metzger/Special to the Star-Advertiser.

King caught a 50-yard touchdown pass down the middle on Pearl City’s third play from scrimmage and Canyon found Stanton Hong on a 22-yard pass for a 13-0 lead.

King added his second touchdown reception on an 11-yarder from Canyon, who threw for four scores in the first half alone.

“(King) has good hands and his route running is amazing and I trust him with that height,” Canyon said of his 6-foot-1 receiver. “I trust everybody.”

Senior Micah Quillopo-Jamile caught a 1-yard TD pass from Tielu and then scored on a 7-yard pass from Canyon for a 32-0 halftime lead.

Tielu led the Chargers with 319 passing yards and five touchdowns through the first five games. Canyon was playing just his second game because of an injury.

“We’ll see what happens. Whoever (has) the better practices usually starts,” Kami said. “It’s a good competition at practice. Nobody is the starter. Whoever has a good week will start.”


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