No. 10 ‘Iolani 41, Castle 14, F
9:50: Somehow, Punivai will finish this game with over 100 yards passing (133) and rushing (103).
9:48: Castle executes a 91-yard drive against ‘Iolani’s backups, led by Punivai on the air and the ground both. He caps it off with a 1-yard keeper score.
9:40: Judd loses a fumble and ‘Iolani puts in its backups to run out the clock.
9:33: ‘Iolani has to settle for a 23-yard field goal by Mika Makekau. We’re one point shy of running clock status, because … of course we are.
9:28: Punivai is picked off by linebacker Joshua Miyazawa and the Raiders are threatening to put this into a running clock for the fourth quarter. They’ve got it at the 4 to begin the final 12 minutes.
9:25: First punt of the game for ‘Iolani after Chong can’t handle a snap and keeps it for a loss of 1 on third down near midfield. Castle opens this drive at its 3.
9:21: Castle advances into ‘Iolani territory but Judd goes incomplete looking deep on fourth down from the 35. Raiders take over on downs.
9:11 ‘Iolani takes the kickoff to open the third quarter and picks up right where it left off. From the Castle 19, Nishigaya sets himself up with an 18-yard run just short of the pylon. He finishes it off the drive with the 1-yard touchdown, his FOURTH of the night.
9:00: ‘Iolani’s band and cheerleaders with maybe the play of the night so far:
— Brian McInnis (@Brian_McInnis) October 6, 2018
8:49: Kaua Nishigaya with the same number of carries as Punivai, but he’s got 111 yards and three touchdowns. Jonah Chong is 9-for-13 for 62 yards at QB.
8:48: Punivai was held to 40 yards on 16 carries in that half for Castle, well below the numbers he’d been putting up the last four weeks in wins over Nanakuli, Radford, Kailua and Aiea.
8:47: Nothing doing on Castle’s final kickoff return of the half. Teams go into halftime with ‘Iolani firmly in control.
8:45: Castle goes with a new look, featuring QBs Samuel Judd and Senituli Punivai in the same backfield. It helps them advance the ball all the way up to the ‘Iolani 34 … and then disaster strikes. Judd is picked off for the second time tonight, and this one goes all the way back to the house courtesy of Kyler Mento for 65 yards … with nine seconds left in the half. 31-7 ‘Iolani.
8:39: Nishigaya gets in easily on the next play following a timeout, his third TD of the half among his 111 yards rushing. Mika Makekau with the XP and it’s 24-7 Raiders.
8:37: The 5-foot-5 Nishigaya is picked up bodily and held in the air at the 1 until the whistle blows the play dead. That’s about the only way Castle could stop him.
8:36: Castle’s long snap is too high, and it sails well over the head of punter Bruce Pakele. He’s brought down at the 5 for a team loss of 33. ‘Iolani can tack on a score going into intermission.
8:34: Judd completes a pass to Paul Omengebar for a 15-yard pickup, then Castle goes back to Senituli Punivai at QB. He’s stopped for a gain of 1, then dropped for a loss of 2 and the Knights have to punt late in the half.
8:31: Wailoa Manuel with a 28-yard field goal for the Raiders. 17-7.
8:25: Tough sequence for Castle, which steps up defensively and drops Chong on fourth down to take over at their own 34. Castle goes with Samuel Judd at QB … and he throws an interception on his first play. Ouch. Lanakila Pei with a snare over the middle and a 30-yard return to set up ‘Iolani in the red zone.
8:20: ‘Iolani appears to have Punivai bottled at the moment. He’s held to two consecutive 3-yard pickups and an incomplete pass on a rollout. ‘Iolani fields a fair-caught punt at the Raiders’ 41.
8:16: Looks like ‘Iolani defensive back Micah Camat was injured on that extra-point try. He’s helped off the field.
8:15: Nishigaya picks right up where he left off after the field flipped. He needs two carries to get in from 2 yards, his second rushing touchdown tonight. 14-7 Raiders.
8:11: A pretty quick first quarter ends with ‘Iolani on the march. Jonah Chong has turned to his running back, Nishigaya, for a heavy workload so far — eight carries for 81 yards in the opening period. Raiders open the second quarter at the Castle 5 with first and goal.
8:05: The Punivai show rolls on, as he keeps it on the direct snaps for gains on four straight plays out to near midfield. But he drops back to pass and is sacked for a loss of nine, followed by a stop for no gain on the next play. Castle punts to the ‘Iolani 17.
7:59: ‘Iolani’s response is swift. Chong completes four straight passes to Carter Kamana, setting up Kaua Nishigaya’s 31-yard touchdown run. Nishigaya broke a couple of tackles and beat the Knights’ secondary to the pylon.
7:54: QB Senituli Punivai shows his versatile lethality. He picks up a 20-yard gain with his legs, then after being dropped for a loss of 5, finds Jonah Figueroa across the middle and Figueroa does the rest, going in for the 40-yard TD. XP is good and the Knights have a 7-0 lead.
7:50: Jonah Chong completes a 7-yard pass on third down, but then absorbs a sack on fourth down. Castle takes over on its 45.
7:46: Inauspicious start for the Knights. They don’t cleanly field the opening kickoff and begin on their 5. A couple of direct-snap keepers by quarterback Senituli Punivai, and he’s dropped on the second for a loss of nine at the 1. They get a 10-yard pass, but then have to punt. ‘Iolani takes over at the Castle 44.
7:43 p.m.: Here we go. ‘Iolani is kicking off to Castle, in only the second encounter between the teams in Kaneohe, and third overall.
This is the third all-time meeting between ‘Iolani and Castle, with the teams splitting the previous two. Castle won on its field in 2009, 42-21, behind the passing of Jaymason Lee. And back in 2005, ‘Iolani prevailed 42-27 at Aloha Stadium behind quarterback Bryce Kalauokaaea.
The Castle scoreboard is officially KO’d for tonight. Time and score updates will be done over the PA system.
For ‘Iolani’s part, sounds like the team bus had a little trouble finding the entrance to the football field in Kaneohe. The Raiders got on the field on time for warmups, though, after the Castle JV dispatched Kaiser 41-6.
The Raiders have a lot to play for tonight. If they win, and Damien loses to Leilehua tomorrow, ‘Iolani locks up the ILH’s lone Division I state berth.
Castle has already sewn up an OIA playoff berth coming into tonight; this ILH-OIA crossover game does not count for the Knights’ league record. But when coach John Hao was asked pregame if he intended to rest anyone or hold some players out, he shook his head. “I play to win,” he said.