GAME NIGHT 11/4: ‘Iolani/Moanalua

Moanalua's Ryan Ramones leads the state in receiving yards. George F. Lee / Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
Moanalua’s Ryan Ramones leads the state in receiving yards. George F. Lee / Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

The only first round Division I game in the First Hawaiian Bank HHSAA State Football Championships involving two unranked teams in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser Top 10 takes place at Roosevelt with ‘Iolani (3-7) playing Moanalua (5-6).

The Raiders have won eight Division II state titles and their 18-3 record in the state tournament is the best win percentage (.857) of any team to play more than four tournament games. This is their first chance to compete in the Division I state tournament, where the opposition will definitely be a lot tougher. Moanalua is 1-2 in its two Division II state appearances.


‘Iolani won the only meeting between the two schools 27-6 on Sept. 2, 2006. Ryan Dung threw for 149 yards and a touchdown in the win. Live updates of the 7 p.m kickoff will follow below.


The one common opponent between the Raiders and Na Menehune is Radford, who ended the season 0-8 after making the switch to Division I. ‘Iolani opened its season with a 42-6 win over the Rams at Aiea, while Moanalua notched its first OIA victory of the season with a 40-0 road win during Radford’s homecoming.

‘Iolani quarterback Tai-John Mizutani is zipping passes during warmups and looks ready to play. He was last seen playing against Punahou on Oct. 7 and was removed because of an undisclosed injury. He didn’t play in the Raiders’ last game on Oct. 14, a 33-0 loss to Saint Louis at Aloha Stadium.

Neither school has brought their band here. Interesting…


‘Iolani wins the toss and will receive. The Raiders start on their own 35 and Mizutani connects with top target Justin Genovia on his first two passes but can’t complete the next two. Moanalua will start on its own 9 with 10:52 to go.

Facing third-and-14 on his own 5, Moanalua quarterback Alakai Yuen takes a QB draw to about the 20, but it’s negated after a holding call. The next play is a short screen for a gain of just two, Moanalua to punt. ‘Iolani starting on its own 41 with 8:12 to go.

‘Iolani workhorse K.J. Pascua gets his first two carries of the game, his second one taking him to the Moanalua 16. The Raiders get pushed back to their 20, forcing a 37-yard field goal attempt from Evan Minami. It has the leg but not the accuracy, and the game is still scoreless with 6:50 left.

Yuen is showing his dual-threat ability early with a few nice runs for chunks of yardage. At fourth-and-five from the ‘Iolani 38, Moanalua goes for it but to no avail. Raiders taking over, 2:25.

It is raining and it is starting to come down hard. Let’s see how it affects both quarterbacks, who both have nice arms. TOUCHDOWN ‘IOLANI. The rain isn’t affecting Mizutani, who tosses a 62-yard touchdown to Justin Genovia. Minami PAT good. Raiders lead 7-0 with 1:07 remaining. Moanalua takes over on its own 40 after a squib.

Yuen is PICKED OFF by Jr Fetui-Salavea and the Raiders take over on their own 49 with 4 seconds left. Mizutani and Genovia connect again on a 40-yard play-action pass. End of the first.


Pascua takes the handoff on the first play of the quarter and fights for the last few yards on a touchdown. Minami PAT good, Raiders up 14-0 11:50 to go in the half. Things are really clicking for the Raiders’ offense. They’re achieving a great balance between Pasuca and Genovia, who have been their two biggest weapons all year. Moanalua taking over on its own 49.

Na Menehune are driving, they’re now on the ‘Iolani 20. Their first trip to the red zone today. WE HAVE A BALLGAME. Yuen hits Rylan-Anthony Miguel in stride for a 20-yard TD. Perfect pass. They’re now down 14-7 with 9:21.

‘Iolani will start on its own 39. They’re still mixing up with the pass and the run and face fourth-and-4 on Moanlua’s 33. Timeout with 6:51, let’s see what they draw up. Mizutani scampers for a first down but it’s called back for holding. Raiders are now on midfield and punt. Moanalua taking over from its own 18 with 6:32 left.

Moanalua is punting from its own 45. Yuen skies one to the ‘Iolani 25, where the Raiders will take over with 4:06 remaining. The Raiders have put together a drive. They’re now on the Moanalua 30 with 1:20 to go in the half facing second-and-5. Raiders call a timeout at fourth-and-10 on the 21 with 51 seconds left. Incomplete pass. Moanalua taking over with 46 seconds left. Yuen’s 37-yard Hail Mary attempt is incomplete and it’s ‘Iolani 14, Moanalua 7 at the half. Na Menehune will receive to start the second half.


This is the beauty of the new state format: two teams are facing off in a situation where they wouldn’t have been able to last year, and it’s anyone’s ballgame. Pascua is spearheading the Raiders offense with 91 yards on 12 carries and a touchdown. Yuen is an efficient 18-for-24 with a touchdown and has 22 rushing yards on five carries. However, Ryan Ramones, his top target, had only three receptions for 20 yards. Let’s see how he, as well as the Moanalua offense, responds after a relatively quiet first half.


Moanalua starts the second half from its own 38. They’re driving and Yuen is displaying his versatility with the run and the pass. TIE GAME. Na Menehune slowly and methodically (by their standards) drive down the field and tie the game after Yuen tosses a 6-yard pass to Charles Reed and Nick Au‘s PAT is good. 14-14, 7:06 left in the third.

‘Iolani starting on its own 30. The Raiders appear to be held to a three-and-out but then Moanalua is flagged for a roughing the passer call on Mizutani. Fresh set of downs at midfield. Just like that, Mizutani connects with Isaac Anderson on a 34-yard pass and the Raiders are on the Moanalua 16. Minami makes up his first quarter miss and nails a 32-yard field goal. Plenty of leg on it, just like the first one. ‘Iolani now up 17-14 with 4:27 to go in the quarter.


Moanalua will take over from its own 32 with 11:05 remaining in the fourth. Yuen and it’s recovered by ‘Iolani on their own 49, but the Raiders start on their own 39 after an excessive celebration call.

ANOTHER FUMBLE. This time, it’s Moanalua that recovers. Na Menehune have the ball on their own 35 with 8:01 left.

Three-and-out for Moanalua, who will punt from their own 34 with 7:08 left. ‘Iolani taking over from its own 20 with 7:01 left. Needless to say, a score for either team would be momentous.

‘Iolani’s first play from scrimmage is a 40-yard gain on a bubble screen from Mizutani to Genovia. 6:28 and ticking…

The Raiders face third-and-3 on the Moanalua 33. Na Menehune call timeout with 4:48 left. If the Raiders get a first down, it will be interesting to see how they manage the clock.

‘Iolani gets the first after a four-yard rush by Pascua. That was huge.

Pascua runs for another first down. Huge again. Down 17-14, Moanalua calls its second timeout of the half with 1:45 left. ‘Iolani facing 2nd-and-9 on Moanalua’s 19. A first down ends it.

Fourth-and-two for ‘Iolani, Moanalua burns its last timeout with 1:32 left. Pascua takes a direct snap from the wildcat and GETS THE FIRST. What a game. That should be it, Moanalua has no timeouts. And it is. ‘Iolani taking knees from here on out.

FINAL: ‘Iolani 17, Moanalua 14. What a game.


  1. ILH November 5, 2016 12:08 am

    Pretty good 0-7 team ha, Iolani is no push over . they showed it tonight, they can win the division 1 title.

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