Six games on Oahu are scheduled for Friday night. The OIA enters the first week of divisional play after the seven cross-division matchups last week, plus there’s a very intriguing Division II game at Leilehua featuring two teams that might see each other again in the state tournament.
Second-year Tigers coach Sam Cantiberos is trying to crack the code. He’s got one line down: numbers are up significantly for a program that forfeited its last two games of the ’15 campaign. But without a consistent feeder program in the district over the past several years, playing in Division I was brutal.
Kalaheo has always been a D-II player, capable of making the playoffs, sometimes overachieving with superb two-way players. The Mustangs last played McKinley in ’11, a 40-0 win by the Tigers. Coach Darrell Poole‘s team lost its conference opener to Waipahu 44-21 last week. Mark Lerhner, a baseball standout, has thrown the ball 48 times (259 yards, two TDs) and run the ball a team-high 21 times (57 yards, one TD) in two games.
History: The Tigers have won the last two in the series, with the Mustangs not beating McKinley since 2007 behind Cody vonAppen. McKinley leads the all-time series 12-7. The Mustangs have not had a rusher crack 100 yards against the Tigers since Alex Sutherland had 111 in 1991 and they have never had a receiver go over 100 yards against them. Counting forfeits, McKinley has lost 18 games in a row.
Live updates of the 7:30 p.m. kickoff will follow below:
10:18 p.m.: Kalaheo 28, McKinley 14, FINAL
10:12 p.m.: Kalaheo absolutely defies conventional wisdom, throws a 30-yd TD pass to Nathaniel Gribbons. PAT good. 28-14, 46 seconds left. Ballgame.
10:10 p.m.: The clock continues to run and McKinley is not trying to stop it. One minute left.
10:08 p.m.: McKinley ALMOST connects on what would have been a 95-yard TD pass, crushing. Instead they punt, a shank to their own 30. Mustangs ball.
10:04 p.m.: Tigers still not interested in throwing the ball. Two rushes for 5 yards. 3rd and five, 3:17 and they call time. They are on their own 10 and have to travel 90 yards in three minutes.
10:00 p.m.: Kalaheo misses a 21 yard chip that would have extends the lead to 10. Instead it’s Tiger ball on their own 4 with 4:20 remaining. If they score, do they go for two? They haven’t been in this position much.
9:46 p.m.: Lehrner throws a pick 6 to Ezekiel Samuelu, and things just got really interesting. Nolan Gomez PAT good
21-14, 9:56 left. Kalaheo made a curious decision to throw from its own five up 14, and the Tigers made it pay by pressuring the passer and making him throw on the run. We’ve got a ballgame.
9:40 p.m.: McKinley starts the fourth quarter with 3rd and 10 their own 45. They have only thrown the ball twice and the smashmouth has been working. If improving every day is the goal, the Tigers have succeeded. Last year they would not have been in this game.
9:26 p.m.: Thulin-Marsh immediately loses four yards on a screen pass. That knocks him down to eighth on the school list behind David Lange from 1984.
9:20 p.m.: Kalaheo with a surprise onside kick to start the second half! They have the ball on McKinley’s 44
9:15 p.m.: Lehrner 7-8, 102 2 TD passes, Thulin-Marsh hauls in 140 yards on five receptions and two touchdowns. Thulin-Marsh already sixth on the school’s single-game receiving list, tying Julius Nofo from 1993 against McKinley. Still have a half to play, school record is 288 yards by Derick Morgan in 2011.
9:00 p.m.: And we hit halftime with Kalaheo leading 21-7. Tigers will get the ball to begin the second half.
8:55 p.m.: Justice Neufeldt 60 yard TD pass to Thulin-Marsh on a WR pass play executed to perfection. Thulin-Marsh PAT good. Kalaheo leads 21-7, 1:25. Mustangs pulled off a little trickery, sucking the Tigers in with the lateral to Neufeldt.
8:45 p.m.: Lehrner 12 yd TD pass to Damien Veerman, Thulin-Marsh PAT Good. 14-7, 5:10. Lerhner was very involved on that drive. 9 plays, was involved in all of them via pass or rush.
8:39 p.m.: One of Kalaheo’s players has been down for a couple of minutes with a shoulder injury, looks like Ikua Purdy-Fotu. He walked off the field by himself, but seems shaken up. 7-7, 5:35 until the half
8:34 p.m.: Three and out for McKinley, all rushes.
8:23 p.m.: McKinley and Kalaheo tied at 7 at the end of the first. Both teams relying on the run, making for a quick first 12 minutes.
8:15 p.m.: Kalaheo answers with a 30 yard TD pass from Mark Lehrner to Tristan Thulin-Marsh. PA pass, sold the run really well on that one. Thulin-Marsh tacks on the PAT. 7-7, 4:50 to go in the first quarter
8:10 p.m.: McKinley gets the game’s first score as Elijah Badua tosses a 5 yd TD pass to Noah Diaz, Nolan Gomez PAT good. 7-0, 6:10 left in Q1.
8:05 p.m.: McKinley’s DL Lopes-Liutilo scoops up a fumble to the Kalaheo 12.
8:03 p.m.: Three and out for McKinley, run with Jonah Stephens three straight times and only get four yards total.
8:00 p.m.: Mustangs receive to start the game. Pick up a first on a Josiah Akau 17 yd rush but are shut down after that. Punt to the Tigers. 9:33, q1
7:27 p.m.: The losing streak hasn’t dampened McKinley’s spirit. The band is out in full force.
7:19 p.m.: Kalaheo wins the JV game 47-12
6:18 p.m.: Kalaheo leads the JV game at halftime, 33-6