There were a handful of handshakes and some pats on the back.
That’s about all that 29-year ‘Iolani coach Wendell Look would allow after his Raiders romped over Kailua 40-13 at Alex Kane Stadium on Friday night.
Definitely no Gatorade bath.
“I feel happy for these kids,” Look said as his players boarded the bus behind the bleachers. “They have a goal in mind. I have 29 years, or whatever, of it. They only have three years to accomplish their goals. So, my individual (accolades) really doesn’t mean much if I don’t accomplish their goals. And that’s what I’m here for, is to help accomplish their goal. If I get that done, and some other records are made, then fine. It’s more for them. Because they only got so much time, right?”
The “One Team” motto was on display as the Raiders collaborated with a balanced attack and some opportunistic scores off Surfrider miscues, especially on special teams in the first half, helping make up for the continued absence of 6-foot-3 star receiver Carter Kamana due to an injury.
Senior running back Brock Hedani had two touchdowns apiece rushing and receiving to pace ‘Iolani, senior quarterback Jonah Chong was efficient (16-for-25 passing, 177 yards, two TDs) in playing almost the whole game and receiver Wailoa Manuel was a constant threat in the secondary (eight catches, 98 yards) and with his leg (a 45-yard field goal to open the scoring).
‘Iolani (4-1, 2-1 ILH D-I) enjoyed favorable field position almost the whole game.
Kailua (1-4, 1-2 OIA D-I) had two bad snaps to its punter in the first half, the first resulting in a safety (and a 5-0 deficit), and the second a 17-yard loss which allowed ‘Iolani to set up at the Kailua 40. The Raiders needed only five plays, including a fourth-and-4 pickup from Chong to Manuel, to set up Hodani’s 18-yard screen-pass touchdown reception for a 19-0 lead.
Kailua got a touchdown back late in the half — on a 16-play, 92-yard drive — but the tone was set. ‘Iolani made some mistakes, but far fewer than its opponent.
Just one more of countless times that has been said under Look’s tenure.
The Raiders put this one away with a lightning and lighter-lightning running attack in the 5-10 Hedani and the 5-8 Brody Logan Bantolina. Bantolina had a 1-yard plunge in the fourth quarter and Hedani broke away for a 43-yard score — the game’s longest play from scrimmage — with five minutes remaining
“It’s a two-headed run game with him and Brody,” Look said. “One guy’s a little bit of a power guy, Brock is, and the other guy’s more of a slasher. … For me to say that, that gives our O-line a lot of credit. You gotta give them a whole lot of credit.”
Kailua coach Joe Wong was a Surfrider player during Look’s early years of coaching. He offered his counterpart a salute late Friday night after shutting the door as the last man leaving the Kailua locker room.
“Coach Look has those kids disciplined over there,” Wong said. “They gotta follow everything, because they don’t look like our kids. Know what I mean, we probably outman them as far as size and they just have to do everything right, because if they don’t, they’re going to get clobbered. They have to do the right technique and the right scheme or it’s just not going to work for them. I just feel like the kids have bought into what he’s trying to do there. And they have no choice. They had years, when Rod York played, when they had good-size kids over there. As the years went by, a lot of the kids are going to Punahous, the Kamehamehas, the Saint Louises, and some are just staying in their district.
“But they gotta follow the pamphlet that Coach Look hands out over there or else it’s just not going to work. We could get away with certain things because we have bigger athletes here. But at the same time, too, they just handed it to us tonight. They outplayed us. They outplayed us. But, like anything else, we had our opportunities and we just squandered them away.”