‘Iolani football has always been about “One Team”.
On Saturday night, running back Kaua Nishigaya and placekicker Mika Makekau reached new heights, and their success led ‘Iolani to a tough 30-19 win over Damien in an ILH Division I battle at Aloha Stadium. ‘Iolani improved to 3-1 in league play (4-2 overall). Damien took its first loss in regular-season play and is now 3-1 (3-2 overall).
Makekau continued to rise to her enormous potential. She drilled three field goals, including a 44-yard blast that is the longest made by a girl in Hawaii high school history. The national mark is 48 yards.
“It’s because of my team. It’s a combined effort,” Makekau said. “I couldn’t do it without my holder.”
Her 44-yard boot came in the midst of a close game in the first half, opening ‘Iolani’s lead to 13-6. It came immediately after her team was whistled for a false start. She never flinched and buried the kick.
“I just stare at the tee. I only have one vision,” she said. “It’s my job. I’ve got to do it.”
Raiders coach Wendell Look appreciates the work Makekau has put in over the years.
“It is remarkable and it’s not just because she’s a girl. A guy who can make it from 44, that’s still a tough task,” he said. “She did her job.”
Makekau’s longest field goal at practice is 48 yards.
Nishigaya rushed 41 times for a personal record 226 yards. His output ranks No. 10 on the school’s single-game rushing list, passing a 218-yard output by Raynold Stowers on Sept. 14, 2002. That effort was also against Damien. Stowers also holds the fifth- and eight-best single-game totals in ‘Iolani history.
“If Kaua has to run 50 times, he’ll run 50 times. That’s been our thing. That’s how you win games,” Look said.