Asked about setting ‘Iolani’s single-game passing record, Tai-John Mizutani responded with a question of his own.
“I hit a record?”
Mizutani hadn’t yet had a chance to review the numbers after ‘Iolani’s 57-34 win over Kaimuki in the Father Bray Classic on Saturday. But when he went to the bench early in the fourth quarter, he’d thrown for a school-record 503 yards, breaking the previous mark of 485 he set as a sophomore in 2015.
Mizutani became the sixth Oahu quarterback to throw for 500 yards, joining Moanalua’s Kawika Keama-Jacobe, Kapolei’s Taulia Tagovailoa, Mililani’s McKenzie Milton and Kainoa Ferreira and PJ Minaya of Pac-Five.
Mizutani went 17-for-25 for 334 yards in the first half and finished the game with 30 completions in 43 attempts. He threw for three touchdowns and ran for another while spreading the receptions among six playmaking receivers as the Raiders rolled up 640 yards in total offense.
Rather than forcing the ball downfield, much of Mizutani’s yardage total came on short or intermediate throws that the ‘Iolani receivers turned into lengthy gains.
“Just taking what they gave us,” Mizutani said of the Raiders’ approach. “They were playing soft and that was the game plan, just get it out quick.”
Justin Genovia caught nine passes for 153 yards. He caught a quick out in the second quarter, hit a seam and raced to the end zone for a 65-yard score.
“That’s the ILH. When you think of the ILH you think of effective receivers,” Kaimuki coach David Tautofi said. “Those guys are dangerous in space so that’s why it was even more costly for us when we missed tackles. They were able to break one too many tackles and it cost us.”
Jonah Miyazawa (six catches, 115 yards) started the day by catching a pass on a crossing route getting to the sideline and racing for a 55-yard gain to trigger the record run. Miyazawa also had a 36-yard touchdown and running back Kaua Nishigaya broke loose on a 76-yard catch-and-run for ‘Iolani’s first touchdown of the game. Rayden Kaneshiro finished with six catches for 86 yards.
In the Raiders’ 62-35 season-opening loss to Hilo, Genovia said they struggled “to complete the short passes. Two weeks ago we were depending on the big plays, but (on Saturday) we wanted to drive.”
“That’s what we’re looking for. The short passes are the ones we have to break and block downfield.”
Kaimuki kept pace early on and trailed 20-14 with 4:37 left in the second quarter. ‘Iolani answered with Genovia’s touchdown and Micah Shikada returned an interception 43 yards to the Kaimuki 10. Mizutani completed a two-play drive with a 5-yard run for ‘Iolani’s second TD in less than a minute.
Nishigaya recovered a fumble on Kaimuki’s next possession and Mika Makekau — sister of former ‘Iolani All-State receiver Keoni Kordell-Makekau — drilled a 35-yard field goal just before halftime to give ‘Iolani a 36-14 lead.
Kaimuki quarterback Jordan Solomon threw for 296 yards while completing 18 of 33 attempts and the Bulldogs finished with 417 yards in total offense.
Solomon now owns the top three passing performances in Kaimuki history, with his total on Saturday trailing only his 331- and 311-yard nights last year.