‘Iolani’s Mizutani joins 500-yard club

'Iolani quarterback Tai John Mizutani threw for a school-record 503 yards and three touchdowns in a win over Kaimuki. Photo by Jamm Aquino/Star-Advertiser.

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.


  1. Education First August 27, 2017 1:19 pm

    Attended the game but it was really hot. Had heat stroke symptoms and had to leave. Affected my asthma big time. Iolani dominated!

    GPAs > TDs

  2. anywaaaays!! August 27, 2017 8:27 pm

    Mizutani joins the 500 club. Private schools were already in the recruiting club, stealing our kids straight from our homes. Wake up to the ILH agenda, people. They took over everything and Education Last is a part of it, trashing our kids and our hometowns. RRFL!

  3. realitycheck August 27, 2017 11:47 pm

    Anywaaaays! No one is stealing any kids. Get it straight. It’s a collective an objective decision derived from parents that want an experience for the kids to expose them to something different. It’s not just for the sports; you idiot. It’s valued but sports is not totally a priority for these type of parents. For most if not all families who choose to take their kids away from a community like “RRFL” country, it is about the opportunity to get the best education, network ability and the high potential of attending a reputable college with or without a scholarship.

    For example, if it was just for sports like football and if they are from the Kahuku area, it’s obvious you wouldn’t go to a private school to make that drive and commitment in time. It’s a sacrifice; man! You would stay at Kahuku, get a good chance at taking states to be the next talk of the community and at the Kava circle. And to be recognized at the famous Jr. AhYou Christmas Bowl Football tournament every December at Laie Park…as the next idol. Lol

    Facilities may or may not be a factor, but from my experience, it’s about surrounding their children around others that are high achiever’s that desire to compete in the classroom and in their sport. They don’t want to place their kids in a classroom, who are surrounded by other students that have a mindset and behavior to barely pass with a “2.0 GPA”. Most objective parents who chose to have their kids attend private schools want their kids to be challenged academically and athletically. I never went into detail about the college and career readiness aspect but that is a main issue. Respectively: for them, it’s about the big picture in life by having the connection with incredible and amazing people….it’s just not a “red raider for life rhetoric”. It’s a “move-on-in-life” mindset. As opposed to a “raider-for-life” mindset.

    Food for thought, just want to provide to you more about the reason….anywaaays! No one is stealing It’s a choice!

  4. Education First August 28, 2017 11:11 am

    anywaaaays!! August 27, 2017 8:27 pm
    Mizutani joins the 500 club. Private schools were already in the recruiting club, stealing our kids straight from our homes. Wake up to the ILH agenda, people. They took over everything and Education Last is a part of it, trashing our kids and our hometowns. RRFL!
    I am confused anywaays. Who owns these kids? Isn’t slavery long gone? Last time I checked, the families and only the families decide where a kid will attend school.

    So if a school or community does not own a kid, how can it be stealing?

    And how does writing facts about how low the test scores are at Kahuku trashing anyone?

    It’s people like you that allow and cause these kids to fail and suffer. You have a desensitized view of the world where you actually think someone owns a kid and other steal them.

    I feel very sorry for you. And I am not kidding or using sarcasm.

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