Friday night marked the first time in the 46-year history of Kaiser football that the Cougars beat Pac-Five.
Saturday could bring a playoff berth to a team that played only one game last season.
With Pac-Five’s defense bottling up any semblance of a running game by the Cougars, Kaiser quarterback Koa Tom had to go to work in the air for any chance at a victory. The senior did that exactly that, throwing for a career-high 336 yards and four touchdowns in a 31-27 win.
“Finally tonight we got some things going in the passing game,” Kaiser coach Tim Seaman said. “It’s the famous work in progress but that’s kind of expected with a guy that hasn’t played a whole bunch of quarterback. For him to have that kind of night tonight is pretty encouraging to see.”
Tom tied B.J. Bernard for the third-most passing yards in a game by a Kaiser quarterback. The Cougars (4-3-1, 3-3 OIA D-II) beat the Wolfpack for the first time in eight tries.
It could get even better on Saturday. A loss by Kalaheo, which is a heavy underdog to league-leading Kaimuki, would lock in the Cougars as the fourth playoff team in OIA Division II.
“It’s one game at a time for us,” said Seaman, whose team hosts McKinley next week.
The fourth and final lead change against Pac-Five came with 3:05 remaining in the third quarter when Jesse Stroede caught a 6-yard TD pass for his second score of the game.
Pac-Five and Kaiser combined for 35 points in the first nine minutes of the third quarter and zero over the final 15 minutes.
Tom threw his other two touchdowns to junior Dre Falls, who had 87 receiving yards on five catches. He also intercepted two passes on defense.
“Dre is a warrior. Offense, defense, special teams, just big play after big play,” Seaman said. “He has a great attitude and is a joy to coach.”
Sophomore Mason Yoshino also found himself in the Kaiser record book after finishing with 163 receiving yards on nine receptions.
Four different players rushed for a TD for Pac-Five, which dropped to 2-5 this season.
Pac-Five’s Alex Heim was injured early in the third quarter on Kaiser’s go-ahead touchdown pass from Tom to Falls to take a 15-14 lead.
There was a 20-minute delay before Heim was taken to the hospital in an ambulance. He was seen moving his arms before he left the field on a stretcher.