After one quarter in the nightcap of the 50th Father Bray Classic at Aloha Stadium on Saturday night, the 2013 Kalani Falcons looked like the Falcons of old.
No, not the teams that won three games in 2011 or four games in 2012, but the ones that went 2-80 from 2001 to 2010.
By the time the final whistle sounded, that clearly wasn’t the case, as these Falcons battled back to erase a 44-6 deficit, going on a 30-0 run at one point to put a scare in the eighth-ranked ‘Iolani Raiders.
Quarterback Noah Brum looks primed to build off a 1,725-yard passing season as a junior with another year of experience in Ron Lee‘s run-and-shoot offense. After getting off to a shaky start, Brum completed 12 of 16 passes in the second half to finish with 296 passing yards, completing 25 of his 48 passes.
Four different Falcons had at least five catches as Brum spread the wealth. Favorite target Brandon Roberts caught two touchdown passes in the first half and threw a 49-yard TD pass on a trick play, finishing with nine catches for 87 yards. Seniors Sean Romo (six catches, 58 yards) and Trevor Yamashita (five catches, 107 yards) and sophomore Blaise Manabe (five catches, 84 yards) all played well, helping the Falcons roll up nearly 450 yards of total offense.
Kalani scored more than 36 points twice last year, but never against a team like the six-time defending Division II state champions. To be fair, ‘Iolani was playing many of its second-stringers, but the Falcons still came up with big plays against ‘Iolani’s talented secondary, which is supposed to be the strength of the defense.
Kalani has to be ready right off the bat if it wants to contend for a playoff berth in the OIA White Division. Kaiser and Radford seem to be the early favorites in the league, and the Falcons play them both by Sept. 6 before closing with Roosevelt, Nanakuli, Anuenue and Waialua.
Kalani coach Greg Taguchi commented after the game that his teams have had a habit of playing better in the second half than in the first the past couple of years. If Kalani can reverse that trend and come out with all guns firing from the outset, with a quarterback like Brum leading the way, the Falcons may be headed to unprecedented heights in 2013.