Playing in his new position, Mark Lagazo threw for two touchdowns and rushed for two more to lead Kailua to a 34-21 win at Nanakuli on Friday.
A running back/linebacker, Lagazo became the quarterback when Keoni Serikawa went down with an injury against Farrington on Aug. 20. Lagazo completed five of seven passes against the Golden Hawks in his first start at QB, but two of those were for touchdowns in the first quarter.
“It’s a big step up,” said Lagazo, who threw for 114 yards and rushed for 95 against Nanakuli. “My coaches pushed me, my teammates pushed me. I had to keep going and take it for the team.”
Lagazo said there’s been adjustments on offense with Kailua’s new look. His move to quarterback meant Kolo Hanawahine-Wong was the main ball carrier on Friday. He finished with 21 carries for 89 yards after entering the game with just 13 carries for 34 yards.
Lagazo’s third touchdown of the game, coming on a 35-yard run in the second, extended Kailua’s lead to 20-7. His 9-yard run made it 27-7 with 2:29 left in the third, capping off a seven-minute drive. On one play during that drive, Lagazo kept the ball on fourth down, gaining the short yardage the Surfriders needed to retain possession.
But Nanakuli wasn’t finished yet, mounting a rally immediately after Lagazo’s fourth TD. On the ensuing kickoff, Chyson Morgan returned the ball 90 yards for a touchdown. Andrew Booker’s PAT cut the deficit to 27-14.
After Kailua’s Christian Mejia blocked a punt and returned it for a touchdown in the fourth quarter, Morgan caught a 79-yard pass Nainoa Banks to cut the deficit to 34-21 with less than 10 minutes remaining.
A fumble gave Nanakuli the ball back with five minutes left. But Kailua thwarted the rally when Dakota Kadooka intercepted a pass with three minutes left.
“It was a good pick,” Lagazo said. “It saved our lives.”