The first game featured 90 pass attempts combined by Pac-Five and Damien, so this game is a wee bit behind schedule. It’s about 5 minutes until kickoff, which means a 9 p.m. start. Rain started to fall during warmups, for what that’s worth.
Should be a classic, right? I’d love to see a scoring circus, but my gut says this will be a defensive struggle. I’m hearing that Kamehameha DB Dylan Kane and another starter may not start. That would be significant. Very significant.
So much for the pre-game rumor that Dylan Kane wouldn’t start. He hauled in a 34-yard bomb from Fatu Sua-Godinet to give the Warriors a 7-0 lead with 7:50 left in the opening quarter. That capped a stunning, hurry-up, no-huddle attack that had the Buffanblu reeling temporarily.
Coach Doug Cosbie and his staff held nothing back, trying a flea-flicker on the next play from scrimmage, but the play backfired when Sua-Godinet was called for intentional grounding. Punahou needed just four plays to score on its next possession, with Ephraim Tuliloa finding Micah Ma‘a for an 11-yard TD pass on play-action. Punahou missed the PAT kick and trailed 7-6 with 3:35 to go in the first quarter.
After a Kamehameha three-and-out, Tuliloa directed a five-play, 50-yard drive. He found Kanawai Noa over the middle for a 12-yard TD pass, and the Buffanblu led 13-7 with 1:22 to go in the opening quarter.
Momentum clearly switched sides by Punahou next series. Taulapapa got the ball on every snap, picking up gains of 7, 5, 16 and 16 yards before bolting for a 44-yard TD run.
A Warriors three-and-out followed, and it was more Taulapapa. He gained 10 and 25 yards on the ground before scoring on a 4-yard run, bouncing off a big hit in the backfield and running to the left pylon. The Buffanblu had a 27-7 lead with 3:24 left in the first half. On eight carries in a row, the 5-foot-11, 185-pound junior gained 127 yards.
The Buffanblu put an exclamation mark on the half moments later, when Noa returned a punt right up the middle, then cut to the right pylon for a 51-yard touchdown. It was 34-7 with 2:08 to go until the half.
When very good teams like Kamehameha or Saint Louis get thoroughly dominated by a team like Punahou, it has everything to do with Punahou’s talent level, discipline, coaching and athleticism. It’s not like Kamehameha or Saint Louis can’t play good football. Both are solid teams. But Punahou is in a different class. If they keep this going a little longer, we can say it’s truly a dynasty.
Halftime stats: Punahou has 270 yards — 148 on the ground, 122 by air. Taulapapa has 127 yards on 11 carries. Tuliloa is 8-for-12, two TDs, no INTs.
Kamehameha has 140 total yards: 28 rushing and 112 passing. Jordan Baduyan has been stonewalled by Kamehameha’s front seven. He has 17 hard-earned yards on eight carries. Sua-Godinet is 10-for-24 with one pick against a hellacious pass rush.
Tack on another TD for Punahou. Ronley Lakalaka carries it over from the 1. PUN 40, KS 7, 4:33. Punahou scores again, 47-7 final.