LIVE BLOG: 2020 Polynesian Bowl

Wide receiver Demond Demas (1) dunked the ball over the crossbar during a Polynesian Bowl practice this week. Photo by Dennis Oda/Star-Advertiser.

Team Mauka 20, Team Makai 13, final

Uiagalelei takes a knee and the 2020 Polynesian Bowl comes to a close.

Here we go with McQuarrie at QB for Makai. Completion, 17 yards to the 42. They huddle and it’s 1:25 and counting. High pass to TE Mark Redman, but Pei is there with the hit. Next pass to Hutson, Pei with the hit again, incomplete. Then McQuarrie is sacked by Saint Louis’ Stanley McKenzie, and the trench men dance at the 30-yard line. Time out, Makai, :47 left, fourth and 25. McQuarrie holding it, holding it, pocket collapses and Aidan Keanaaina (Notre Dame) flattens the QB with :41 left. Mauka ball, game practically over.

Mauka drives to the 7, double reverse to Nishigaya and he is out at the 1-yard line. Time out, Mauka, and on the next play, Maiava fakes left and runs to the right pylon for the 1-yard TD. MAUKA 20, MAKAI 13, Q4, 1:48.

Makai starts at its 25 and Sam Adams (Washington) for 10 yards, but the next play is an interception by ‘Iolani’s Lanakila Pei, his second pick of the game. WOH. He returns it 22 yards to the Makai 23.

Toafili running hard, gains 11 yards to the 43. Quick pass from Uiagalei to Wilson, but he is ushered out of bounds for a 1-yard gain. Third and nine, Uiagalelei’s out pass is incomplete. Mauka will punt.

Give to Tyree for five, and another swing pass, this one to Tyree down to the 20. Makai has found the golden key. Quick pass by de Laura to Hutson, who picks up nice yardage, but is stripped by LB Antoine Sampah (LSU). Sampah recovers and returns the ball to the Mauka 32. Big play!

Here’s de Laura with the game tied at 13. First pass of the series, defensive P.I. Robinson (Texas) churning hard and picks up eight yards in Beast Mode gear. Ball at the Makai 46. Swing pass from de Laura to Robinson and he accelerates on the left sideline to the 35 of Mauka.

Daffer’s 23-yard field goal is good. No rush again, by rule. MAUKA 13, MAKAI 13, 10:53.

Uiagalelei with a nice deep ball, but Makai’s Dontae Manning with great coverage and the deflection in the end zone. Then Maiava returns, sprints a good 30 yards to the right sideline, is in the grasp and simply shoulders the tackler off and throws to Bauman for a first down at the Makai 15. WOH. The quarter ends with Makai still ahead, 13-10.

Loss on downs gives Mauka the ball at its 18 with 3:31 left in the third period. Maiava is at QB to begin this drive. Uiagalelei to Stribling on a deep corner route, great patience by both as Mauka nets 40 yards on the play to the Mauka 40. Pretty. Here we go with the trick play, a double reverse to Demas for 17 yards to the 28. He is so dangerous with any kind of space.

Makai showing signs of life, a big pass down the sideline to the Mauka 26. McQuarrie with nimble feet in the pocket, never lost sight of his receivers downfield. He works the pocket right, then left and finds Haasenritter for a 26-yard touchdown, but the play is nullified by a holding penalty. McQuarrie is pretty close to a classic pocket passer. Now, he fires a pass to Manuel, who fakes his way past a defender and is brought down at the 25. Third and nine. Out pass to Hutson, who breaks a tackle and picks up eight yards. Fourth and one. McQuarrie launches one to the right corner, but it’s too long for Hutson.

Mauka will start at its 16 after Toafili receives it, loses the ball out of bounds.

Sewell is down for a few minutes, and gets up and jogs back across the field to the Mauka sideline. Appears to be something with his leg, but the crowd here applauds. Please, no injuries tonight. Hornsby’s scramble comes up short, and Makai will punt for the first time.

Makai opens the second half at its 25 after another of those automatic-fair catch returns. Florida-bound WR Leonard Manuel with a 10-yard catch and run. Crispy. Two plays later, shotgun snap loops high over QB Hornsby’s head, and he hustles to make up some lost yardage. Injury on the play, appears to be Sewell down on next to the Makai bench. That’s a good five yards off the playing field.

At Aloha Stadium
Mauka 7 3 — 10
Makai 0 13 — 13
MAU—Demond Demas 11 pass from Sol-Jay Maiava (Owen Daffer kick)
MAK—Kilohana Haasenritter 7 pass from Parker McQuarrie (Jake Seibert kick)
MAU—Owen Daffer FG 34
MAK—Bijan Robinson 1 run (kick failed)

RUSHING—Mauka: Maiava 3-32, Alfred Failauga 4-20, Lawrence Toafili 1-5, Noah Sewell 1-1. Makai—Chris Tyree 3-30, Robinson 3-7, Malik Hornsby 2-5, Ikaika Ragsdale 2-1.

PASSING—Mauka: DJ Uiagalelei 7-13-0-74, Maiava 5-6-0-49. Makai: Jayden de Laura 6-7-1-100, McQuarrie 3-3-0-15.

RECEIVING—Mauka: Roman Wilson 3-28, Kevin Bauman 3-25, Koali Nishigaya 2-38, Demond Demas 2-22. Makai: Kris Hutson 3-68, LV Bunkley-Sutton 3-41, Tamatoa Mokiao-Atimalala 1-11, Haasenritter 1-7.

Kickoff out of bounds, Mauka has it at its 35, and then it’s a swing pass that’s actually a lateral to Failauga, 10-yard gain. Then a strike from Ashford to De’Zhaun Stribling (Kapolei, out of bounds at the Makai 44 with :07 left. Nice timing. Uiagalelei rockets a deep out pass, but it’s off target to Demas. Uiagalelei’s hail mary under duress is incomplete, ending the half. No. Defense called for an illegal formation (special game rule). One more snap for Uiagalelei, ball at the Mauka 44. The pocket collapses, Uiagalelei is a magician and escapes, two flags go down and a blue (Makai) helmet is teetering in the backfield as Uiagalelei is sacked. Personal foul, facemask on offense is declined and that’s the end of the first half.

Next play, de Laura’s pass falls incomplete in the end zone, but there’s a flag and a Mauka injury. P.I. is the call. Mauka player is still down and being tended to. He’s up and walking. It’s Kobah Fuamatu (San Diego State). First and goal at the 1. Handoff from de Laura to RB Robinson, and he scores on the right side, 1-yard TD. Again, no rush on kicks, and the PAT is wide right. MAKAI 13, MAUKA 10, Q2, :29.

Jayden de Laura (Washington State) back in and it’s a 10-yard completion. He follows that with a bullet oer the middle to Kris Hutson (Oregon) and Makai is on the Mauka 41, 1:00 left. He’s warming up. Completion to LV Bunkley-Shelton on the right sideline, ball at the 34, :56 left. This looks like a Saint Louis drive. WOH! It’s de Laura on a deep post pass to Hutson, who beats double coverage for a tough haul at the 1-yard line. Classic de Laura. He hands off to RB Ikaika Ragsdale, but he is swarmed under at the 3, loss of 2. Time out, Makai, with :35 left.

Third and 5 for Mauka, and Ashford connects with Jalen Berger on a great sideline catch. Ball at the Makai 12. Crazy play with an incompletion after a circle scramble in the backfield by Maiava. With no blitzing allowed, it’s almost easy for a great athlete like him, and the pass is tipped, almost picked. If everything else is not allowed, and with a near-crackback block on that play, maybe there should be a time limit on scrambles just for safety’s sake. Uiagalelei back in, lots of time, but his throw to Demas in the back of the end zone is incomplete. Third and 10 at the 12. The ol’ ball coach, Steve Spurrier, called a time out on the previous play, and now it’s delay of game. Ashford back in, post pass is dropped by a defensive back. Fourth down and the kicker is in. No rush allowed on FG tries and Owen Daffer drills the 34-yard field goal. MAUKA 10, MAKAI 7, Q2, 1:15.

Mauka making progress, then LB Muelu Iosefa makes a stonewall tackle on a RB that sets quite the tone. Crowd went, “Oooh.” Third and 2, Maiava to Kevin Bauman (Notre Dame) in a tight window for a first down. Maceal Afaese (Kapolei) sacks Uiagalelei for a 5-yard sack. On cue, Uiagalelei responds with a beautiful spiral high and deep to Demas for a 48-yard TD — but it is called back on a holding penalty. That was pretty. I’ve seen Uiagalelei play twice this season and he is incredible. Cam Newton with more accuracy. Maiava (BYU) returns at QB and takes off through a crease for 16 yards. Uiagalelei back in, patient and rifles a spiral to Saint Louis WR Roman Wilson on a comeback route for 8 yards. Now fourth and 1. QB Robby Ashford with the soft pass to RB Lawrence Toafili (Florida State) on the left side for an easy first down. Ball at the Makai 30.

Penalty moves the ball to the Mauka 21, but ‘Ioholani Raass brings down Bijan Robinson for a loss of one. Tyree picks up a first down with a run to the 5, pure speed to the right side. QB Parker McQuarrie (UCLA) ends the drive by leaving the pocket, running right and firing a dart to Hilo’s Kilohana Haasenritter for a 7-yard TD. That’ll make Hawaii Warrior fans happy. MAKAI 7, MAUKA 7, Q2, 8:32.

Fourth and 2, Mauka hands the ball to Noah Sewell, and he is strung out and stopped short of the first down. WOW. Makai ball at the Mauka 43, 11:55 left in the first half.

As the first quarter ends, it’s interesting that even without blitzing and press coverage, defenses are playing fairly well on both sides. Should add that the TV timeouts are excruciatingly long, longer that the ones by local Spectrum.

Makai’s drive is thwarted by Kamehameha’s Ezra Evaimalo (Hawaii signee), and recovered by Keanu Tanuvasa at the 34. Mauka ball, :46 left in the opening quarter. The first quarter ends with Mauka at its 42, fourth and 2.

Notre Dame commit Chris Tyree with a nice 13-yard blast up the middle for Makai on first down. Malik Hornsby (uncommitted) at QB, 6-yard draw. Then it’s Tyree for 10 yards on the RPO. Both are shifty and explosive. Makai offense getting interesting now. First and 10, pass to Tamatoa Mokiao-Atimalala falls incomplete. Good coverage on the short route. Now it’s a quick pass to Mokiao-Atimalala and he races around right end for a first down. Acceleration!

Ensuing kickoff is a fair catch, same that Mauka did earlier. Must be mandatory. Ball is moved to the 25-yard line. This is the future of football.

First first-down completion for Mauka is from Bijan Robinson to Texas A&M recruit Demond Demas, the “slam dunk” winner at Tuesday’s practice. Koali Nishigaya crossing route against the zone for a 25-yard pass from Uiagalelei. Big play for the Saint Louis slotback. Then it’s a handoff to Waipahu RB Alfred Failauga for 4 to the Makai 29. Nice drive and flowing. Two plays later, Failauga on a delayed handoff for 11 yards to the Makai 11. HOLEY MOLEY. After scooping up the ball on a snap over his head, Maiava scrambles and finds Demas in the flat, and Demas crosses the entire field from right to left, then jukes a defender inside the 5 and scoots by the pylon for an 11-yard TD. Stop-on-a-dime action. Looks like Lamar Jackson. This guy is special. MAUKA 7, MAKAI 0, Q1, 4:16.

Huge play by ‘Iolani’s Lanakila Pei, a pick on a deep pass to the end zone, and Team Mauka gets the ball back with 8:43 left, Q1. No blitzing, no press coverage allowed in this exhibition game. But some good action already.

Sol-Jay Maiava opens the game at QB for Mauka and connects for 12 and 17 yards. Oregon commit Robby Ashford takes over at QB and it’s an incomplete sideline pass. Then its DJ Uiagalelei of St. John Bosco fame in the game, nothing there and he flings it out of bounds. Maiava back in, fumbles and Makai recovers LB Prince Dorbah recovers.

Makai wins the coin toss and defers as the wind begins to gain strength at game time. Mauka will receive from the south end zone.

Have to say, the national anthem and Hawaii Ponoi by SOL3 MIO was outstanding. Trio of singers who just brought incredible harmony and depth.

Click here for team rosters.


Conditions are ideal with kickoff 90 minutes away (7 p.m.) at Aloha Stadium. Partly cloudy, no rain, gentle trade winds, and the entire field is already in the shade. One of the perks of winter-season football. Team Makai (sky blue) is already on the field, or some of their players are. Specialists warming up. Team Mauka’s long snapper and punter are getting work in, too. It’s been a fun-filled, busy week for both teams and their coaches, and it culminates tonight.

If the pace isn’t too fast, I’ll have enough time to load and embed video highlights in this live blog. The game is being televised on CBS Sports Network.


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