Team Freedom 12, Team Liberty 6, final
Kickoff is a pooch, no real kickers in this exhibition. Liberty tries its darnedest to emulate the old Stanford miracle kick return. Eventually, Rashod Tanner (Moanalua) tackles Natividad near midfield to end this sneakily fun battle. Game over. No major injuries, hallelujah.
RJ Javar scrambles for 13 yards to the Liberty 45, then finds Jayzon Ramos for a 24-yard gain to the 21. Time out, :14 left. Last TO for Freedom. Javar eludes the pass rush and lofts the ball deep to Ramos, who is double-covered and hauls it in as he dives, just inside the back line of the end zone with :09 left. TOUCHDOWN. WOW. The PAT run is stuffed. FREEDOM 12, LIBERTY 6, Q4, :09.
Ogata at QB for Liberty on this potential game-winning drive. Stalls at the 44 of Freedom. Freedom ball with 1:42 left.
Just for kicks, Liberty tries an on-side kick, Freedom ball at the Liberty 42. After a sack on a trick play, Castillo with two completions for 41 yards, including a 34-yard pass to Jonathan Vasquez (Leilehua). Freedom drives on the ground to the 1, and then Castillo lobs it to Vasquez in the right corner for a TD. Conduct called on Freedom but this one is assessed on the PAT. Weird. The previous one was not. Pass incomplete and we are tied. FREEDOM 6, LIBERTY 6, Q4, 3:55.
Motoyama is back as a wildcat QB in the elephant formation. He runs for 4, and 3. Then it’s Joshua Tihada as the wildcat QB, a 2-yard leap to the 1. Injury time out. Second and goal, Motoyama leaps and gets just over the goal line, touchdown. White hat says unsportsmanlike conduct on the entire Liberty bench (for running onto the field, my guess), one more time and someone will be ejected. But who? 2-point pass by Sky Ogata (Roosevelt) to Jarvis Natividad (Damien) is incomplete. LIBERTY 6, FREEDOM 0, Q4, 6:06.
Naomas Asuega-Fualaau (Kaimuki) enters at RB for Team Freedom. Fourth and 5, pass incomplete, Liberty ball at the Freedom 15.
McLeod has the most rushing attempts of anyone in this contest. He dives for a 2-yard gain to the 5. It is fourth and inches. LB Titus Kaho‘ohiliala (6-2, 230) of Waianae enters as a fullback. Whistle, offense moved. Fourth and 5+, pass is nearly picked off and there was an offensive holding penalty anyway. Freedom stands tall, and Freedom has the ball at its 10 with 9:10 left.
Fourth and 6, McLeod with his best pass, a 15-yard strike to Cole Ichikawa (‘Iolani) to the 24-yard line. The quarter ends with Liberty at the 8-yard line, third and 3.
McLeod runs for five yards, and then dives for a 4-yard gain and its fourth and 1. Time out, Freedom. Ransen Motoyama lines up at QB and gains two yards, first down. He remains in the game and picks up three yards on another Wildcat snap.
Fourth and five for Freedom at its 34, bomb and pass interference. Two big defensive plays, a sack and a lunging tackle to stop a scramble for no gain, and Team Liberty takes over at its 46.
One half to go. Let’s hope and pray everyone gets out of this friendly battle without injury. There was an injury in the earlier (Veterans) game on the final active snap from scrimmage prior to the kneel-down. Things got a bit testy toward the end in that one with penalties.
Team Liberty has 54 yards of total offense, including 17 rushes for 18 yards. Their QBs are a combined 4-for-10, 36 yards with one pick. Team Freedom a bit better with 36 rushing yards on 12 carries, including 41 yards on four attempts by all-time rushing leader Alfred Failauga. Freedom QBs are 6-for-8, 58 yards, one INT.
The 10-minute quarters make a huge difference. The first half flew by.
Team Liberty has the ball with 2:19 left in the first half at midfield, but a 21-yard sack by No. 59 of Team Freedom (not listed) kills it. The half ends at 0-0. Each side has three sacks. There’s blitzing, which is surprising in an all-star exhibition, and the offenses are not picking up these takedown artists.
Team Freedom with the ball at the Team Liberty 40-yard line, but two consecutive sacks end the threat. One sack is by No. 98 (or 58), neither number on the roster. That was basically a gang sack. The second sack is by Tristen Townes (Mililani).
Team Freedom (green) with security issues. There are two more fumbles (both recovered by the offense), then Castillo is sacked. On the next play, his pass is picked off by what appears to be No. 22, Shaise Quisano (Mililani). Three plays later, another INT. Team Liberty QB Sheldon McLeod is intercepted by Team Freedom DB Selau Kalani (Farrington).
Liberty drives again, but on fourth and goal at the 2, QB Kanoa Gilbson is stuffed by No. 46 (red helmet) not listed on the roster. But nice stop!
Team Liberty (beige) drives to the 29, but turns the ball over on downs. Team Freedom has the ball for three snaps, but QB Kayson Castillo fumbles on a handoff exchange. Ball recovered by Ladravian Willimas (Farrington).
Chance of rain: 0%
Wind 0-3 mph
Team Liberty in the Commanders matchup is wearing beige camoflauge jerseys with beige pants. Numbers are VERY difficult to see without binoculars. Same with Team Freedom’s dark numbers on dark green jerseys. I really like the jerseys up close. But from the bleachers, not sure how any recruiters from colleges will make out the numbers and I.D. these prospects properly. Cleaner uniforms would really make a difference, just my humble opinion.
Team Liberty (Commanders)
|Head coach: John Hao|
Team Freedom (Commanders)
|53||SKYLAR "KALILIKANE"||MCMOORE||6'2''||280||OL||PEARL CITY|
|Head coach: Mike Fanoga|