Temperature has cooled off and there’s only the typical Hawaii Kai wind to deal with. Kaimuki scores on its game-opening drive, going 77 yards in 15 plays, mostly on the ground out of a Pistol-offset I formation. Running back Sean Noda does the heavy lifting before Tevita Lino scores on a 1-yard quarterback sneak. KAIM 7, KLN 0, 7:05.
Bulldogs having big problems with QB Lino mishandling four shotgun snaps, including one for a 10-yard loss after Kaimuki got possession at the Kalani 37-yard line. But Lino found Noda for a 23-yard gain, then hit Nixon Siona, who made a beautiful diving catch in the back of the end zone. ‘Dogs miss the PAT. KAIM 13, KLN 0, :44.
Falcons drive 53 yards, handing the ball to Faumui five times in a row as he picks up all the yardage. He bounces off two tacklers and scores on a 15-yard run. KAIM 13, KLN 7, 9:44.
The Bulldogs score on the ensuing series. Noda is big again with a 24-yard run, and Lino finds Sloan Fuller on a rollout pass for a 17-yard TD. KAIM 20, KLN 7, 6:03.
Kalani has the formula now, especially with Kaimuki showing signs of fatigue — some two-way starters. Faumui carries much of the load, but Sean Silas scores on a 1-yard end-around. KAIM 20, KLN 14, 3:35.
After gaining just 18 yards in the first half, Faumui picked up 117 on the ground (and seven more by air) in the third quarter alone.
The Falcons ground and pound to a go-ahead TD. Faumui gashes the Kaimuki defense before Tyler Ching scores on a 1-yard keeper to cap a 37-yard drive. The PAT is good. KLN 21, KAIM 20, 11:19.
FINAL: Kalani 21, Kaimuki 20.
Valiant effort by each team. Falcons were in patient, but urgent mode, eschewing the passing game in order to give the ball to their best offensive threats. Blaise Manabe was especially tough on the fly sweeps, while Faumui gashed away against a courageous, but fatigued Kaimuki defense.
Kalani is in transition, still a four-wide offensive team in some respects, though they have a converted LB (Tyler Ching) at QB now, and another defensive stud — Ace Faumui — has become a go-to running back. Life after the Lee brothers is an interesting time for Coach Greg Taguchi and his program.
The power of choice is alive and well at some schools, particularly the ones with elite programs whether it’s Moanalua’s marching band or Waianae’s science program. Add schools that become magnets for football players — Mililani is right near the top of that list, and who could blame the guys for changing schools?
Kalani benefited when Saint Louis QB Noah Brum opted to attend Kalani for his final two years, and that combination of Brum and Ron Lee, plus some very good receivers, changed the football fortunes of the Falcons. It’s surprising that a pure passer hasn’t arrived to replace Brum, who graduated.
Looking forward to a great game at Kaiser Stadium between the ‘Dawgs and Cougars. Save some hamburger curry for Pupule.
Kaimuki has won, to my surprise, the last six meetings with Kalani. That’s six blowout wins, partly because Kaimuki has had stints in Division I (formerly known as the OIA Red Conference), including the past two seasons. Here’s the list of games since Kalani’s last win over Kaimuki back in 1997. Holy moley, some of the Kalani kids weren’t even babies yet.
Kalani 20, Kaimuki 14, Roosevelt field
Kaimuki 28, Kalani 7, Kaiser Stadium
Kaimuki 48, Kalani 7, Kaiser Stadium
Kaimuki 34, Kalani 0, Kaiser Stadium
Kaimuki 53, Kalani 7, Kaiser Stadium
Kaimuki 54, Kalani 14, Kaiser Stadium
Kaimuki 28, Kalani 0, Kaiser Stadium
Temperatures here at Kaiser Stadium were hovering around 90 during the first half of the JV game. Cloud cover has helped. This spot in the valley is always dynamic. Could be boiling hot in the late afternoon, then windy and rainy an hour later.
JV game — Kaimuki 0, Kalani 0, halftime.
JV — Kalani 14, Kaimuki 6, final.
A couple thoughts.
1. Kalani went up 14-0 in the third quarter, then attempted an on-side kick.
A. Some folks went beserk when the ball was kicked on-side. Not Kaimuki fans, but it was Kalani fans. I couldn’t blame them, not because of anything ethical. It’s just a field-position issue.
B. Kalani got the ball on the on-side kick. There’s Pulaski Academy in Arkansas, a private school that went unbeaten a few years back. The coach insists that at the prep level, the odds are advantageous if you NEVER PUNT and ALWAYS ON-SIDE KICK. Makes sense to me. Most high school teams average about 20-30 yards per punt.
2. After recovering the on-side kick, Kalani threw an INT on the next play and Kaimuki ran it back to midfield. Same change as if they’d recovered the on-side.
3. With less than 2 minutes left, the ‘Dogs scored on a 75-yard touchdown pass. Missed the PAT, trailed 14-6. Any and all of the people here who said, “Bachi!” when Kalani attempted the on-side could feel justice in their bones. But Kaimuki’s on-side kick was more like a squib kick, Kalani recovered and ran out the clock.
Varsity starts in 21 minutes.