For the rest of their lives, Mililani teammates Raysen Motoyama and Tristen Townes will be connected thanks to Friday night’s JPS Senior Bowl Classic.
Motoyama earned an offensive player of the game honor, scoring the only touchdown for Team Liberty. Townes, lining up at defensive end for Liberty, was named defensive player of the game.
Playing in the Commanders contest, Motoyama’s versatility was in play. The Trojan running back/slotback had five receptions for 26 yards in a battle dominated by the defenses. Then something interesting happened. Coach John Hao inserted Motoyama (5-7, 170) as a wildcat QB in Team Liberty’s elephant package. He responded with seven tough carries for 16 yards, including a leap over the goal line in traffic for a 1-yard TD that gave Liberty a 6-0 lead with 6:06 left to play.
That came after Team Freedom went for it on fourth-and-5 from its 15-yard line and came up empty. Just for kicks, it seemed, Team Liberty tried an on-side kick, virtually giving Freedom the ball near midfield. Freedom came back for a 12-6 win, but the boost of offense in the final six minutes gave fans something different to cheer about.
Townes (5-10, 190) was part of that defensive prowess, checking in with three sacks from his spot.
“It feels good just being able to ball with the guys in this last game,” Motoyama said.
“It feels good to be able to play one more game after the season,” Townes added.
Townes was amused by Motoyama’s play at QB.
“I wasn’t really paying attention, but it was pretty funny,” he said.
Motoyama graded his play at QB.
“I say maybe a B. I could’ve done better,” he said.
Motoyama has the Paradise all-star game ahead. Townes is done.
“This is my last game, so I was glad to be able to play in it and ball out,” said Townes, who expects to play at a junior college on the West Coast.