Nuts, kooky, crazy. Take your pick.
Nanakuli whooped it up in the locker room after a 35-34 dramatic overtime victory over Pearl City on Saturday night in the proud valley.
The Golden Hawks had the biggest lead of the game at 12-0 before Pearl City came back for a 14-12 edge. There was a 20-all tie, and again a 28-all scoreboard showing.
And then came the OT.
Nanakuli quarterback Sedric Crawford was the difference. He rushed for 164 yards and threw for 87, but more importantly, he scored some incredibly important touchdowns, including his 8-yard overtime run that was followed by Kekoa Bright‘s clutch extra point for a 35-28 lead.
The Chargers’ Makana Canyon, who threw for a school-record 372 yards in the contest, got his team within a point, 35-34, when he found Joshua Gleason with a 9-yard TD pass.
Pearl City coach Robin Kami asked his team if they wanted to go for the win or try to tie. They chose the former, but Canyon’s pass to Gleason in the front right corner of the end zone was low and off of the receiver’s hands, giving the Golden Hawks (3-3, 2-2 OIA Division II) the ballgame.
“Go for the glory or not … and the kids all wanted to go for the win,” Kami said. “We came up a little short. We always have great games against Nanakuli. This was a great game.”
Crawford spoke above the raucous locker room.
“It’s amazing right now,” he said. “Thanks to my boys, defense and O-line. Without them I don’t think I would be making these rushing yards and passing yards. Thanks to the community for coming out here and supporting us. Pearl City was one hard team. Coaches said gotta give effort, so thanks to the coaches for never giving up on us.”
Said Canyon, whose big target was Isaiah Cruz-Ameperosa, who caught six passes for a school-record 202 yards: “Came up a little short. That one was on me. Overall, my team did good. That last pass was a little low. We just live and learn.”
Nanakuli grabbed a 28-20 lead with 2:03 left in regulation on Crawford’s 10-yard TD run in which he pushed the mosh pit all 10 yards on a play that lasted a full 10 seconds. He then ran home the 2-point conversion.
But Pearl City (2-4, 2-3) came right back, thanks to Canyon’s 54-yard pass to Cruz-Ameperosa that set up Canyon’s 10-yard TD dart to Gleason. Canyon then found Juan Vargas for the 2-pointer to make it 28-28 with just 1:33 to go.
“Nanakuli is really tough,” Canyon said. “I really love their competitiveness. They brought it out in us tonight. Really loved the competition between us two teams. It really helped us to get better.”