Ready isn’t always an easy word to define.
Heartbreak most certainly is. When Hugh Brady went down with a knee injury during the second quarter against Farrington, the entire Punahou sideline fell silent. The senior quarterback started the game hot, 8-for-9 for 70 yards, and Punahou was on its way to a third scoring drive at Skippa Diaz Stadium.
But there was a broken play on first-and-goal from the Farrington 5. Brady raced out of the pocket to the right sideline and was hit awkwardly and went down.
“He wasn’t sure if he should throw it away, so he wasn’t decisive and it was real awkward. We’ll see what happens,” Buffanblu coach Kale Ane said. “It’s his senior year and we’re looking for great things. It’s heartbreaking.”
Another senior, Koa Eldredge, moved from wide receiver to quarterback during that drive.
“He heard a pop in his knee, so they’re going to get the MRI tonight. We’re praying for him, hoping it’s nothing major. That’s all we can do for now,” Eldredge said.
Punahou was ahead 14-0 at the time and went on to win 31-0. After a field goal by Quinn Maretzki, freshman John-Keawe Sagapolutele took over at QB. His first play from scrimmage was a quick read and a perfect pass to Raydan Kiaaina-Caires, who pulled it in on a seam route and broke a tackle en route to an 82-yard touchdown.
That put some of the wind back in Punahou’s sails. Sagapolutele was ready.
“It was good to see John come in, a young freshman, and get the job done. I’m not surprised. He works hard and it shows on the field,” Eldredge said. “Raydan did a great job shaking his man on the post. John gave him a great throw and we executed that play very well.”
Sagapolutele finished 9-for-14 for 194 yards with just one pick.
Eldredge, who has a scholarship offer from Navy, finished with eight grabs for 86 yards. For much of the game, Farrington corralled him, but that opened the field for his teammates. Kiaaina-Caires finished with four receptions for 106 yards.
“Every win that we have, when we score 31 points, it’s all because of the line. The line did a great job protecting John,” Eldredge said.