Punahou receiver Kanawai Noa joined elite company on Friday in passing the 3,000-yard mark in the first quarter of the Buffanblu’s blowout of Pac-Five at Aloha Stadium.
The senior entered the game with 2,928 career yards and joined former Saint Louis standout Gerald Welch and Punahou alum Miah Ostrowski in the 3,000-yard club on his second reception of the game, a 52-yard strike down the left side from Ephraim Tuliloa.
Noa finished the two-play scoring drive on the next play with the first of his two first-quarter touchdown catches. He called it a night early in the second quarter with Punahou up 47-0 and finished the game with seven receptions for 175 yards, pushing his career totals to 3,103 yards and 33 touchdowns.
Noa raised his season tallies to 705 yards, averaging 28.2 yards per catch, with seven touchdowns.
He enters next week’s regular-season finale against Kamehameha 117 yards away from Ostrowski for second on the career receiving list in the Prep Bowl/state championship era (since 1973) and 387 short of Welch’s record set in 1999.
Execution was the Buffanblu’s focus against an undermanned Pac-Five team and Noa contributed to Punahou’s 40-point first-quarter whether streaking downfield or driving back to the ball on a comeback route and turning it into yet another long gain.
Wayne Taulapapa averaged 11.8 yards on 10 carries on Friday and scored four touchdowns, three in the nearly hour-long first quarter.
Punahou’s defensive starters were done late in the first quarter and the first unit offense played one series in the second quarter.
With Punahou up 61-0 at halftime, the running clock rule was modified to keep moving through scores and timeouts in the second half.
Punahou took a knee at the Pac-Five 4 on its final possession of the game. Its 68 points scored were the most in a single game in the Prep Bowl/state championship era.
Although it’s been a while since Punahou has been on the other side of a lopsided loss, coach Kale Ane remembers the feeling of those nights, including a 49-0 loss to Saint Louis and 50-7 defeat to Kamehameha in 2002.
“We respect what they do, we know it’s tough for them right now,” Ane said of the Wolfpack, who lost to Kamehameha 76-26 the previous week. “They’re building a program. We were there too, so I know how it feels.
“It took six years before we were in a position to compete, so you have to stay true to your process and have a plan.”
At halftime, Ane said the Punahou coaches talked about “playing hard and being respectful and understanding the situation. You can still compete and go hard but be respectful as well.”