OIA Division II leaders show resiliency after adversity

Kaiser's Ethan Domen (8) nearly blocked a punt but somehow missed it against Nanakuli. Photo by Jay Metzger/Special to the Star-Advertiser.

When Kaimuki lost its first game in Division II play this season, it bounced back a week later to hand defending OIA champion Roosevelt its first loss.

What did the Rough Riders do after that first loss? How about a 21-0 shutout of undefeated Kaiser, who entered the game having scored at least 33 points in all six of its league games.

The Cougars got their chance to show how a loss would affect them on Friday night at Kaiser Stadium, and like the other two teams, were very impressive following a defeat.

Freshman quarterback Easton Yoshino threw four first-half touchdown passes and brother Mason Yoshino hauled in eight receptions for 146 yards and three scores in the Cougars’ 45-14 win over Nanakuli.

Dre Falls, Jesse Stroede and Kamakana Mahiko added touchdown catches for Kaiser (8-1, 6-1 OIA D-II), which remains tied with Roosevelt and Kaimuki for first place in OIA D-II heading into the final week of the season.

“The kids worked hard and I think we had a good week of practice,” Kaiser coach Tim Seaman said. “It’s that time of year where you really need to step up your game. I think (tonight) it was a real team effort.”

The only negative for the Cougars came late in the first half when Easton Yoshino, who was 16-for-23 for 289 yards, was sacked in the red zone and slammed down to the turf hard by Nanakuli’s Josh Mahuka. Yoshino laid face down on the turf for a few scary moments before eventually getting up and walking off.

Seaman said he didn’t know Yoshino’s status, but multiple people said he was treated for a concussion.

Junior Brock Perriera came in to replace Yoshino and threw a 15-yard TD to Mason Yoshino for his third touchdown grab of the game.

The Cougars led 35-7 at halftime and added another touchdown pass from Perriera and a 31-yard field goal by Kyler Halvorsen to go up 45-7 in the third quarter before coasting to the finish.

“I liked the fact that offensively we moved the ball well, put some points on the board and we looked pretty efficient in the passing game,” Seaman said. “Brock came in and did a good job as we expected him to.”

Kaiser celebrated its senior night after the game. The Cougars finish the regular season against winless Kalaheo on Friday at Alex Kane Stadium. Kaimuki closes with Kalani at Kaiser Stadium on Friday while Roosevelt ends its season at Nanakuli, which will be tied with either Kalani or Waialua for the fourth playoff spot after the Falcons and Bulldogs play tomorrow at Kaiser.

Nanakuli owns the tiebreaker over Kalani but lost to Waialua to start league play.

If Kaiser, Kaimuki and Roosevelt finish tied for first, a coin flip will determine the seeds for the playoffs. Two of those teams will have to play each other in the semifinals with a state berth on the line.


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