Castle’s combo of quarterback Willie Ewaliko and receiver Jeremy McGoldrick didn’t have much of a chance to build on two productive performances to open the season.
McGoldrick entered Friday’s game against Waianae with 18 receptions for 354 yards and six touchdowns. But the Seariders’ ball-control running game kept the ball away from the Castle offense and Waianae’s defense took measures to contain McGoldrick in a 36-20 win at the Knights’ field.
“We couldn’t get enough snaps,” Castle coach Nelson Maeda said, “and when we were in there it was three downs and out and we couldn’t generate much of anything.”
Castle ran just 15 plays in the first half and 43 in the game while Waianae’s offense stayed on the field for 76 plays.
McGoldrick, who had 10 catches for 173 yards and four touchdowns in a win over Campbell, finished the night with two receptions but did add to his touchdown total with an 8-yard reception from Ewaliko in the third quarter.
After recording two of Castle’s top four receiving performances in the program’s history to open the season, Maeda expected to see defenses adjust to limit McGoldrick.
“They played a lot more deep-ball coverage,” Maeda said. “It was expected because of the offensive productivity of those two. Defenses are going to focus on how to stop that.”
McGoldrick still had his named called frequently by the PA announcer, coming up from his safety spot to enforce against Waianae’s running game. His first catch of the night was an interception just short of the end zone early in the third quarter.
McGoldrick also started the game at quarterback in place of Ewaliko, who missed a practice early in the week due to illness. In keeping with team policy, Ewaliko began the game on the bench before entering on Castle’s second possession. He completed 11 of 20 pass attempts after averaging a bit over 43 throws in Castle’s first two games.
Castle (1-2, 1-1 OIA Red) suited up 26 players for Friday’s game and Maeda expects to the Knights to be around there for next week’s home game against Waipahu.
“I think our guys held up pretty good through the game despite having so many guys playing both ways,” Maeda said. “I don’t think fatigue was a factor for us, it was (Waianae’s) relentless running game.”