Pearl City sets 2 school records with another coming soon

Pearl City quarterback Makana Canyon threw for a school-record 372 yards in an overtime game against Nanakuli on Saturday. Photo by Jay Metzger/Special to the Star-Advertiser.

Right about the time that the lights were going out at Aloha Stadium during Saint Louis’ 28-0 victory over Kahuku, there were some records being set in far away Nanakuli on Saturday night.

Two Pearl City Chargers achieved school records during a 35-34 overtime loss to Nanakuli in a rugged, hard-hitting Division II showdown.

Quarterback Makana Canyon threw for 372 yards and Isaiah Cruz-Ameperosa compiled 202 yards receiving — now the high-water marks all-time for the Chargers.

“Both had a great night and played real well,” Pearl City coach Robin Kami said a few days after the loss. “The offensive line did a great job of giving them time to do what they’re supposed to do. Both worked hard in the offseason and now it pays off. We did’t win, but the kids all played well. Nanakuli is a great team with great coaches. For us, the effort was there. They didn’t give up after falling behind 12-0. I hope we can take that momentum and carry it on through the season.”

After both teams scored in overtime, the thrilling game came down to one play — Canyon’s 2-point pass attempt to Joshua Gleason. It was low and hit Gleason’s hands, but it fell incomplete in the right, front corner of the end zone. That made Kekoa Bright‘s extra-point kick in the first part of the overtime for Nanakuli the final difference.

The Golden Hawks (3-3, 2-2) and Chargers (2-4, 2-3) appear to be in a dogfight with Waialua (3-3, 2-2) and Kalani (3-3, 2-3) for the fourth OIA Division II playoff spot.

That’s how Kami sees it.

“The big three of Roosevelt, Kaimuki and Kaiser look like they’re pretty much going to get playoff spots,” Kami said. “All of us are fighting for the last spot. We’ve got to take care of business.”

Kami was surprised to learn, but did not want to comment on the fact that he needs one victory to become the school’s all-time winningest coach.

Kami (39-28), who took over as head coach in 2013, is tied with Joe Francis (39-46-2 from 1973 to ’81), the school’s first coach. Kami can reach 40 wins on Friday against Kalani at Kaiser Stadium.

Saturday’s matchup was one of a handful of razor-close games played by the Chargers in recent years. Here are some others:

2017 OIA D-II championship game
Waipahu 23, Pearl City 22, at Aloha Stadium
>> The Marauders’ Uele Palusami recovers a Pearl City fumble and Alfred Failauga scores on a 3-yard TD run with 3:22 left in the game. Brycen Amorozo‘s extra-point kick is good to make it 23-22. Pearl City drives as far as the Waipahu 26, but can’t score.

2017 regular season
Pearl City 17, Kaimuki 15, at Skippa Diaz Stadium
>> Quarterback Isaiah Asinsin passes to Chase Cudimat for 19 yards to the Kaimuki 1. Asinsin then scores on a 1-yard run to make it 17-15 with 9:15 left. With 16 seconds remaining in the game, Zion Tupuola-Fetui blocks Kaimuki’s 25-yard field-goal attempt by Richard Burton.

2016 OIA D-II semifinals
Waipahu 13, Pearl City 7, at Aiea High field
>> Kobie Russell‘s fumble recovery with 1:36 left leads to Aj Contado‘s 1-yard TD run to break a 7-all tie with 15 seconds showing on the clock.

2015 regular season
Nanakuli 41, at Pearl City 34, OT
>> Clifford Cunningham kicks a 22-yard field goal late in regulation to tie it at 34-all and then Sunshine Anuenue scores on a 4-yard TD run in OT to win it.

2014 OIA D-II championship game
Nanakuli 37, Pearl City 36, OT, at Aloha Stadium
>> Haku Kamai‘s 3-yard TD run gives Nanakuli a 30-all tie with 6:12 left in regulation to send the game to overtime. The Golden Hawks strike first in OT, when Kale Kanehailua throws a 27-yard TD pass to Isain Wong and Clifford Cunningham kicks what turns out to be the winning extra point. On Pearl City’s OT possession, Jordan Taumu fires a 25-yard TD pass to Keelan Domingo-Ishikawa. A delay-of-game penalty pushes the extra-point try back 5 yards, and Dominic Maneafaiga (who earlier scored two rushing touchdowns and caught 10 passes for 143 yards), lines up for the kick to tie, but misses.

2014 regular season
At Nanakuli 28, Pearl City 21
>> Pearl City leads 21-14 going into the fourth quarter. The Golden Hawks then it at 21 with 9:39 left and go ahead for the victory on Makaila Haina-Horswill‘s 34-yard TD run on a fourth-and-1 situation with 2:40 to go. The Chargers drive to the Nanakuli 23, but Haina-Horswill wraps it up with a fumble recovery in the final minute.


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