Punahou comes up with impressive comeback

Punahou quarterback Ephraim Tuliloa went over the top for a touchdown. Tony Avelar / Special to the Star-Advertiser
Punahou quarterback Ephraim Tuliloa went over the top for a touchdown. Tony Avelar / Special to the Star-Advertiser

Yards were hard to come by in the first half for No. 3 Punahou on Friday at Memorial Stadium in Berkeley, Calif.

So were points, first downs, and just about anything else positive for the Buffanblu.

The four-time defending ILH Division I champions showed their seasoned toughness and heart, scoring 22 unanswered points to turn a 15-point deficit into a 22-15 victory over Del Oro (Calif.) on Friday to improve to 3-0 for the season.

Senior running back Wayne Taulapapa was the catalyst on offense, rushing for 181 yards and two touchdown on 23 carries. He scored the game-winning touchdown with five seconds remaining on a 2-yard run after junior linebacker Logan Williams came up with a huge interception with a minute remaining.

Punahou had been dominated for much of the first three quarters before winning the final 16 minutes.

Quarterback Ephraim Tuliloa completed only five passes for 60 yards all game with two interceptions, but ran for 49 yards and a touchdown.

No Punahou receiver caught more than two passes.

Total yards were pretty even. Del Oro finished with 311 yards while the Buffanblu had 287 yards.

At Memorial Stadium
Punahou (3-0) 0 0 7 15 — 22
Del Oro (1-1) 0 9 6 0 — 15

DO—FG Bryan Willhide 28
DO—Dalton Gee 3 pass from Stone Smartt (kick failed)
DO—Christian Guerrero 1 run (run failed)
Pun—Wayne Taulapapa 2 run (John Toner kick)
Pun—Ephraim Tuliloa 1 run (Tuliloa run)
Pun—Taulapapa 2 run (Toner kick)

RUSHING—Punahou: Taualapapa 23-181, Tuliloa 11-49, Stephen Barber 1-(minus 3). Del Oro: Gee 16-109, Dominic Pericin 4-14, Guerrero 8-12, Trey Udoffia 1-1, Justin Burrage 1-(minus 2), Smartt 3-(minus 18).
PASSING—Punahou: Tuliloa 5-14-2-60. Del Oro: Smartt 22-34-1-185.
RECEVING—Punahou: Eamon Brady 2-47, Kea‘la Martinson 1-8, Taulapapa 1-5, Kyle Yoshino 1-0. Del Oro: Burrage 8-67, Mason Hurst 7-50, Udoffia 4-61, Gee 3-15, Smartt 0-(minus 8).


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