Punahou receiver Kanawai Noa went over 100 yards receiving for the 14th time in 23 games Friday as he closes in on Gerald Welch‘s all-time record in career receiving yards.
The Punahou senior finished with six receptions for 169 yards and a touchdown in a 59-22 victory over ‘Iolani in his final home game at Alexander Field. Noa, who caught a 63-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Ephraim Tuliloa for his 31st career receiving TD, now has 2,928 yards in 23 career games.
He’s on the verge of becoming the third player to reach 3,000 yards receiving in a career, joining fellow Buffanblu Miah Ostrowski and Welch, who holds the record with 3,490 yards.
Welch did it in 37 games while Noa has only played in 23 games, averaging 123.7 yards a game. He needs 563 yards to set the record but might only have five more chances at it.
Punahou is guaranteed to play at least three more games but could in theory win a state championship while playing only nine times all season. The Buffanblu did not play a non-league game after its opener against Leilehua was canceled due to Hurricane Iselle.
In many of those games, Noa has come out early with the Buffanblu way ahead, as was the case Friday. Punahou took a 56-7 lead into halftime and benched its starters for the entire second half.
‘Iolani and Punahou played for 109th time since 1945, the first year ‘Iolani fielded a football team.
With talks that the ILH may potentially do away from Division I teams playing Division II teams, it’s possible this was the last meeting between the two schools.
Punahou holds a 68-38-3 edge and has been dominant in the last three meetings, winning 56-14, 56-0 and 59-22. The Raiders last win came in 2009 when Jarrett Arakawa, now a senior left-hander for the University of Hawaii baseball team, threw three touchdown passes in a 35-12 win.