Roosevelt senior Aalona Monteilh said he hadn’t played on offense all season.
When the defending OIA Division II champion Rough Riders lost to Kaimuki last week and with undefeated Kaiser coming to Ticky Vasconcellos Stadium this week, it was time for Roosevelt to use every option available on offense to stay in the race for the top spot in the OIA Division II playoffs.
Monteilh took his first handoff of the season 17 yards for a touchdown and added a 38-yard touchdown catch on a ball thrown to his opposite shoulder that he had to turn around and catch in order to score.
The 5-foot-11, 165-pound safety also intercepted three passes and had a 100-yard, pick-6 called back by a penalty to negate what would have been one of the all-time individual performances in Hawaii.
“It was a great win. I have to thank the coaches for making the right choices, Monteilh said. “We knew we just had to get the job done.”
Roosevelt was 15-1 against Division II opponents before a 28-26 setback last week to Kaimuki, which was coming off a 45-31 loss to the Cougars, who entered Friday’s game 7-0 overall and 5-0 in OIA D-II play.
The Cougars had scored a season-high 45 points against Kaimuki and hadn’t been held to fewer than 33 points in six games against Division II opponents until getting shutout by the Rough Riders.
“In all three phases of the game, they were the better team,” Kaiser coach Tim Seaman said. “I was impressed with their whole (defense). They flew to the ball really well.”
Isaac Kaleikau added two interceptions in the second half after Monteilh’s three for Roosevelt, which gave up just 151 total yards in 63 plays ran by Kaiser.
Kaiser intercepted Roosevelt quarterback Sky Ogata three times in the first half, but couldn’t find the end zone. A missed field goal and an interception were just two of the ways the Cougars spoiled early scoring opportunities.
Roosevelt finally got on the board when defensive back Shepherd Kekahuna returned a punt 53 yards for a touchdown.
The Rough Riders continued to get their best players on defense involved offensively with Monteilh scoring on a 17-yard run for a 14-0 lead late in the second quarter.
Monteilh and Kekahuna combined for 30 yards on three carries in the first half with Ogata and starting running back Myka Kukahiwa combining for minus-22 yards on 13 carries.
Ogata took a shot late in the second quarter and had to be helped off the field by teammates. He missed the next four plays, but returned on the next series and finished 21-for-40 for 265 yards and a touchdown to Monteilh, who had to look back and come back to his other side to adjust and catch a 38-yard pass to make it 21-0 in the third quarter.
“When I was running down the field, I looked up, glanced at the ball and seen on the right side of me so I just went for the ball,” Monteilh said.
Eight different receivers caught passes for Roosevelt with Scott Chung’s eight grabs for 96 yards leading the way. Sophomore Kaeo Akana added four tackles for loss, two sacks and a fumble recovery for Roosevelt, which can win out and clinch at least a coin flip for the top seed in the OIA playoffs, assuming Kaiser and Kaimuki don’t lose in its final two games.