St. Francis’ Kip Akana and sons Bubba and Chase Akana have always been together on the football field.
The father has coached his sons since they were 7 or 8, according to Bubba, a senior quarterback for the Saints.
“It’s getting kind of tiring because it’s been like that my whole life,” Bubba said.
That might be true, but one thing that never gets tiring is winning, which is something St. Francis has done a lot of this season.
The Saints’ defense was solid from start to finish, and the St. Francis offense came alive for a brief spurt in the first half of a 13-0 victory over Kaimuki on Saturday at Farrington’s Skippa Diaz Stadium.
St. Francis allowed just 47 yards of total offense and Bubba Akana threw for 185 yards and two touchdowns, including one to Chase Akana, in a battle of two of the top Division II teams.
Shepherd Kekahuna had two interceptions and Sione Lolohea had three sacks for the Saints (6-0, 5-0 ILH D-II).
“That’s the heart and soul of our team,” Kip Akana said of his defense. “Lolohea and (fellow defensive lineman Tapena) Tuitupou stepped up big. They did what was expected of them.”
The Bulldogs (4-2, 4-0 OIA D-II) finished with nine punts, two interceptions, a lost fumble and turned the ball over on downs once.
The Saints have outscored their opponents 205-46 this season.
“I like where the team is at, the defense was lights out,” Kip Akana said.
The Bulldogs went three-and-out on their first three possessions, while the Saints did the same on their first two.
St. Francis scored the first points of the game the hard way. The Saints had a first-and-goal at the 5 after a 25-yard run by Bubba Akana. Three consecutive offensive holding penalties moved the ball back to the 41. On the next play, Akana scrambled and hit Chase Akana, a junior, for a score with 11 seconds left in the first quarter.
“That was big because if we didn’t hit that it would be zero-zero,” Bubba Akana said. “We just found a little hole in the defense and my brother caught it.”
It was the only catch for Chase Akana.
The Saints went up 13-0 with 6:16 left before halftime on a 24-yard scoring pass from Bubba Akana to Alden Rosa. On the previous play, Jett Tanuvasa caught a 28-yard pass on third-and-14. Makana Poole made the conversion kick.
Bubba Akana completed six of 13 passes for 149 yards and had 38 rushing yards in the first half. He finished just 7-for-22, but did a good job extending plays with his movement in the pocket and completing key passes.
“He made some good possession passes and some big plays,” said Kip Akana, the coach. “He’s getting better. I don’t know what to say about that guy.”
Said Bubba Akana: “It’s all because of the O-line. “They gave me a little bit of time and the receivers caught the important balls.”
The crossover game doesn’t count for the Bulldogs in the OIA standings, so Kaimuki remained a half-game back of Pearl City (5-0).
“Hat’s off to Kaimuki … very, very tough team,” Kip Akana said. “They’re a formidable opponent and I’m pretty sure they’ll make it to states. Hat’s off to coach (David) Tautofi and his gang for a well-played game.”
The contest counted for the Saints in the ILH standings, so St. Francis moved three games ahead of Pac-Five, which lost to McKinley on Saturday.