It was a crushing defeat for the Punahou Buffanblu, who fell to Saint Louis 27-23 in the ILH championship game on Saturday.
For senior Jet Toner, it’s a bittersweet end to a standout prep career. He kicked field goals of 43 and 50 yards in the loss, the latter FG giving Punahou a 23-20 lead late in the game. He also had touchback on all his kickoffs, but just like that, the season is over for No. 3-ranked Punahou.
“It’s definitely not the way I wanted to leave, but I definitely feel good about leaving it all on the field. It’s not the way I wanted to leave, but I’ll keep working hard and just get better,” Toner said.
Toner gave an oral commitment to Stanford last week, he said.
“I’ve been talking to them for awhile, to their special teams coach (Pete Alamar). He’s a really cool guy and we’ve kept in contact. They had a meeting and decided to take me,” he said.
“He flew down two weeks ago,” Punahou kicking coach Eric Hannum said of Alamar. “All year, he’s been telling Jet to be patient. He’s got the good grades.”
Toner had no scholarship offers for much of the year. Then Army offered one. And then, Stanford.
“In the summer he flew down, too. I flew up there in the summer and kicked in front of him, too,” Toner said.
Stanford’s current placekicker is a senior.
“It comes down to timing for schools. I just got lucky,” Toner said.
Hannum has worked with many local kickers, including former Punahou all-state player Kaimi Fairbairn. The UCLA placekicker booted a 60-yard field goal in a 40-24 win over No. 20 Cal this weekend.
“He’s a huge role model for me,” Toner said. “He’s done so much for this state. It’s good to have him as a mentor and someone I can talk to. Someone who’s been in my shoes.”