Wet weather suits Kalani RB Nathaniel Balangitao just fine in win over McKinley

Kalani's Nathaniel Balangitao carried the load for the Falcons offense with 115 rushing yards in a win over McKinley. Photo by George F. Lee/Star-Advertiser.

Kalani coach Scott Melemai noticed the rain at the start of his team’s game Saturday against McKinley at Roosevelt’s Ticky Vasconcellos Stadium.

He then decided it was time for quarterback Logan Lim to hand the ball off to senior running back Nathaniel Balangitao.

Even after the rain stopped, Balangitao kept getting the ball.


Balangitao finished with 24 carries for 115 yards and a touchdown for the Falcons in a 36-14 victory over the Tigers in an OIA Division II game.

“Today it was raining, so it was hard to throw, so we ran the ball a lot more. We’ve been running a lot with Nathaniel a lot, too,” Melemai said.

Balangitao entered the game with 80 carries for 329 yards and five touchdowns over Kalani’s first five games.

“The coaches trained us real hard so I was prepared for it,” Balangitao said of the workload.

The Falcons (3-3, 2-3) snapped a three-game losing streak. They opened with victories over Kohala and Kalaheo before dropping contests to Nanakuli, Roosevelt and Kaiser.


“We’ll just take it one game at a time,” Melemai said. “The last couple games, we were competing and we felt that with certain circumstances in the game, just the game itself, it went the other teams’ way.”

Against McKinley, the Falcons benefited from short fields in the first half.

Kalani’s average starting field position on its five first-half possessions was the McKinley 22-yard line as it took advantage of three Tigers turnovers and a botched snap in punt formation. The Falcons led 23-8 at halftime despite being out-gained 138 yards to 57.

“We feel a lot more confident now. We’ve seen it in our guys’ eyes, the fire lit up once we started scoring,” Melemai said.


On the first possession of the second half, Balangitao scored on a 5-yard run to make it 29-8.

For the game, Kalani finished with 268 yards of total offense while McKinley gained 233.

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