Kaiser falls short despite ground production

Led by another monster night from Jensen McDaniel, Kaiser’s ground game continued to churn out impressive numbers on Friday night.

A week after rushing for 432 yards in a preseason loss to Kapolei, the Cougars’ backs burst through holes opened by the offensive line to  cover 437 on the ground against Aiea. Even so, Kaiser couldn’t quite keep pace with the host Na Alii and fell to 0-2 following a 47-43 shootout loss  to open the regular season.

McDaniel became the third Kaiser player to rush for over 200 yards twice in his career, joining Isaac Saffery and Josh Gonda. He ended the night with 246 yards — one yard short of his career-high set last year in a win over Moanalua — and went over 100 yards for the seventh time in the last 11 games.

McDaniel broke loose for a 74-yard touchdown run on the game’s first play from scrimmage and averaged 9.8 yards on his 25 attempts. He also scored on runs of 14 and 9 yards in the loss. Through two games, the senior is already up to 413 yards on 58 carries.

Kaiser quarterback Nicolas Tom joined the 200-yard club against Kapolei and went for 127 yards on 14 carries on Friday and scored on a 21-yard run. Kainoa Torres started the game behind center and Tom took over on Kaiser’s fourth possession of the game. Tom also completed 12 of 18 passes for 118 yards and threw a go-ahead touchdown pass with just under 52 seconds left in the third quarter.

But the Cougars couldn’t finish their fourth-quarter drives and Aiea quarterback Kobe Kato’s fifth touchdown pass gave Na Alii the win.

The road doesn’t get easier for Kaiser, which makes the trek to the North Shore to face No. 4 Kahuku (2-0) next Friday.


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