Kealakehe Cruises Into League Championship Game
It wasn’t the 53-0 wipe out a week prior, but the Kealakehe Waveriders made Saturday night’s rematch against Kea`au look easy with a 31-8 victory in the Big Island Interscholastic Federation Division I semifinals.
Kealakehe’s Lennox Jones played a big part in his team’s victory, rushing for three touchdowns and catching another one from quarterback Jordan Cristobal. The senior finished with 129 yards rushing on 15 carries. His eight-yard touchdown reception from Jordan Cristobal was his only catch of the night.
Kealakehe (9-1, 7-0 BIIF) got the scoring started on their first possession of the game. Kea`au opened the game with the football, but failed to convert on a fourth-and-one from their own 40 yard line. The Waveriders imediately followed with an 11 play drive that Jones capped off with a two-yard touchdown run. Jones’ extra point was blocked by Na’alii Kanakaole-Wong, freezing the score at 6-0 with 5:13 remaining in the opening quarter.
Kea`au (0-9, 0-7 BIIF) handed the Waveriders prime field position in each of their first three drives. They failed to convert another fourth-and-one on their second drive from their own 43, but were bailed out by their defense, who recovered a fumble by Cristobal.
On their third drive, starting quarterback Jared Quihano-Makaweo lost control of the football, which was recovered by Kealakehe’s Keoni Schweitzer. Five plays later, Jones struck again for a 20-yard touchdown dash. The fake field goal run was no good, and Kealakehe took a 12-0 lead with 9:47 left in the first half.
That score was the first of four consecutive drives where the home team would score a touchdown. After another three-and-out by the Cougars, Kealakehe went on a six play drive, capped off by Kainoa Kipapa’s 13-yard touchdown run, to extend the lead to 18-0 with 5:40 left in the half. The two-point pass was complete, but shy of the end zone.
After another Kea`au three-and-out, Kealakehe rung up their longest drive of the game, a nine-play drive that went 90 yards. It wrapped up with Cristobal’s touchdown pass to Jones that pushed the lead to 25-0, including the extra point, with 12 seconds left to go in the opening half.
Kealakehe would score on the first drive of the second half with a little help from their opponents. On third-and-14, Kealakehe picked up four yards on a pass completion, but was flagged for holding. Kea`au chose to accept the penalty and move Kealakehe back to a third-and 23 instead of declining the penalty, which would have forced the Waveriders to punt. On the next play, Cristobal found Giuseppe Zapatoliva for a 22-yard pass completion. On fourth-and-one, Kipapa picked up seven yards to keep the drive going, and Jones scored five plays later on a four yard counter-run to give Kealakehe a 31-0 lead with 8:41 remaining in the third quarter.
The Cougars struggled all evening to move the football. They gained only 37 yards of total offense in the first half and had a pair of three-and-outs to start the second half. They picked up their first first-down of the game with 1:23 left in the third quarter when Keha Wong, who returned after missing the last three weeks game action, found Talon Ota for a 25 yard completion. They would move the chains several more times on that drive before Quihano-Makaweo was intercepted in Kealakehe territory by Manase Hungalu.
Kea’au would pick up one more first down in their next drive when Kaimana Schilling dragged blue jerseys with him for a 17 yard rumble inside the Kealakehe 10 yard line. Three plays later, Schilling would run into the end zone from five yards out, and the two-point conversion got Kea`au on the board at 31-8 with 4:33 remaining.
Kealakehe will host Hilo High School on Saturday, October 27 at 7:00 p.m. for the league’s Division I championship. The winner will get the league’s only berth into the First Hawaiian Bank / Hawaii High School Athletic Association Division I Tournament.
Kea`au 0 0 0 8 – 8
Kealakehe 6 19 6 0 – 31
1st (5:13) – KEALAKEHE: Lennox Jones 2 yd TD run (Jones XPT blocked)
2nd (9:47) – KEALAKEHE: Jones 20 yd TD run (2-PT no good)
2nd (5:40) – KEALAKEHE: Kainoa Kipapa 13 yd TD run (2-PT pass no good)
2nd (:12) – KEALAKEHE: Jordan Cristobal 8 yd TD pass to Jones (Jones XPT good)
3rd (8:41) – KEALAKEHE: Jones 4 yd TD run (2-PT run no good)
4th (4:33) – KEA`AU: Kaimana Schilling 5 yd TD run (Pono Quihano-Makaweo to Talon Ota 2-PT Pass Good)
Hawai`i Prep 19, Kamehameha-Hawai`i 10
Saturday’s victory by Ka Makani threw a wrench into the chase for the Division II second-round title. HPA improved to 3-0 in the second round by recovering from a 7-0 halftime deficit. They face Konawaena Friday night at Yates Field.
Kamehameha-Hawai`i lost for the first time in the second round. They will need to defeat Konawaena at home in two weeks to have a shot at the second round title and a state tournament berth.