Honoka’a Finds Groove in Regular Season Opener
Nainoa Falk is described as a multi-tool athlete that can elevate a football team on each side of the ball.
On Thursday night, Falk limited his mistakes and guided the Honoka’a Dragons to a 36-20 win at Kea’au to open the 2015 Big Island Interscholastic Federation regular season football schedule.
Falk completed 10 of his 17 passing attempts, including his last nine of the game, for 119 yards and a touchdown. He also led the Dragons in rushing, picking up 105 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries.
Not to be outdone was Honoka’a’s defense, who opened the scoring in the first quarter with a safety after a bad snap on fourth down forced Kea’au to sit on the football in the endzone with 53 seconds remaining.
For the half, Honoka’a held Kea’au to minus-18 yards of offense, largely due to bad snaps and pressure on quarterback Dillon Santos.
Kea’au (0-2 overall, 0-1 BIIF) stayed in the game thanks to a key miscue that its defense capitalized on. Ryan Aikau fumbled an option pitch to his right, and Kea’au corner Dreq Agliam picked it up and ran it back 42 yards to the endzone to put Kea’au on the board, trailing 9-7 with less than a minute left in the first half.
Honoka’a (1-2, 1-0) took control of the game on offense, scoring 21 consecutive points in the second half to open up a 30-6 lead. Once again, however, Kea’au found a way to hang around. On the ensuing kickoff after Falk’s touchdown pass to Micah Fontes-Sarme, Kea’au went deep into its bag of tricks. Agliam fielded the kickoff and pitched it to Damion Scandrick, who ran to the right and found a large lane to the endzone. His 83-yard kickoff return kept Kea’au in it at 30-12 with 6:52 remaining.
Falk’s second touchdown run, a two-yard score, extended the lead to 24 points with just over two minutes left, but Kea’au put together two long pass plays and scored on Santos’ 35-yard touchdown pass to Charles Caldwell-Kaai, making the score 36-20 with 1:24 remaining.
Kea’au forced one more fumble, but couldn’t close the gap, ending the night on a positive, yet losing note.
In the loss, Santos went 7-for-18 for 143 yards with a touchdown and two first-half interceptions. But the Cougars couldn’t establish the run throughout the game, finishing with minus-6 rushing yards.
Honoka’a 2 7 7 20 – 36
Kea’au 0 6 0 20 – 20
HON (:53) – Safety
HON (3:08) – Nainoa Falk 12 yd run (Zechariah Kelii Ugalde kick)
KEA (:15) – Dreq Agliam 42 yd fumble recovery return (run failed)
HON (4:26) – Ryan Aikau 10 yd run (Ugalde kick)
HON (11:01) – Weljane Valdez 2 yd run (Ugalde kick)
HON (7:06) – Micah Fontes-Sarme 4 yd reception from Nainoa Falk (Ugalde kick)
KEA (6:52) – Damion Scandrick 83 yd kickoff return (pass failed)
HON (2:04) – Falk 2 yd run (run failed)
KEA (1:24) – Charles Caldwell-Kaai 35 yd reception from Dillon Santos (Santos to Clyde Domen pass)