Posted: August 10, 2012 - 7:20pm
Punahou runs away with 48-0 romp over West Anchorage
Punahou WR Kanawai Noa makes a pass reception against West Anchorage. Noa finished with 6 catches for 175 yards and 4 scores on the afternoon. Greg Yamamoto | SL
WAHIAWA - There were no opening-day jitters for Kanawai Noa.
In a coming-out party, the sophomore wide receiver went wild, hauling in six passes for 175 yards and four touchdowns to lead defending Division I state runner-up Punahou to a 48-0 rout of West Anchorage in a non-league game Friday afternoon.
A crowd of about 400 at Leilehua's Hugh Yoshida Stadium saw the Buffanblu (1-0) dominate from start to finish against a depleted Eagles' (0-1) squad that suited up just 26 players.
"I have to give (West Anchorage) credit," Punahou coach Kale Ane said. "They're a good team and they had to travel so far and played with such a small number of players. I was impressed with their effort."
Ane also praised Noa, who was making his varsity debut.
"He's just fabulous. He's been torching our defense a lot in practice, so it's nice to see him do it to someone else," Ane said. "(Quarterback) Tui (Tuileta) just had to get him the ball and he took care of the rest."
Punahou opened the scoring with a quick strike. Off of a play-action fake to Ryan Tuiasoa, Tuileta threw over the middle to an open Noa, who outraced two defenders to the end zone. The extra point was blocked and the Buffanblu took a 6-0 lead with six minutes and 29 seconds left in the first quarter.
Tuileta found Noa, just inside the left front pylon, on a 4-yard touchdown pass to cap Punahou's next possession and the PAT by Alexander Trifonovitch was good to make it 14-0 after one quarter.
"We just try to work hard during practice everyday and it feels good to come out with this win tonight," said Noa, who credited the Buffanblu offensive line for giving Tuileta time. "Hopefully our line does this every game."
The Buffanblu extended their lead on a 1-yard Tuiasoa plunge into the end zone to culminate a seven-play drive that took just 1:37. After Charles McDonald's kick, Punahou went up 20-0 early in the second quarter.
Noa struck again with 4:17 until the half on a 44-yard touchdown pass from Tuileta to make the score 27-0. Tuileta unleashed a long pass down the right sideline and found Noa, who had beaten the defender en route to the end zone.
Punahou added a score just before halftime on a 40-yard pass from Luke Morris to Noa, who flashed his athleticism on a spectacular catch. He leapt between the cornerback and the safety to snatch the ball from mid-air and went untouched the rest of the way. Trifonovitch's PAT put his team ahead 34-0 at halftime.
Morris later found Dylan Cunningham on a 1-yard touchdown pass late in the third quarter and linebacker David Torigoe closed out the scoring when he fell on a fumble in the end zone with 7:05 left in the game.
West Anchorage coach Tim Davis said a few players were unavailable due to a violation of team rules.
"It's no excuse though," said Davis, who was adorned in a lava lava and slippers. "It was rough. There could be a lot of negative you come away from a game like this, but I saw a lot of positive things and I appreciated the efforts on our guys against a very good Punahou team."
The Eagles went 5-5 last year after winning the large school state championship the previous season.
August 10, 2012
Punahou quarterback Tui Tuileta throws a pass to wide receiver Kanawai Noa against West Anchorage. Greg Yamamoto | SL