Posted: August 25, 2012 - 12:57am
Big 1st half propels McKinley past Kaimuki, 45-13
McKinley RB Gerime Bradley ran for three total touchdowns in one half of play against Kaimuki. Sean Nakamura | SL
ROOSEVELT - In what was a coming out party for junior quarterback Denzel Kalahiki-Gasper, who threw for 275 yards and accounted for 5 scores (2 rushing), the Tigers of McKinley dominated the Kaimuki Bulldogs in a 45-13 victory Friday night at TIcky Vasconcellos Stadium.
Coming off a loss against Kapolei in a non league game the week previous week, the Tigers responded well in their first regular season game. Before the night was over, McKinley scored a total of seven touchdowns in their opening OIA East matchup against Kaimuki.
"I thought if we could play, I thought at least we could beat them by two touchdowns," said McKinley coach Joe Cho. "Just shows how far we've grown as a team."
McKinley was able to score seemingly at will in the first half. Kalahiki-Gasper put the Tigers on the board first with a 5 yard run near the nine minute mark of the opening quarter. The quarterback would call on his own number again later in the second quarter of play. Kalahiki-Gasper rolled out of the pocket to the right sideline, evaded a couple Bulldog defenders, and nine yards later had reservations for six with less than ten seconds to go in the half.
"It was a heck of a game, we couldn't have asked for anything more," said Cho. "The more exposure he (Kalahiki-Gasper) gets on the field, I think he'll just get better and better."
Although the Tiger quarterback had a highlight reel performance, the running backs of McKinley also put on a show Friday night. Asserting their superiority over Kaimuki, the rush of the Tigers seemed to overwhelm the home team, particularly because of the efforts of junior running back Gerime Bradley, who accounted for three scores before the first half was even over.
The first came with little less than three minutes of play in the opening quarter. Bradley navigated his way through the Kaimuki defensive line and cut right through the secondary for a 34 yard score. His second score came at the 1:22 mark of the first quarter. The Tiger running back received a screen pass and continued to maneuver his way through the Bulldog defense for a 64 yard score. His final score of the night came near the middle of the second quarter of play. Bradley walked into the end zone untouched after an off tackle toss 3 yards away from the end zone. The rushing attack from McKinley led the way for 32-7 lead at halftime.
"It's a win. Take any win," said Cho. "Now that we are in the (OIA) Red division, can't be happier."
With the rushing attack established for McKinley, the passing game was set up for the Tigers. Taking advantage of linebackers playing closer to the line, Kalahiki-Gasper was able to throw and add on more scores to their immense lead. A pitch and catch at the 8:50 mark from the junior quarterback to junior receiver Tyrell Tuiasosopo put them at a 38-7 lead in the third period. The next score for the Tigers would come at the 5:45 mark of the fourth quarter. Chevas Pacheco would shed a would-be tackler after a connection from Kalahiki-Gasper for a 15 yard score.
"I thought our kids played well," said Cho. "At times we looked really good and at times we just killed ourselves with penalties and turnovers," he continued.
But the Kaimuki Bulldogs would not go down without a fight.
They were able to muster up some points from the offense in the blowout defeat Friday night; once in the first half and the other in the second. Kaimuki finally got on the board with about two minutes to go until the half. A quarterback sneak by junior Kainalu Spencer prevented the shut out. Spencer would again score on a passing play connecting with senior Zac Bastatas for 64 yards. The quarterback would finish the night with 9 of 21 for 135 yards.
"I love Coach Clint (Kaimuki coach) to death. They'll bounce back, I know they will," said Cho. "Coach Clint is just too good of a coach for them not to."
August 25, 2012
Denzel Kalahiki-Gasper 64 yard TD pass to Gerime Bradley.
> more video highlights
McKinley RB Mathias Tuitele-Iafeta carries the ball against Kaimuki. Sean Nakamura | SL
Kaimuki QB Kainalu Spencer lets off a pass attempt against McKinley. Sean Nakamura | SL