Posted: October 27, 2012 - 9:40pm
Iolani topples Pac-Five, punches ticket to D2 tourney
Iolani quarterback Reece Foy scrambles to avoid the grasp of Pac-Five's Titus Failauga. Greg Yamamoto | SL
Claiming yet another ILH Division II title and the accompanying berth to the HHSAA Football Tournament may appear to be business as usual for the Iolani Raiders, but senior quarterback Reece Foy takes none of it for granted.
"Any time you play a stingy defense like Pac-Five and a team that likes to run the ball, our possessions are going to be limited." said Foy, "and if we wanted to win we had to take care of the ball for one and try to get up on them early."
And Foy delivered as advertised, passing for 181 yards and 3 touchdowns to give the Raiders an early cushion, and fellow senior Yuuya Kato carried the rock 28 times for 158 yards, both season-highs, to help close out a 28-10 victory over Pac-Five.
Pac-Five opened up methodically, moving the ball with relative efficiency until a Mata Leota pick on the Iolani 6 put an end to what appeared to be a promising scoring opportunity for the Wolfpack.
Following the interception, Iolani would engineer a drive of their own, taking the ball down the field 94 yards, culminating with a scrambling Foy finding Tanner Nishioka, who made a leaping catch to complete a 14 yard pass play, helping Iolani put points on the board on their opening drive.
"Well, actually I ran the wrong route, but Reece is a great playmaker and he made it happen." said the always modest Nishioka, downplaying his acrobatic catch. "Our O-line bought him time and he made the play."
And accidental or not, Jordan Genovia tacked on the extra point to give the Raiders a 7-0 lead at the 2:27 mark in the first.
Iolani added to the margin at the 8:28 mark, with a Foy pump-fake holding the secondary long enough for him to hit a leaping Chad Hanaoka for a 23 yard strike, and Genovia's kick increased the margin to 14-0.
Pac-Five got on the board late in the second quarter, as Gabriel Shimizu booted home a 21 yard field goal to trim the margin to 14-3.
Foy added an insurance score early in the third quarter hitting Chase Kanekuni on a 16 yard pass play to extend Iolani a 21-3 cushion with 7:37 left in the quarter.
Tom-Millare, who had 26 carries for 120 yards in the contest, plunged in for a one-yard score with 42 seconds left in the third to trim the margin 11, but the Raiders would ride their own workhorse down the stretch to help put the game away.
And the 5-foot-9, 185 pound Kato delivered, breaking runs of 28 and 31 yards on the Raiders' final scoring drive, and then capped it off with a two-yard score with 4:21 left to play to put the game all but out of reach.
"I can't even express how good he does." beamed Foy. "He works hard everyday, and as his best friend, to see him get this kind of success I just couldn't be happier. I was so happy he got that last touchdown in the end there, because he was chewing it up (yards on the ground) all day."
A normally pass-heavy Iolani squad would finish with more rushing yards (189) than passing (181), posting 370 total yards in a very balanced effort offensively. Pac-Five would generate 276 yards of total offense.
So with league title and automatic berth in hand, the talks surrounding the possibility of a sixth Division II state title will no doubt swirl over the next few weeks, but Foy put it in perspective.
"This is a huge win for us. (But) its not about us, its not about this team, its about this program, its about history, its about making history and its about playing football the right way." said Foy. "We just hope we can continue it as we go into states, one game at a time."
Iolani finished with a 4-3 record in league play and 7-3 overall, while Pac-Five ended their 2012 ILH campaign with a 2-5 mark (3-7 overall).
October 27, 2012
Tanner Nishioka, 14 yard touchdown pass from Reece Foy.
> more video highlights
Iolani running back Yuuya Kato looks for running room against Pac-Five. Greg Yamamoto | SL
Iolani's Chase Kanekuni makes a pass reception over Pac-Five's Tyler Kanoa. Sean Nakamura | SL
Pac-Five running back Keoni Tom-Millare carries the ball against Iolani. Sean Nakamura | SL
Iolani wide receiver Chad Hanaoka get some yards after the catch against Pac-Five. Evan Asato | Special to SL
Pac-Five's Roycen Routt battles for yardage after the catch against Iolani. Sean Nakamura | SL