OIA Football
Tanioka carries Castle past No. 14 Roosevelt


Sat, Oct 23, 2021 @ Roosevelt [ 5:30 pm ]

Final 1 2 3 4 T
CAST(2-4-0) 12 0 6 018
ROOS(2-4-0) 7 0 7 014
Kayman Lewis 100 yd 1 TD
Daunte Ching 55 yd 1 TD
Kamuela Kaaihue 50 yd 1 TD
Coby Tanioka 25 yd 1 TD

MAKIKI—Coby Tanioka scored on offense, special teams, and came up with the game-sealing interception to lead Castle past No. 14 Roosevelt, 18-14, at Ticky Vasconcellos Stadium Saturday.

"It's great to be back and we worked as a team. All week from summer time, we've been working hard and it good it finally pays off. This win is going to be uplifting for our team, we have to keep this energy up and we should be good for the rest of the season," Tanioka said.

Castle's defense forced six turnovers and four different Knights had an interception in Junior Pale's first win as head coach and in the process spoiled the Rough Riders' Oahu Interscholastic Association Division I debut.

"They have a good offense and a good running back and receivers. We couldn't really move the ball on offense but we had to step up on defense. I transferred from Kalani and they welcomed me with open arms, I felt I had to repay it to him and he's a great coach and appreciate everything he does," Tanioka said.

"It was unbelievable, we have a lot of JV guys and one guy with varsity experience. What a win. I'm happy for the boys, happy for the community," Pale said of his young squad.

The Knights made it a defensive slugfest and forced Roosevelt to turn it over on downs, but Castle went three-and-out giving the ball back to the Rough Riders.

Roosevelt started on their own 15 with 3:28 left in the fourth and was aided by a roughing the passer penalty that wiped out Tanioka's initial interception. A personal foul on Brayden Kanehe that resulted in an ejection pushed the ball into Castle territory. Silas Kekahuna was tackled for a loss and Lewis threw an incomplete pass before Tanioka came up with the game-ending interception.

"My receiver was coming out and the quarterback was scrambling and I knew he was going to get rid of it so I had to be ready for the pick," Tanioka said of the interception.

"It was beautiful. He rallied us and he ended the game for us. He's amazing and he doesn't give up," Pale said of how fitting the game ended with Tanioka's pick.

After Roosevelt burnt all their timeouts, Castle was able to take a knee to run out the rest of the clock.

The Rough Riders left scoring opportunities on the field after Tanioka forced the ball out of Lewis' hand and Jesse Reppuhn recovered the fumble in the end zone.

Roosevelt's Kamuela Kaaihue led all receivers with five catches for 50 yards and caught a 14-yard touchdown pass from Kayman Lewis, who threw for 100 yards on 15-of-33 passing, for a 7-0 lead.

Kala Estacado-Matthews, who also recorded an interception in the second quarter, answered with a 29-yard run to get Castle on the scoreboard, but the kick was no good.

Reppuhn's interception put the ball on Roosevelt's 14 and Tanioka (four catches for 25 yards) turned the turnover into points after catching a 9-yard pass from Daunte Ching to reclaim the lead for the Knights, 12-7 despite a failed two-point conversion attempt.

"Wherever my team and coaches needed me, I'm going to fill that role the best as I as I can. Kala (Estacado-Matthews), he stepped up too and you have to give him a lot of credit," said Tanioka, who lines up at corner, receiver, and catches and returns punts and kickoffs.

Ching left the game in the first half with an injury and did not return in the second half. Maddux Vilardi, who filled in at quarterback, was intercepted by Kaaihue who returned it 83 yards to the house to put Roosevelt back up, 13-12.

On the ensuing kickoff, Tanioka dodged Rough Rider defenders on his way to a 91-yard touchdown to steal the momentum back for Castle for the go-ahead, final score of the night.

"We got into the huddle and we said we needed to take it to the house and we got it done," Tanioka said.

"It really did," Pale said of the momentum shift following the score. "The team seemed down because they just scored. When he did that, that sealed it for us as for as motivation. Everybody was playing to the ball with a lot of pep.

Pekelo Poomaihealani and Estacado-Matthews had the other two interceptions and Poomaihealani recovered a fumble late in the first quarter.

Castle hosts Moanalua (1-0) on Saturday, Oct. 30 while Roosevelt hopes to regroup as it hosts Aiea (0-1) on Friday, Oct. 29.

Reach Brandon Ching at [email protected].

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