OIA football: Late FG lifts Waialua over McKinley

·7 min read

Oct. 17—Lasse Stolten's 26-yard field goal with 1 :25 remaining lifted Waialua over McKinley 15-13 on a soggy Saturday night at Ticky Vasconcellos Stadium.

On the ensuing drive, McKinley drove to midfield, but Waialua cornerback James Zara deflected Dustin Chow's fourth-and-short sideline pass with 20 seconds left to seal the victory.

It was the OIA Division II season opener for both teams, and the first game for Kale Ane as head coach of McKinley.

Stolten had two key field goals in the win, despite never kicking an American football until two months ago. The 6-foot, 180-pound sophomore is an exchange student from Germany.

"I've been here three months. I thought, 'I've got to make this for the team.' It was a struggle, but also, like I'm very proud of this team and I'm going to make it for them, " Stolten said.

Gary Wirtz, in his first game as Waialua's head coach, found a way to settle his team down. The Bulldogs committed nine penalties for 87 yards in the first half, but had just one 5-yard flag after the break.

"It was a hell of a game. That's one of those ones you just like to play. It goes back and forth defensively, offensively. My hat's off to McKinley, " Wirtz said. "I'm proud of our boys. They showed up to play. They never quit and they had that Bulldog strong pride."

Lasse Stolten's 26-yard FG gives Waialua a 15-13 lead over McKinley, Q4, 1 :25. Barely gets over, counts just the same.—Paul Honda (@PupulePaul )

McKinley seemed to have control of the game, but dropped two potential touchdown passes. Chow passed for 208 yards, but Waialua's stubborn defense came up with big stops throughout the contest.

Beneiah Togafau scored his first touchdown on a 2-yard blast to give McKinley a 7-0 lead with 7 :04 to go in the second quarter.

Stolten's first field goal, a 36-yarder, sailed through the uprights as the first half expired.

Rain began to fall on the synthetic turf in the third quarter. After Waialua's drive stalled at the McKinley 16-yard line, the Tigers gifted a safety to the Bulldogs when their punt snap sailed into the back of the end zone and out. That cut the lead to 7-5 with 5 :32 remaining in the third quarter.

Another bad snap by McKinley cost it an 18-yard loss. Then, on third down, the Tigers attempted a quick punt, but it was shanked and bounced directly to Waialua cornerback Elisha Sheridan, who returned the pigskin down the right sideline 41 yards for a touchdown. The Bulldogs led 12-7 with 38 seconds to go in the third quarter.

The Tigers regained momentum and the lead, 13-12, on Togafau's 2-yard scoring run with 6 :19 left.

However, the Bulldogs methodically marched downfield on the legs of Ezekiel Sheridan, one of their two-way ironmen. Sheridan finished with 122 rushing yards on 22 carries.

Waialua drove to the McKinley 4-yard line, forcing the Tigers to burn timeouts. After taking a delay of game penalty to set up a better kicking angle for Stolten, his boot on the water-logged football barely got over the crossbar on the go-ahead field goal.

"It was just great to play, " Ane said. "It's been almost two years. It's an opportunity to play. The kids were excited, disappointed in the finish. Main thing is the effort, attitude and opportunity. It was a fun game. I was exhausted. Waialua's very good. They've got some talented kids, very athletic and they're well coached."

Kaiser 28, Kalani 6 Seven combined interceptions marred an ugly game, but the Cougars found a way to come out on top in a season-opening victory over the visiting Falcons.

In a turnover-heavy slugfest, Kaiser found a way to turn interceptions into points to turn the tide. Cougars DBs Kamakana Mahiko (66 yards ) and Caleb Garcia (59 ) each returned a pick, while Mahiko came through with two more picks to cap a four-interception day for Kalani quarterback Logan Lim.

Mahiko also contributed in the passing game, catching five passes for 66 yards, including a 33-yard pass from Donovan Reis, who threw for 163 yards on 18 completions and the lone score to Mahiko. Reis contributed to the ugly turnover total, throwing three interceptions of his own. Ryder Rodrigues added 31 rushing yards on 10 carries to lead the team, while Te'a Nu'uhiwa-Santos chipped in with 20 yards on nine carries. Working across from Mahiko, receiver Justin Kaneoka had a game-high 69 yards on eight grabs.

Despite his four interceptions, Lim managed 141 passing yards on 17 completions for the Falcons, including the team's only points on an 8-yard touchdown throw to Noa Uchida. Kalani found success on the ground, with Josh Oh's 63 yards on 17 carries both game highs.

After starting each of its first two drives inside their own 5-yard line, Kaiser looked to its defense for help. The unit answered the call, as Mahiko's early pick-6 and Adam Tong's subsequent 2-point conversion gave the Cougars a lead they wouldn't relinquish. The Falcons fought back to within two points on Lim's second-quarter touchdown throw, but couldn't complete the ensuing 2-point conversion to tie it up as Kaiser carried the slim lead into the halftime break.

Looking to shake things up, Kalani opened the second half with an onside kick, but the boot bounced out of bounds, giving Kaiser prime position to add to its lead. Reis and Nu'uhiwa led the Cougars to the 1-yard line on six carries. The Falcons put up a valiant fight, stuffing Nu'uhiwa on three straight goal-line carries, but four times proved to be the charm for Kaiser when Reis bounced outside for a touchdown run to the right pylon.

Reis led the Cougars to another score on the very next drive, a 33-yard touchdown throw to Mahiko on the only play of the drive. Kalani continued to look hapless throughout the second half, with Caleb Garcia's 59-yard pick-6 off of Lim proving to be the window dressing on Kaiser's victory.

Kaiser will prepare to head on the road to take on Waialua next Saturday at 6 :30 p.m., while Kalani will return to Kaiser Stadium next Friday at 7 :30 p.m. to host Kaimuki.------Jonathan Chen, Star-Advertiser—Waialua 15, McKinley 13 At Ticky Vasconcellos Stadium Waialua (1-0, 1-0 ) 0 3 9 3—15 McKinley (0-1, 0-1 ) 0 7 0 6—13 McK—Beneiah Togafau 2 run (Luke Fujioka-Silva kick )

Wai—Lasse Stolten FG 36 Wai—Safety, McKinley punt snap out of end zone Wai—Elisha Sheridan 41 punt return (Stolten kick )

McK—Togafau 2 run (run failed )

Wai—Stolten FG 26 Individual statistics RUSHING—Waialua : Tyson Apau 7-25, Jonah Baker 2-1, Ezekiel Sheridan 22-122, James Zara 4-20, team 1-(-19 ). McKinley : Togafau 10-24, Chow 3-(-12 ), team 2-(-33 ), Preston Note 1-11.

PASSING—Waialua : Apao 11-19-0-69. McKinley : Chow 19-44-1-228.

RECEIVING—Waialua : Zara 4-41, Seth Stanek 1-5, Blazen Benz 4-17, Ez. Sheridan 1-2, El. Sheridan 1-4.

McKinley : Togafau 1-4, Joab Cruz 11-102, Note 6-106, Nathen Rodriguez 1-16.

Kaiser 28, Kalani 6 Kalani Falcons 0 6 0 0—6 Kaiser Cougars 8 0 13 7—28 KAIS—Kamakana Mahiko 66 interception return (Adam Tong rush )

KALN—Noa Uchida 8 pass from Logan Lim (Lim rush failed )

KAIS—Donovan Reis 1 run (Keagan Lime kick blocked )

KAIS—Mahiko 33 pass from Reis (Keagan Lime kick )

KAIS—Caleb Garcia 59 interception return (Lime kick )

Rushing—KALN : Josh Oh 17-62, Logan Lim 9-27, TEAM 1-(-17 ). KAIS : Ryder Rodrigues 10-31, Te'a Nu'uhiwa-Santos 9-20, Donovan Reis 5-19, TEAM 1-(-6 ).

PASSING—KALN : Logan Lim 17-30-4—141. KAIS : Donovan Reis 18-34-3—163.

RECEIVING—KALN : Noa Uchida 5-41, Jonah Viernes 3-39, Mikala Nishimoto 2-30, Izea Nu'uanu 2-12, Noah Ah Sam 2-10, Josh Oh 2-2, Kai Webster 1-7. KAIS : Justin Kaneoka 8-69, Kamakana Mahiko 5-66, Rayne Sumida 2-14, Ethan Beltran 1-6, Keagan Lime 1-5, Ryder Rodrigues 1-3.

FRIDAY'S SCORES—No. 3 Mililani 49, Waianae 6—No. 6 Campbell 38, Farrington 6—Pearl City 42, Kalaheo 6—Moanalua 28, Damien 6—Saint Louis I-AA 48, Pac-Five 22

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