Posted: October 5, 2012 - 10:12am
Defense carries Pearl City over Kalani, 40-30
PEARL CITY-Timothy Rivera had three of his team's five interceptions and Pearl City kept its postseason hopes alive in a 40-30 win against Kalani Friday night at Bino Neves Stadium.
Rivera's picks, including one he returned 20 yards for a touchdown on the first play from scrimmage, was among five interceptions by Pearl City, which improved to 5-4 overall and 5-3 in the O'ahu Interscholastic Association White. In addition, the Chargers recovered four fumbles, two of which they converted into scores.
The Falcons dropped to 4-4 and 4-3 and will face first-place Kaiser (6-1) Thursday in a game that will be televised on OC 16.
Pearl City and Kalani must wait until next week to learn their postseason fates.
The Chargers' fifth consecutive win after an 0-4 start (0-3 in the White) wasn't the prettiest. Pearl City turned over the ball four times (three interceptions) and were penalized 15 times for 148 yards.
"We have a lot of stuff to clean up," Pearl City's first-year coach David Hallums said. "We're fortunate to get out of here. You play against a quality staff of coach (Greg) Taguchi, of course Cal (Lee), Ron (Lee). They have a lot of great coaches: Cliff Laboy, Ricky Laboy. It's a who's who out there. Kalani's a well-prepared team. We got a little sloppy at the end. Our penalties killed us. With the gifts we were getting, I thought we should've score once or twice more before the half."
Kalani QB Noah Brum was 25 of 51 for 303 yards and three touchdowns, two coming in the fourth quarter. But the five interceptions hurt.
Pearl City QB Brock Teixeira was 11 of 29 for 224 yards and three TDs. Briscoe had six receptions for 154 yards, including TD catches of 28 and 34 yards. Isaac Amorin had a 25-yard TD catch.
The Falcons tried to make it game with a 17-point fourth quarter in which they successfully recovered an onside kick and scored to pull to within 10 with three minutes, 38 seconds left. But they failed on an ensuing onside kick and the Chargers took over at their 48. Slot receiver Tanner Tokunaga had crucial gains on three carries that led to two first downs that allowed the Chargers to run out the final 3:35.
"We got key first downs with Tanner Tokunaga at running back," Hallums said. "We don't get those first downs, it's a brand new game."
The Chargers' defense ambushed the Falcons early, taking a 27-3 lead in the first quarter. Following Rivera's interception return, the Falcons lost a fumble on the first play on their ensuing series at their own 22. While a sack of Teixeira by Shiloh Laboy moved the Chargers back to their 28, Teixeira fired a 28-yard TD pass to Daicorri Briscoe on fourth-and-16. A bad snap didn't allow the Chargers to get off their PAT, keeping in 13-0 with 9:32 in the first quarter.
It appeared the Falcons were going to cut their deficit when Gavin Kim returned the ensuing kickoff 54 yards to the Pearl City 39. But four plays into the drive, Rivera's second interception was returned 67 yards to the Kalani 16. Three plays later, RB David Laranol scored on a one-yard run with Derek Chang's PAT making it 20-0 with 7:22 in the first quarter.
The Falcons fumbled the ensuing kickoff, but an interception by Brandon Gatewood on first down delayed the Chargers from scoring again.
"The difference was the turnovers," Kalani coach Greg Taguchi said. "It was just a bad start. Anytime you turnover the ball that much - just like against Radford - at the beginning, you can't expect to be successful on the field."
After a 27-yard field goal by Leo Klink to pull Kalani to 20-3, the Chargers scored on their next series on a one-yard TD run by Blake Cooper with 21 seconds left in the first quarter to make it 27-3.
The Chargers cashed in on lost fumble by Kalani in the second quarter, scoring on a Teixeira's 25-yard TD pass to Amorin to make it 33-3. A bad snap in punt formation went out of the end zone for a safety for the Falcons, who cut their deficit at the half to 33-5.
The Falcons had turned over the ball eight times in the first half, but only once in the second and saw the difference. The Chargers scored only once in the second half on Teixeira's 34-yard TD pass to Briscoe early in the fourth quarter.
Kalani put up 25 in the second half on three TD passes by Brum and a 35-yard field goal by Klink. But first-half damage was too much for the Falcons to overcome.
"I'm proud of the kids, they bounced back the second half," Taguchi said. "They put some points on the board, they didn't give up. I always felt we had a chance, but I guess the turnovers killed us in the beginning."
But the tone was set early by Rivera, who nearly had two more interceptions.
"He's a guy that was struggling at the beginning (of the season)," Hallums said. "I'm happy for him. He's just a junior. Jumping on that first play reminded me of No. 7 (Kahuku's) Kawe Johnson. He just jumped that route (on the interception for the TD)."
"I just read that play," Rivera said. "We worked on that at practice. I just took my opportunity and just scored. I could've had five (interceptions). Two were in my hands and dropped."
Kyle Tom and Melvin Schmidt IV had Pearl City other two interceptions.
Besides Gatewood, Chance Feliciano and Don Hamatake had interceptions for Kalani.
October 5, 2012
Timothy Rivera, 20 yard interception return for touchdown.
Daiccori Briscoe, 34 yard touchdown pass from Brock Teixeira.
> more video highlights
Pearl City WR Diaccori Briscoe looks for running room against Kalani. Sean Nakamura | SL
Pearl City's Tanner Tokunaga attempts to leap into the endzone against Kalani. Scott Nishi | SL
Kalani WR Gavin Kim tries to escape the grasp of multiple Pearl City defenders. Scott Nishi | SL