HALAWA — Damien's defense stepped up to provide two scores and Marcus Faufata-Pedrina threw four more to help the Monarchs roll past PAC-5, 39-18, in an Interscholastic League of Honolulu Division II matchup at Hawaiian Tel FCU Field at Aloha Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The fifth-ranked Monarchs improve to 4-1 overall, 2-0 in the ILH and sets up a big showdown on Sept. 15 with No. 3 Saint Francis, who has an identical record at 4-1 overall, 2-0 ILH.
"I'm happy with the win, but we have a lot of work. At halftime, I preached to the team that it's not our brand of football — too many mistakes and fumbles. It's hard when you play these ILH D2 teams and it's going to be a battle every week because the more mistakes you make you give them more chances to hang in there. If we clean up what we do, we're going to be a better, efficient football team," said Damien coach Eddie Klaneski.
The Wolfpack fall to 1-3 overall, 0-2 ILH and will play Iolani on Sept. 16, who also has the same record. Both teams are seeking their first ILH win of the season.
Akila Arecchi had two interceptions for the game and the Monarch defense forced and recovered four fumbles. Matthew Faufata-Pedrina led the team with seven tackles — three were for losses.
"We have been preaching ripping and stripping. We did turnover drills and practicing forcing fumbles and getting interceptions. It came through this week. If it wasn't for that it wouldn't have sparked our offense. It was a good change of pace on defense and we're glad they stepped up and made plays," said Klaneski.
Marcus Faufata-Pedrina threw for 179 yards on 9-of-13 passing and four touchdowns. His only blemish was an interception early in the third quarter.
"He's still a work in progress. He played a pretty good game, but he's a young man and he's a three-year starter. We expect him to make plays like that. We expect him to get better and I know he will work hard since we have our toughest opponent (Saint Francis)," said Klaneski, on Marcus.
Arecchi picked off Tyler Fukuroda to return it 48 yards for an early 7-0 lead after Kaimana Cameron's kick.
Marcus Faufata-Pedrina followed up with two deep passes to Lindon Sevilleja and Logan Lauti for 41 and 55 yards respectively, but both kicks failed to make it, 19-7.
Arecchi's would-be second interception was nullified after the Monarchs were called for roughing the passer and in the process, knocking out Fukuroda from the game.
Kellen Robins-Beers scooped up the fumble off AJ Ulufale's errant pitch and returned it 68 yards to make it, 25-0 with 7:17 left in the first half.
"We had a good game plan going into this week and prepared well and changed the defense," said Robins-Beers, who also broke up a pass.
Ulufale played quarterback the remainder of the half and scored on a 4-yard run, but his run failed for PAC-5's first points of the game. The Wolfpack scoring drive took up 12 plays, 65 yards and 6 minutes and 9 seconds off the clock.
Ulufale finished with 111 passing yards and an interception and Jett Uechi caught a game-high 84 receiving yards.
Following a fumble recovery by Jon Dalmacio, the Monarchs took 49 seconds to score after Faufata-Pedrina threw an 11-yard pass to Arecchi on a drive that covered three plays and 60 yards.
Faufata-Pedrina dumped it off to Kauhi for a 7-yard score for his fifth and final touchdown of the game and Kauhi recorded another 100+ yard performance for the second week in a row to add 104 rushing yards.
Ulufale added his second rushing touchdown and Bailey Hogle added another one on the ground following Alex Heim's interception.
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