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Prep Football Preview
Game of the Week
Stacy Kaneshiro | ScoringLiveSeptember 8, 2018, 7:11am
Fri, Sep 7, 2018 @ Waipahu [ 7:30 pm ]
WAIPAHU — No. 14 Damien had time on its side in rallying by No. 15 Waipahu, 13-10, Friday night in a thrilling and bizarre finish of an OIA-ILH Division I football game at the Masa Yonamine Athletic Complex.
Running back River Iaea scored the game-winning touchdown on a 1-yard run with no time showing on the clock that was later reset to 3 seconds, setting off confusion all around.
"We were just struggling all night," Damien coach Eddie Klaneski said. "We played tough on defense and we had a lot of big plays over there. We're so fortunate our guys kept playing, never giving up. We had a lot of injuries tonight, but we're excited about the win … We're just excited to get out of here safe."
The Marauders (3-2) were nursing a 10-6 lead when they took over with 6:29 left from their own 26. They eventually moved to the Damien 45 when Cody Marques completed a short pass to Saxon Tote, who lost the ball that Duke Hoohuli returned to the Waipahu 42 with 3:26 left.
Two passes later, the Monarchs (3-1) were at first-and-goal on the Waipahu 2. The Marauders defense stiffened for the first three downs, setting a fourth-and-goal at the 1 with time supposedly running since neither team called a timeout.
Yet, the clock stopped at 37 seconds after third down. Damien coach Klaneski then ran to an official on his sideline asking for a timeout when the clock reached one second left. But the clock stopped with 11 seconds even though no timeout was called and none was signaled by officials on the field.
The Monarchs finally got off the fourth-down run by Iaea as time ran out. But 3 seconds were restored to the clock. Christian Souza's PAT made it 13-10.
Damien's ensuing kickoff rolled out of bounds giving Waipahu possession at its 35 with three seconds left. Marques' pass was incomplete to end the game.
"What I did was, we had a timeout — the clock was running — so I told (the sideline official) I wanted a timeout at the last second," Klaneski explained. "That's why there was confusion, but they stopped the clock (pointing to the timer in the press box). He (the sideline official) knew what I was telling him, so I wanted to burn as much of the 25-second clock as much as I could but they didn't see what I told him. Up there, they stopped the clock.
"Basically, I told them I wanted a timeout with one second … (the officials on the field) didn't stop (the clock)," he continued. Nobody called for the stoppage; they just called it up there."
Mismanagement of time aside, both teams struggled to take control. Waipahu turned over the ball three times in the second half. Damien, which got flagged 12 times for 100 yards, had an 82-yard punt return for a TD by Lindon Sevilleja Jr. nullified by a penalty.
"Penalties killed us all night," Klaneski said. "Offensively, we had a bunch of procedure calls and we're playing on first-and-15s, first-and-20s the whole game. Just long yardage so we couldn't call plays we were comfortable with. That hurt us, but we kept stout. The kids kept playing, kept grinding, kept believing. We just came out with the victory tonight."
But it was Hoohuli's fumble return that set up Iaea's game-winning TD, which was his second of the game.
"My other teammate hit the ball and I got to pick it up," said Hoohuli, a sophomore who also saw action as backup quarterback to starter Jake Holtz.
Damien's defense kept the game close. The Monarchs had interceptions from Kevin Edwards and Bubba Kauhi. Lineman Jonathan Dalmacio had two sacks and Fosi Ulima had one of his own.
Sevilleja, who had his punt return nullified by a penalty, labored on the offensive side with just two catches for 12 yards in the first half. But he made three big catches for 75 yards in the second half, including a 29-yarder to start the Monarchs' game-winning drive.
"He was struggling early in the game," Klaneski said of Sevilleja. "I talked to him at halftime and told him, ‘You have to step up and make plays.' I think he had three or four opportunities in the first half he didn't make the plays on and I just challenged him to do it in the second half. Those plays that he missed, he made in the second half."
Damien punted after its first series of the game and Waipahu answered with a nine-play, 52-yard drive that ended with a 27-yard field goal by Brycen Amorozo to give the Marauders a 3-0 lead with 6:40 in the first quarter.
Early in the second period, a fortuitous Damien punt rolled out of bounds at the Waipahu 2. On second-and-7 at the 5, the Marauders lost a hand-off exchange that Damien's Ezra Kaina recovered at the 6. Two plays later, Iaea scored on a 1-yard run, but Souza's PAT was blocked to keep the game at 6-3. It stayed that way until the fourth quarter, when Waipahu engineered a nine-play, 60-yard drive that culminated in a 12-yard TD pass from Marques to Tote with 10:27 left in the game. Amorozo's PAT increased Waipahu's lead to 10-6.
But Waipahu would turnover the ball on its next two series, the last one setting up Damien's game-winning TD.
Waipahu had two interceptions off of Holtz — one each by Zeondre Benjamin and Tarynce Antolin — but the Marauders failed to capitalize on them in part to Damien's defense.
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