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Life matters Award
Prep Football Preview
Game of the Week
Kalani Takase | ScoringLiveSeptember 18, 2018, 3:54pm
Female Athlete of the Week: Mika Makekau, Iolani footballMika Makekau is turning heads with her play on the football field this season.
Yes, her play.
Makekau, a 5-foot-7 senior kicker, had arguably her best performance to date over the weekend in Iolani's 30-19 win over Damien in the middle game of an Interscholastic League of Honolulu triple header at Aloha Stadium Saturday afternoon.
Makekau made three of the four field goals she attempted — including a career-best 44-yard kick — and was a perfect 3 for 3 on extra points against the Monarchs.
"She did her job, just like what we ask of any other player on the team: ‘Do your job to the best of your abilities.' She will tell you that she did okay. She's probably mad at herself because she missed one field goal," Iolani coach Wendell Look said.
Iolani took its first lead on a 26-yard field goal by Makekau with 8:16 left in the first quarter despite a blocker coming onto the field late — after Makekau had lined up the kick and was awaiting the snap.
It did not rattle her one bit.
"She has great focus and trusts her teammates and technique and coaching," said Look, who noted that the points from Makekau's first field goal helped to settle down the rest of the players.
"I think regardless of position — quarterback, receiver, defender — once you make the first completion, catch, or tackle you get the jitters out, settle in and play with a bit more confidence," Look said.
Early in the second quarter, Makekau missed a 35-yard field goal that would have tied it at 6. However, the Raiders eventually took the lead for good on a 7-yard TD pass from Jonah Chong to Carter Kamana to cap a 16-play, 80-yard drive. Makekau tacked on the ensuing extra point to make it a 10-6 lead just before halftime.
The Raiders then took the opening kickoff of the second half and marched 63 yards in 10 plays, culminating in Makekau's 44-yard field goal. The try was from five yards further than the original 39-yard attempt due to a false start penalty.
Again, it did nothing to faze Makekau.
"Her coach, Myles Arakawa, said ‘good to go,' so we went," Look said, who added that Makekau typically doesn't show a lot of emotion. "It wasn't really that she showed a lot of emotion, but how could you not be happy and proud of helping your team. That, I know, she was."
Look praised Makekau for her consistency in both practices and games. She has accounted for a team-leading 45 points this season on seven field goals and 24 extra points.
"She stays in the moment and doesn't let the past affect her in the present, good or bad. Forty-four yards is impressive regardless of gender, especially that a five-yard penalty that moved us back, (but) she never lost her focus or confidence that she was going to make it."
Makekau added a 28-yard field goal with 6:47 left in the fourth quarter to extend her team's lead to 30-13.
Look said Makekau has worked diligently to improve her overall work strength and conditioning, which has led to a drastic increase in her distance.
Makekau's older brother, Keoni-Kordell, was a standout receiver for the Raiders prior to graduating in 2016 and has continued his playing career at the collegiate level at the Naval Academy.
Look said it was the Makekau's mother who put the bug in Mika's ear to try her hand — or rather, her foot — at football.
"Mika also plays soccer. Her mom pushed her to play so she could give back, help and contribute to the school," Look said. "Her mom is a super lady, an ideal parent. She has the correct priorities and values that she instills in her children. Mika herself is very quiet, shy, very well-mannered and courteous. She's very appreciative of the opportunities that her family has provided for her."
The win snapped a two-game losing streak for the Raiders, who are now tied atop the ILH Division I standings with Damien at 3-1.
"It was a good win in the sense that we were coming off of two losses and needed to get back our confidence that we could pull out a win again. Of course, being an ILH league game, that had implications on the state representation standings also, but that was not the focus on the game," Look said.
Makekau and the Raiders (4-2 overall) moved up two spots to No. 8 in this week's ScoringLive/Hawaiian Electric Power Rankings. They will host Radford (1-5) Friday afternoon at Kozuki Stadium.
Male Athlete of the Week: Griffin Motas, Moanalua footballGriffin Motas isn't one to wear his emotions on his sleeve.
The junior kicker put his nerves of steel on display in Moanalua's 23-10 road win over Leilehua Friday night. Motas, who stands 5 feet, 11 inches and weighs 210 pounds, made three field goals to help Na Menehune take over sole possession of first place in the Oahu Interscholastic Association Division I standings.
"He did a phenomenal job," Moanalua coach Savaii Eselu said. "It's definitely a game changer and a big-time positive threat in our regard to know that we just gotta get it over the opposite 40-(yard line) and he'll be able to hit anywhere and he held true to it for the most part, but no doubt, he's a huge asset and a huge weapon. It's always a plus knowing that if you stall out in that area, just throw in Griffin."
Motas started off the scoring with his 27-yard field goal with 5:44 left in the first quarter to give Na Menehune their first lead.
Leilehua eventually pulled even with about seven minutes remaining in the first half, but Moanalua took the lead for good with 2:22 left before the intermission after Motas knocked through a 40-yard field goal.
The lead stretched to 16-10 following a 26-yard Motas field goal with 4:44 left in the third quarter.
Eselu said Motas' ability to stay calm was what impressed him the most. Then again, it's in his nature.
"It was a heavyweight game. It's like we take the shot, they take the shot, we take the shot and at some point, one of the kickers gotta kind of separate the squads and I don't know if he understood the magnitude of it at the time, but with him it's just like, ‘Let me just kick this ball; it's my job' kind of thing," Eselu said of Motas, a second-year starter.
"There are those real serious guys, but Griffin's preparation is just laid back and low key. It's kind of funny because a couple times in crunch time when I told him that ‘this might help us if you nail it' — and it's from far — and he's just like, ‘Oh, okay. No worry coach. I got it, I got it,' so he's a laid back kind of guy. He's actually a funny guy and very down to earth," Eselu said.
Eselu said Motas has earned the nickname "Ice" amongst the coaching staff as a result of his calm demeanor in practices.
"Every day we always have a kicking competition for conditioning, so he's always iced and the boys are always telling him ‘I don't wanna run today so just hit all of them,' and every time he hits all of them. In fact, this past Thursday, our day before the Leilehua game, we had them kick against the rain and with the outer bands from (Tropical Storm) Olivia still around, they were kicking against the wind, but he had flight, he had height, he had everything against the wind," Eselu said.
Yet, true to form, Motas displayed little to no emotion.
"That's the weird thing is he hits them — and he hits them from far away — but he'll just shrug it off and ‘ah, I'll go back and join you guys on the sideline,' but he's always cracking jokes. It's kind of a good thing to have because you can't really ice him and then he'll just do the job and just go sit back down," Eselu said.
Eselu acknowledges that a solid kicker is a luxury not afforded by many high school teams.
"Rarely do you have one of those things and I can say I enjoy it a lot. It's like when Farrington had (Kekoa) Sasaoka and Punahou's got (Tim) Horn; it's like, hey, we've got something here," said Eselu, who added that Motas has drastically improved his leg strength since last season.
"He was our kicker last year, but we didn't really utilize him much until we started to see him hitting it in the offseason, and I don't know what he was doing as far as his approach or following through, but he was booming the ball so we figured let's take this shot and see if we can utilize him more this season and so far he's answered the call every game," Eselu said.
While soccer remains the top sport for Motas — a goalkeeper on the pitch — Eselu said that he has shown quite the improvement on the gridiron.
"His leg strength has tremendously improved, but not just that. You tell him where you want the ball and he'll plug it right in the area," Eselu said.
Moanalua went on to add a touchdown on a Makana Spencer 5-yard run early in the fourth and also got a 99-yard kickoff return for a score from Tre'quan Henderson early in the second quarter.
Also, Nick Au completed 21 of his 30 pass attempts for 189 yards, with Rudy Kealohi pulling down 10 receptions for 116 yards. Defensively, Keanu Kekawa had an interception and Tupu Alualu had 1 1/2 of the team's three sacks.
"It was definitely a team win. Our offense we were hoping to perform a lot better. There were a couple times we got in the red zone and didn't push it through — hence call Griffin and have him kick it — but overall it was definitely a team effort from all three facets of the game," Eselu said. "That's always pleasing to see when you get closer and closer and closer to putting a complete game together. I'm excited to see when we do fire on all cylinders when we take care of all the little things."
The Moanalua win handed the Mules, ranked eighth at the time in the ScoringLive/Hawaiian Electric Power Rankings, their first defeat in league play.
"That was huge. We knew all about ‘em and we had them highlighted in our preseason planning and scheduling and we were ready for them. We wanted to make sure we didn't come out flat, we wanted to make sure we answered every call because we knew they would answer every call because we know they have a ton of athletes and weapons out there, so it was awesome to see our squad play up to their own potential and play up to those high stakes and eventually come out with a win," Eselu said.
Now Na Menehune find themselves in an unfamiliar position.
"I don't think we've ever been 4-0, so that's kind of cool. A lot of the alumni are calling and I think it's pretty fitting that we took care of business last week and now it's homecoming week for us so we've got everybody coming back because we've never been in this position before, but now it's my job to make sure we don't make high makamaka and we stay focused," Eselu said.
Motas and Moanalua will host Damien (3-2) Friday at 7:30 p.m.
AIR RIFLERYCade Aihara, Pearl City — Shot a high score of 556.31 in a win over Waipahu
Taylor Dunaway, Kaiser — Shot a high score of 542.15 in a win over Roosevelt
Lauren Fong, Moanalua — Shot a high score of 542.21 in a win over Kailua
Alexandra Lecher, Kalaheo — Shot a high score of 548.23 in a win over Castle
Chase Nakata, Moanalua — Shot a high score of 546.18 in a win Kailua
Justin Pascua, Kalaheo — Shot a high score of 545.13 in a win over Castle
Sara Jessica Toma, Kalani — shot a high score of 534.06 in a win over Kahuku
Jessica Williams, Pearl City — Shot a high score of 539.13 in a win over Waipahu
Brycen Yamaguchi, Kalani — Shot a high score of 537.09 in a win over Kahuku
BOWLINGJarin Kurashige, Mililani — Rolled a high single game of 232 pins and a three-game series of 655 in an OIA West match
Logan Yamamoto, Iolani — Rolled a high single game of 217 pins and a three-game series of 619 in an ILH boys match
CROSS COUNTRYReimon Wada, Roosevelt — Won medalist honors at the Pearl City mixed 2-mile race in a time of 10 minutes, 44.67 seconds
FOOTBALLDane Abarra, KS-Maui — Rushed 12 times for 100 yards and a touchdown in a win over King Kekaulike
Titili Adams, KS-Maui — Threw for 243 yards for three scores and added another touchdown on the ground in a win over King Kekaulike
Hoku Arias, Kamehameha — Had 11 tackles in a loss to Kahuku
Naomas Asuega-Fualaau, Kaimuki — Ran for 105 yards and two scores in a win over Waialua
Chance Beyer, Saint Louis — Caught 10 passes for 115 yards in a win over Punahou
Quynton Brackens, Kaimuki — Made eight tackles, including four sacks, and rushed for a score in a win over Waialua
Jett Buffett, Damien — Made nine tackles, including one for loss, in a loss to Iolani
Makana Canyon, Pearl City — Threw five touchdown passes in a win over Kalaheo
Jonah Chong, Iolani — Completed 21 of 34 passes for 212 yards with a touchdown and rushed for another score in a win over Damien
Hunter Copp, Radford — Completed 22 of 40 passes for 304 yards with two touchdowns and one interception in a loss to Castle
Brian Cox, Saint Louis — Intercepted two passes in a win over Punahou
Jonathan Dalmacio, Damien — Made nine tackles in a loss to Iolani
Moku Dancil-Evans, Punahou — Caught two touchdown passes in a loss to Saint Louis
Koa Eldredge, Punahou — Caught eight passes for 93 yards in a loss to Saint Louis
Jonah Figueroa, Castle — Caught five passes for 115 yards and two touchdowns in a win over Radford
Aaron Fonoimoana-Vaomu, Kahuku — Made eight tackles, 2 1/2 for losses, including a sack, forced a fumble, intercepted a pass and broke up another in a win over Kamehameha
Dillon Gabriel, Mililani — Threw for 371 yards and four touchdowns on 26-of-44 passing and rushed for another score in a win over Campbell
Alakai Gilman, Punahou — Made 12 tackles and intercepted two passes in a loss to Punahou
Tre'quan Henderson, Moanalua — Scored on a 99-yard kickoff return in a win over Leilehua
Jake Holtz, Damien — Completed 24 of 33 pass attempts for 288 yards with three touchdowns and one interception in a loss to Iolani
Carter Kamana, Iolani — Caught 12 passes for 141 yards and a touchdown in a win over Damien
Deacon Kapea, Waipahu — Rushed 28 times for 162 yards and four touchdowns and intercepted a pass in a win over Aiea
Rudy Kealohi, Moanalua — Caught 10 passes for 116 yards in a win over Leilehua
Shepherd Kekahuna, Saint Francis — Rushed for 110 yards and a touchdown on five carries, also scored on a 92-yard interception return, caught three passes for 59 yards and had a sack in a win over PAC-5
Thomas King, Pearl City — Caught six passes for 102 yards and two touchdowns in a win over Kalaheo
Kamoi Latu, Saint Louis — Intercepted two passes and returned one for a 42-yard pick-6 in a win over Punahou
Elijah Lemalu, Kaimuki — Caught two passes for 143 yards and two scores in a win over Waialua
Sione Lolohea, Saint Francis — Made nine tackles, including three for losses, and one sack in a win over PAC-5
Ehven Marques, Radford — Caught nine passes for 118 yards in a loss to Castle
Kyler Mento, Iolani — Made 11 tackles in a win over Damien
Titus Mokiao-Atimalala, Campbell — Caught 10 passes for 167 yards and two touchdowns in a loss to Mililani
Aalona Monteilh, Roosevelt — Scored on a 60-yard interception return, rushed for a touchdown and caught five passes for 48 yards in a win over Kaiser
Alex Muti, Konawaena — Made 8 1/2 tackles, 5 1/2 for loss, and forced a fumble in a win over Waiakea
Naia Nakamoto, Maui — Had 21 carries for 246 yards and four scores in a win over Baldwin
Kaua Nishigaya, Iolani — Rushed 40 times for 230 yards in a win over Damien
Lanakila Pei, Iolani — Scored on a 73-yard punt return and made seven tackles in a win over Damien
Justin Pfau, Pearl City — Intercepted a pass and recovered a fumble in a win over Kalaheo
Senituli Punivai, Castle — Passed for 182 yards with four touchdowns and an interception and rushed 26 times for 151 yards and another score in a win over Radford
Gino Quinones, Saint Louis — Had two sacks in a win over Punahou
Evan Ramirez, PAC-5 — Made nine tackles, including two for losses, and one sack in a loss to Saint Francis
Justus Rogers-Makainai, Farrington — Had three sacks and forced two fumbles in a win over Kapolei
Nicholas Sakamoto, Kalani — Threw three touchdown passes in a win over McKinley
Lindon Sevilleja Jr., Damien — Caught seven passes for 121 yards and two touchdowns in a loss to Iolani
Trent Shiraki, Punahou — Made six tackles, three for losses, including one sack, broke up a pass and recovered a blocked punt in the end zone for a touchdown in a loss to Saint Louis
Landan Shove, Kapolei — Intercepted a pass and recovered a fumble in a loss to Farrington
Jonah Stephens, Kaimuki — Rushed for a season-high 128 yards with a score in a win over Waialua
Isaac Sumera, Waiakea — Scored on a 100-yard interception return in a loss to Konawaena
John Paul Tilley, Saint Francis — Made three tackles, broke up a pass and scored on a 42-yard interception return in a win over PAC-5
Faatui Tuitele, Saint Louis — Had three sacks in a win over Punahou
Fosi Ulima, Damien — Made nine tackles, including two for losses, and recovered a fumble in a loss to Iolani
Roman Wilson, Saint Louis — Caught four passes for 142 yards and a touchdown in a win over Punahou
GIRLS VOLLEYBALLTeana Adams-Kaonohi, Punahou — Had 22 assists, 10 digs, one kill and a block assist in a four-set loss to Kamehameha
Keonilei Akana, Kamehameha — Had 15 kills and 21 digs in a four-set win over Punahou
Lexis Akeo, Kamehameha — Had 49 assists, 10 digs, one ace and a block assist in a four-set win over Punahou
Lauren Asato, Punahou — Had 14 digs, two assists and one ace in a four-set loss to Kamehameha
Hoku Cachola, Aiea — Had 23 digs, nine digs and two aces in a two-set win over Waialua
Falanika Danielson, Mililani — Had 14 kills and 22 digs in a three-set win over Waianae and had 10 kills, nine digs and a block assist in a two-set win over Kapolei
Bailey Darnell, Radford — Had 11 kills and two aces in a three-set loss to Campbell
Tara De Sa, Kamehameha — Had 16 digs, one ace and an assist in a four-set win over Punahou
Mariah Fukumoto, Mililani — Had 35 digs, seven assists and an ace in a three-set win over Waianae
Kiani Hensley, Wainaae — Had 14 kills in a two-set win over Waialua
Colby Lane, McKinley — Had 24 digs in a two-set win over Kalani
Malie McClure, Kamehameha — Had 14 kills, 13 digs and four aces in a four-set win over Punahou
Aria Miller, Mililani — Had 20 digs, eight kills, one ace and an assist in a three-set win over Waianae
Aysia Miller, Mililani — Had 42 assists, eight digs, seven kills and two block assists in a three-set win over Waianae and had 32 assists, 10 digs, six kills, two aces and a block assist in a two-set win over Kapolei
Kelsie Nakashima, Kalani — Had 12 digs and 11 assists in a two-set loss to McKinley
Kalina Obrey, Kamehameha — Had 13 kills, two digs and a solo block in a four-set win over Punahou
Kaanela Pae, Nanakuli — Had 18 digs and one ace in a two-set win over Campbell
Jeanie Palsis, Nanakuli — Had 11 digs, six kills and an ace in a two-set win over Campbell
Izzy Sakoda, Iolani — Had 10 kills, three block assists and a dig in a three-set win over Maryknoll
Starr Sergent, Mililani — Had 12 kills, nine digs, three block assists and a solo block in a three-set win over Waianae
Previous Tauanuu, Aiea — Had 10 kills and four digs in a two-set win over Aiea
Sinalaulii Uluave, Punahou — Had 12 kills, 12 digs, two aces and two block assists in a four-set loss to Kamehameha
Grace Wee, Iolani — Had 14 digs in a three-set win over Maryknoll
Rita Wimberly, Pearl City — Had 10 kills, six digs, one ace and a solo block in a two-set loss to Radford
Kalani's Halunajan, Birdsong defeated Roosevelt head-to-head for the grand championship.
The senior center scored 11 of his game-high 15 points in the first half Saturday.
The two teams will face off Saturday in a 2 p.m. contest at Klum Gymnasium.
Tourney's Most Outstanding Player played through a MCL sprain Saturday night.
Iolani avenged Monday's loss to Saint Francis and locked up the ILH's final state berth.
Na Menehune captured sixth league title, the team's first since 2011.