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Prep Football Preview Special
Prep Football Preview
Game of the Week
Stacy Kaneshiro | ScoringLiveAugust 24, 2019, 10:27pm
Sat, Aug 24, 2019 @ Iolani [ 3:00 pm ]
KAPIOLANI — Kaimuki's Naomas Asuega-Fualaau worked liked a bulldog and will likely sleep like a log after his performance in a 34-24 loss to No. 14 Iolani Saturday in the Father Bray Classic.
The senior running back's performance was symbolic of the fight the undermanned Bulldogs (2-1), third in the Oahu Interscholastic Association Division II, put up against the Interscholastic League of Honolulu Division I Raiders (3-1) in the non-league contest. Kaimuki lists 32 on its roster with a number of players going two ways on a hot and humid matinee at Iolani's Kozuki Stadium. Iolani lists 44 on its roster.
Asuega-Fualaau accounted for 212 of Kaimuki's 383 yards of offense, touching the ball 21 of the team's 57 offensive plays from scrimmage. He rushed for 145 yards on 19 carries, including a 77-yard TD run, and caught two passes totaling 67 yards.
"Just the conditioning at practice," said Asuega-Fualaau, who leads OIA D2 rushers with 375 yards. "Everybody's in shape, especially the line (since they're) always playing both sides."
Kaimuki coach David Tautofi was pleased with his team's effort despite the lack of depth and the humidity that takes its toll on his players.
"We could've done better execution-wise, mistake-wise," he said. "There's a lot to build off of this. It was hot out there; you could see mist over the field. Elements are always a big part, but it's always more mental than anything else."
Iolani coach Wendell Look was not surprised that Kaimuki could keep up with his Raiders.
"I expected that from them," Look said. "They're well-coached, disciplined. The coaches have done a really good job with them.
"They're good. They don't have a lot of numbers. I told my team, ‘They're big, they're physical, they're athletic. They're very athletic,' so (the Bulldogs are) going to give the (OIA) D2 division a run, man."
The Raiders are no slouches either. They had two quarterbacks combine for 192 yards passing and two TDs and running back Brody Logan Bantolina rushed for 99 yards and two TDs. The Raiders displayed their depth by alternating running backs Bantolina and Brock Hedani, who had a 35-yard TD run. They used two QBs with starter Jonah Chong completing 14 of 21 passes for 118 yards and an 11-yard TD to Noah Gaudi. Backup Samuel Faumuina was 6 of 8 for 74 yards, including a 46-yard TD to Hedani.
Leading 27-10 with 4:59 left in the third quarter, Faumuina, a 6-foot-2, 160-pound junior, replaced Chong in the game. After having a 41-yard TD pass nullified by an ineligible receiver down field, he responded with his 46-yard TD pass. He also led the team to another scoring drive that ended with Hedani's 1-yard run.
After Kaimuki pulled to 34-17 on Asuega-Fualaau's 77-yard TD run, Faumuina was moving the Raiders down field to the Kaimuki 3. But Iolani fumbled at the 2, but Kaimuki eventually punted.
Chong returned to the game on Iolani's next series. Look said he wanted the first-team offense back on the field when the game ended. Kaimuki eventually scored again to pull to within 34-24. Neither team scored on its next possessions.
"I wanted (Chong) to finish the game up," Look explained. "I wanted our offense to be on the field and finish the game off. (Faumuina) had that last drive going and we fumbled the ball. It's always our goal to end the game with our offense on the field."
Still, Look was pleased with the effort by Faumuina, who rushed twice for 32 yards.
"Sam's doing good," Look said. "He's really blossomed. He's worked hard and this is the result of his hard work. It gives us production off the bench and it creates competition."
Meanwhile, Kaimuki sophomore QB Jayden Maiava had a decent game, completing 15 of 30 passes for 246 yards and TDs to Matt Williams (17 yards) and Koby Moananu (11 yards). The former Bulldogs' water boy moved to Las Vegas, but returned home after his freshman year to take the rein.
"Him coming back, there's chemistry between he and the boys," Tautofi said.
Iolani draws a bye next weekend, but Kaimuki will travel to Waialua Saturday to resume OIA D2 play.
The Spartans avenged three losses to the Warriors in ILH play to capture their second straight championship.
Cowboys outlasted Roosevelt in a frantic finish to claim first-ever state crown.
Cowboys held McKinley to just three combined points in the second and third quarter.
Maryknoll turned back Damien, while Kamehameha rallied past Kahuku in Thursday's semifinals.
Rough Riders win back-and-forth affair against top-seeded Hawaii Prep.
The Monarchs and Spartans will face off for a fourth time this season in Thursday's state semis.