KONAWAENA BLANKS HONOKAA 57-0
BY MICAH LEWTER | WEST HAWAII TODAY
KEALAKEKUA -- The first drive told the story of Friday night's Big Island Interscholastic Federation Division II football game.
Konawaena's offense stalled at the Honokaa 42-yard line, and the Wildcats lined up to punt. Viliamu Uulopa, punting for regular starter Gunner Nagata, fielded a high snap.
Instead of punting the ball, he turned upfield, followed some good blocks and raced for a 42-yard score.
Konawaena never looked back and rolled to a 57-0 win.
"I have to thank our center for snapping it high," Konawaena head coach Cliff Walters said.
Uulopa said he was looking to kick, but he saw something open up downfield.
"Coach always tells me, 'If it's open, go,'" Uulopa said.
Konawaena (4-1 BIIF Division II, 6-1 overall) dominated in all phases of the game, scoring 23 points in the first quarter and handing Honokaa (2-3, 3-5) a second straight blowout loss. The Dragons fell to Hawaii Prep 65-7 a week ago.
"We're on the other side from where Kona is," Honokaa coach Bobby Embernate said. "Last year, we beat them like this. Now, we're on the other side."
Konawaena sophomore quarterback Lii Karratti had a field day throwing the ball. He completed 10 of 16 passes for 257 yards and four touchdowns. He connected on touchdown passes of 12, 50, 70 and 60 yards. Domonic Morris caught three passes for 148 yards and two scores.
Dishon Cho had five receptions for 88 yards and one score.
"One thing we did better today was we blocked," Walters said. "We blocked at the line and downfield. Guys found second and third guys to block."
Karratti also caught a break right before halftime. His 50-yard toss to Morris was almost intercepted. But the Honokaa defender had it go off his hands and into Morris' arms for a 37-0 Konawaena lead with 1 minute, 42 seconds remaining in the half.
"I was hit when I threw -- that's why it was underthrown, so I didn't see the play," Karratti said. "But I heard the crowd, so I knew 'touchdown.'"
Konawaena had 406 yards of offense, including 149 on the ground. Makana Canda ran for 40 yards and two scores, and Isaiah Chinen ran for 31 yards and a touchdown.
The Wildcat defense was equally impressive, holding Honokaa to 36 yards of total offense.
"We just worked hard at practice and played hard," said senior linebacker Michael Andrade, who had five sacks.
The Wildcat defense was suffocating, as it always seemed to be in exactly the right spot to stop any Honokaa play. The Dragons managed only three first-half first downs, and all three came via defensive penalties by Konawaena.
Sione Epenesa led Honokaa with 26 yards on six carries. Quarterback Kawaika Aurello went 3-for-10 for 1 yard passing.
In the junior varsity game, Konawaena defeated Kamehameha-Hawaii 25-7.
Honokaa 0 0 0 0 -- 0
Konawaena 23 14 13 7 -- 57
K -- Viliamu Uulopa 42 run (Kenan Gaspar kick), 9:14
K -- Makana Canda 1 run (Gaspar pass from Lii Karratti), 2:51
K -- Uulopa 12 pass from Karratti (Canda pass from Karratti), :05
K -- Canda 19 run (Gaspar kick), 3:48
K -- Domonic Morris 50 pass from Karratti (Gaspar kick), 1:42
K -- Morris 70 pass from Karratti (Gaspar kick failed), 7:27
K -- Dishon Cho 60 pass from Karratti (Gaspar kick), :04
K -- Isaiah Chinen 6 run (Gaspar kick), 5:06