Stacy Kaneshiro | ScoringLive
October 17, 2015
Damien rallied from a 16-14 halftime deficit to beat Pac-Five, 28-16, Saturday night at Hawaiian Airlines Field at Aloha Stadium to capture its first Interscholastic League of Honolulu Division II championship since 2003.
The Monarchs (6-1 overall, 3-1 ILH), seventh in the Hawaiian Electric Division II Power Rankings, earned state tournament berth.
It was the regular-season finale for both teams; the Wolfpack ended at 3-3 and 1-3. Had Pac-Five won, there would have been a three-way tie for first and a two-tiered playoff would determine the D2 champion.
"It's a long time coming," Damien coach Eddie Klaneski said. "We're so excited. We set our goal back in February to become the D2 champions. It wasn't easy. It was a lot of hard work. Lot of preparation, lot of yelling, lot of screaming, lot of hurt and pain. It feels good to get splashed (by water after the game)…I'm so excited for our kids."
Damien did it with a lot of patience. The Wolfpack gave the Monarchs trouble in the first half. Damien punted after its first three series of the game before finally getting on the board.
"Pac-Five, give them a lot of credit," Klaneski said. "They changed up what they did offensively. They did things we weren't expecting. We talked to them at halftime, made a few adjustments here and there. We played a better second half."
Damien still labored to start the third period, but cashed in on a Pac-Five fumble later in the period at the Wolfpack 17. Three plays later, RB Kepono Kawaakoa scored on a 19-yard run to put Damien ahead, 21-16, with 11:53 left in the game.
Though Damien failed to capitalize on a successful onside kick, it eventually punted. But Pac-Five also punted and when the Monarchs got the ball back, RB Justice White drove the dagger in the Wolfpack with his 16-yard TD run with 3:03 left to make it 28-16.
"We had to pick it up," White said of his team comeback. "It's a good thing everyone came together."
The Wolfpack took the opening kickoff and drove 77 yards in 11 plays with Kainoa Ferreira hitting Grey Ihu on a nine-yard TD pass. Tyler Fukuroda's PAT missed, but the Wolfpack took a 60 lead.
Two series later, Fukuroda booted a 29-yard field goal with 1:53 left in the first quarter to make it 9-0.
Damien finally got it going in the second quarter, boosted by a 50-yard run by Justice White from the Monarchs' 21 to the Wolfpack 29. Five plays later, running back Kepono Kawaakoa scored on a 10-yard run to pull Damien to 9-7 with 8:53 left in the half.
Damien took the lead with 2:52 left in the half on QB Marcus Faufata-Pedrina's one-yard sneak to make it 14-9.
Pac-Five's Ferreira completed 4 of 5 passes in a five-play, 66-yard drive that ended with 20-yard scoring reception by Jarrod Infante to pull the Wolfpack ahead, 16-14, with 1:28 left in the half.
Pac-Five's Kealii Carvalho's interception off Damien QB Faufata-Pedrina before the half secured the Wolfpack's lead into the break.