HPA tops Dragons
By CLINT ZAVODNY
Stephens Media Hawaii
WAIMEA — Junior quarterback Koa Ellis threw for three touchdown passes and senior running back Bobby Lum rushed for over 123 yards, as the Hawaii Prep Ka Makani slayed the Honokaa Dragons, 41-0, in the season’s final regular season Big Island Interscholastic Federation Division II match on Saturday afternoon.
“We had fun,” said Ellis, who was an efficient seven of nine passing for 150 yards. “I made a few bad throws and wasn’t completely on my game today, but my line just blocked the whole time so I didn’t really have to worry about it. It was mostly Bobby (Lum). Bobby was bringing us all the way down the field, and then coach just let me finish it off. The wide receivers caught every ball I threw near them.
“It was a team win. We played together today.”
After the strong finish to the regular season, Hawaii Prep (7-2, 5-2 BIIF) will host Kamehameha this coming Saturday at 3 p.m. in the opening round of the BIIF tournament.
The loss caps off a lost season for Honokaa (0-8, 0-7), which posted its only winless season in 57 years in the BIIF. The Dragons’ next game will be at Konawaena on Friday in the semifinals.
“We knew it was our last regular season game, so we just wanted to play hard and tough,” said senior wide receiver Li’I Purdy, who ran for a 15 yard touchdown and also caught a 6-yard score.
“Coach (Jordan) Hayslip always says to take it game by game, week by week and that’s what we did today. But we are definitely looking forward to the next one. It’s like a token. We have to grab our token and use it to go out there and play again. And if we win, we get another token and we get to keep playing.”
A low layer of grey clouds moved over the HPA field early in the first half, but that did little to dampen the Ka Makani offense. Hawaii Prep drove the length of the field on their opening possession, capped off by a 15 yard touchdown run by Purdy. On the HPA’s following series, Lum lumbered forward on carries of 12, 10 and eight yards, breaking tackles on all sides and dragging Honokaa defenders with him deep into Dragon territory. After setting up the Ka Makani up with a first and ten on the Honokaa 24 yard line, Ellis rolled right and sailed a long pass to a wide open Nicky Palleschi in the endzone to put HPA up 12-0 early.
Ellis tossed added another pair of touchdowns in the second quarter, the first a quick 6-yard pass to Purdy and the other a 12-yarder to Kellen Gillins.
Having scored on all but one of their possessions in the first half, HPA led 27-0 at the break. Midway through the third quarter, Blake Hooser broke a pair of tackles on a run to the right, then tip-toed his way down the sideline for a 31-yard touchdown. Not satisfied with having that as the biggest play from scrimmage, Alex Brost broke for a 55-yard score run late in the fourth. “It’s a rebuilding year for us,” said Honokaa coach Bobby Embernate. “ We’re getting some good experience and we are going to improve in the future.“
Honokaa led by sophomore quarterback Nainoa Falk, who was three of 12 passing for 28 yards, had 16 yards rushing on 11 carries. Makana Kaniho led rushing with 24 yards on six carries.
Honokaa 0 0 0 0 — 0
HPA 12 15 7 7 — 41
9:40 – Li’I Purdy 15 run (kick failed)
4:14 – Nicky Palleschi 24 pass from Koa Ellis (kick failed)
10:35 – Purdy 6 pass from Ellis (2-point conversion Purdy from Ellis)
1:35 – Kellen Gillins 12 pass from Ellis (Alex Brost kick good)
7:13 – Blake Hooser 31 run (Brost kick)
2:14 – Brost 55 run (Brost kick)
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