By JOE FERRARO
Waiakea quarterback Kean Wong continuously performed magician acts, escaping what appeared to be sure sacks and making plays that got his Warriors on the brink of an improbable come-from-behind victory.
But quarterback Jordan Cristobal, slotback Lennox Jones and a Kealakehe football team that got out of the gate quickly proved too much for the Waiakea’s multitalented athlete Saturday at Waverider Stadium.
Cristobal threw for 162 yards and three touchdowns, and ran for 101 yards and a score, while Jones had 130 rushing yards and 101 receiving yards as the Waveriders defeated the Warriors 49-28 in a Big Island Interscholastic Federation contest.
Twice, Waiakea whittled down two-touchdown leads to eight points, but the Waveriders had answer both times.
Kealakehe (1-0 BIIF Division I, 3-1) seemingly broke Waiakea’s back late in the third quarter, when Waveriders linebacker Loto Mareko recovered a fumble by the Warriors’ Devin Preston on Waiakea’s 3-yard line to halt a 13-play, 61-yard drive.
Kealakehe promptly responded with a 10-play, 96-yard march Cristobal capped with a 6-yard touchdown run to give Kealakehe a 36-20 lead with 52.4 seconds left in the third quarter. Jones turned in the biggest play of the drive, weaving his way around a handful of Waiakea defenders for a 53-yard run.
But the Warriors (1-1, 2-3) rallied behind Wong, who completed 10 of 17 passes for 162 yards and two TDs.
The junior, who will attend the University of Hawaii on a baseball scholarship, first hooked up with Dayton Kiko on a 49-yard strike that set up a Preston 3-yard touchdown run.
Then Wong dodged two sure tackles behind the line of scrimmage on the Warriors’ next drive before hitting a streaking Kiko with a perfect pass near the Kealakehe 39. The Waiakea senior wideout, who finished with four receptions for 117 yards, then sprinted to the end zone after Kealakehe defensive back Vincent Paogofie jumped and fell to the ground in an attempt to deflect the pass.
Wong hooked up with Richard Kuntemeyer on the ensuing two-point conversion pass, brining Waiakea within 36-28.
However, Kealakehe, which finished with 442 yards of total offense, put the game away with one play.
Cristobal rolled out to his right and hit a wide-open Jones, who settled down into a soft spot in Waiakea’s defense near the Waverider 48. The 5-foot-6 senior then whipped around and sprinted to the end zone for a 68-yard touchdown pass that essentially sealed the game.
Senior fullback Kainoa Kipapa also helped Kealakehe’s ground game, rushing six times for 35 yards and two touchdowns.
For the Warriors, Wong finished with 48 yards on 11 carries, while Preston ran for 45 yards and two scores.
But Waiakea didn’t enjoy much success early in the game, gaining minus-4 yards in the first quarter and allowing the Waveriders to take control from the start.
Kealakehe scored on three of their first four drives, taking advantage of great field position — the Waveriders average starting position being Waiakea’s 49-yard line.
Cristobal threw two touchdown passes — Cyruss Cho turned a swing pass into an 18-yard TD, and Paogofie caught a deflected pass by Warriors defensive back Ioane Leslie for a 36-yard score.
But Cristobal was also factor in the option game on each scoring drive, running for 69 yards on his first six carries. His 31-yard run on a fake handoff to Kainoa Kipapa set up a Lennox Jones 12-yard touchdown run on an end-around that gave the Waveriders a 21-6 lead with 3:39 left in the first half.
Waiakea 0 12 0 16 — 28
Kealakehe 7 14 15 7 — 49
Keal — Cyruss Cho 18 pass from Jordan Cristobal (Keoni Yates kick), 5:58
Keal — Vincent Paogofie 36 pass from Cristobal (Yates kick), 10:18
Wai — Devin Preston 4 run (kick failed), 5:32
Keal — Lennox Jones 12 run (Yates kick), 3:39
Wai — Lono Leasure-Lucas 34 pass from Kean Wong (pass failed), 1:04
Keal — Kainoa Kipapa 3 run (Fangupo run), 10:39
Keal — Cristobal 6 run (Yates kick), 52.4
Wai — Preston 3 run (Preston run), 10:34
Wai — Dayton Kiko 59 pass from Wong (Richard Kuntemeyer pass from Wong), 5:45
Keal — Jones 68 pass from Cristobal (kick failed), 5:21
Keal — Kipapa 2 run (Yates kick), 1:28