By MATT GERHART
Tribune-Herald sports writer
KEALAKEKUA – Konawaena kicked off its 46th edition of home football looking a lot like it did the previous two seasons: The Wildcats dominated.
In fact, they nearly had 46 by halftime.
Brandon Howes tossed five touchdown passes, three to Chase Takaki on Friday night at Julian R. Yates Field, and the Wildcats overwhelmed Honokaa 45-0 in a Big Island Interscholastic Federation Division II football game.
Two-time defending champion BIIF Division II champion Konawaena (3-1, 2-0) used quick strikes and took advantage of short fields and turnovers to score on its first seven possessions.
And there was no sign of a letdown for the Wildcats, who were coming off a 37-3 victory over Kamehameha-Hawaii on Aug. 30.
On their first drive, Howes connected on his first three passes to march Konawaena 45 yards, hitting Takaki for a 7-yard scoring strike to give the Wildcats the lead.
The Dragons (0-3, 0-2) did well to hold Konawaena to a 43-yard John Replogle field goal on the Wildcats’ next possession.
But what followed was a blitz, setting up a running clock during a scoreless second half.
Aided by interceptions by Jordan Miyahira-Young and Bubba Ellis-Noa that gave the offense short fields, Howes threw three touchdowns passes in a 67-second span, capped by a 15-yard scoring pass to Takaki on the first play of the second quarter, to give Konawaena a 31-0 lead.
Howes was 12 of 17 in the first half for 227 yards, including a 67-yard touchdown pass to Takaki late in the second quarter.
Takaki finished with six catches for 143 yards, and Ellis-Noa ran for 103 yards on 14 carries.
Luca Vartic had three receptions for 61 yards, including a 45-yard touchdown.
Lineman Makoa Chapa even got in on the fun, rumbling in from 3 yards for a score in the second quarter.
Chapa had two sacks as Konawaena held the Dragons’ ground game to just 69 yards.
Wayne Vaoga hit Nainoa Falk for a pair of 23-yard receptions, finishing 3 of 6 for 51 yards to lead Honokaa’s offense.
The Dragons were hurt by four turnovers, including an interception by Dishon Cho.
In junior varsity, Konawaena beat Kealakehe 8-7.
Honokaa 0 0 0 0–0
Konawaena 24 21 0 0–45
Kona – Chase Takaki 7 pass from Brandon Howes (John Replogle kick), 9:11
Kona – Replogle 43 FG, 6:58
Kona – Kevin Medeiros 12 pass from Howes (Replogle kick), 1:00
Kona – Luca Vartic 45 pass from Howes (Replogle kick), 0:01
Kona – Takaki 15 pass from Howes (Replogle kick), 11:53
Kona – Makoa Chapa 3 run (Replogle kick), 9:13
Kona – Takaki 69 pass from Howes (Replogle kick), 3:14