By JOE FERRARO
More than 1,900 triathletes will bike and run up and down a wide-open Highway in this morning’s Ironman World Championship Presented.
Considering the size of the holes Kealakehe’s offensive line created Friday, the Waveriders’ running backs felt as if they were running on a wide-open highway.
Seniors Giuseppi Zapataoliva and Lennox Jones each had a rushing and a receiving touchdown, leading an offense that rushed for 336 yards as Kealakehe beat Keaau 53-0 in the Big Island Interscholastic Federation Division I season finale for both teams.
The Waveriders (6-0 Division I, 8-1 overall) rushed for 20 yards or more on each of their first five carries of the game. The last of those rushing plays, a 23-yard touchdown run by Jones on a misdirection play, gave Kealakehe a 20-0 lead with 1:54 left in the first quarter.
“I didn’t know where to go (the holes) were so big,’’ said Jones, who ran for 52 yards and threw a 34-yard touchdown pass to Vincent Paogofie on a halfback option toss in the third quarter.
Both Zapataoliva, who rushed for 144 yards on six carries and caught a 26-yard TD pass from Paogofie, and senior fullback David Fangupo ran through gaping hopes in the middle of the line on long touchdown runs.
Zapataoliva, who also ran for 187 yards in the Waveriders’ first game against Keaau (0-6, 0-8), ripped off a 20-yard run and a 61-yard touchdown run on Kealakehe’s first drive, and Fangupo rumbled for a 65-yard run on the Waveriders’ second drive.
“It was massive,’’ Zapataoliva said of the hole he ran through on his touchdown run. “A truck could fit in there.’’
On Senior Night, Kealakehe coach Sam Papalii started five seniors — Cordell Waahila, Joshua Dawrs, Prince Samoa, Giovanni Chanes-Rodriguez and Siosaia Kalavi — on the offensive line. The group averages 326 pounds per man.
Because of Kealakehe’s strong running game, starting quarterback Jordan Cristobal didn’t need to pass, completing just 2 of 5 passes for 34 yards and a touchdown.
“Whoever was in there did an outstanding job,’’ Papalii said. “We executed today.’’
Meanwhile, Kealakehe’s defense didn’t do badly, holding the Cougars to just 18 yards of total offense and collecting 10 tackles for loss. The Waveriders turned one of those tackles behind the line of scrimmage, a sack by senior defensive end Maake Teutau, into a fumble, and junior linebacker Keanu Tilfas recovered it and ran 43 yards for a touchdown to make it 26-0 with 11:35 left in the first half.
Senior Kaimana Schilling led the Cougars with 24 rushing yards on six carries.
At quarterback, junior Jared Quihano-Makaweo and Christian Agudo combined to complete 1 of 11 passes for minus-1 yards.
Keaau will travel to Kealakehe against next Saturday, when the teams will play in a 7 p.m. Division I semifinal. The winner advances to the Division I championship game, scheduled for Oct. 27.
Keaau 0 0 0 0 — 0
Kealakehe 14 19 14 6 — 53
Keal — Giuseppi Zapataoliva 61 run (Lennox Jones kick), 6:10
Keal — David Fangupo 65 run (Jones kick), 4:06
Keal — Jones 23 run (kick failed), 1:54
Keal — Keanu Tilfas 43 fumble recovery return (run failed), 11:35
Keal — Jones 11 pass from Jordan Cristobal (Jones kick), 25.2
Keal — Vincent Paogofie 39 pass from Jones (Tuitahi Faleofa kick), 10:07
Keal — Giuseppi Zapataoliva 26 pass from Paogofie (Faleofa kick), 40.7
Keal — Faleofa 3 run (kick failed), 7:18