Saturday | December 16, 2017
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BIIF eight-man football: Ka’u freshman snatches victory from jaws of defeat

There are pick-sixes and there are PICK-SIXES.

Ka’u freshman Isaiah Pilanca-Emmsley came up with the latter, not only saving the day for the Trojans but possibly the season as well.

With Pahoa driving for tiebreaking score late in the fourth quarter Thursday, Pilanca-Emmsley picked off a pass and returned it 95 yards for a touchdown, lifting Ka’u to an 18-12 BIIF eight-man football victory at Keaau High.

“Unreal,” Trojans coach DuWayne Ke said.

He’s said that a lot this season. From the Keala Harris’ 333-yard performance for the Daggers at Ka’u in Week 1 to Lanai’s 90-point onslaught a few weeks ago, Ka’u’s defense has been under fire at times this season. But back at full strength and bolstered by freshmen, it’s making its presence felt and just in time.

Ka’u (3-1 BIIF, 3-2) could ill afford to have fallen two games behind the Daggers (2-1, 4-1), who suffered their first loss. Kohala (0-3, 0-4) still will have its say, with two more games remaining with Pahoa and one with Ka’u, but more than likely the title will come down to a rubber match between the Daggers and Trojans on Oct. 21 in Pahala.

Pilanca-Emmsley’s netted his second interception return for a touchdown in as many games, and the safety/quarterback also threw a touchdown pass to Janslae Badua in the first quarter.

“He’s pretty fast,” Ke said of Pilanca-Emmsley. “Right now, about half of my defense is ninth-graders.

“Our feeder system at Pop Warner (the Ka’u Lions) is really working out for us right now.”

Harris broke through for a 60-yard touchdown run midway through the first quarter to tie the score a 6-6, and Duane Correa ran for a short score later in the quarter to give the Daggers the lead.

On a muddy Cougars’ field, Pahoa’s advantage held until early in the fourth quarter, when Trojans senior Zachary Kai tied the game with a 31-yard touchdown run.

 

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