Tuesday | November 21, 2017
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BIIF football: Keaau offense explodes in lopsided road win at HPA

WAIMEA — A hefty win in the turnover battle? Check. Explosive plays? Check. Shutout? Check.

Keaau (2-3 overall, 2-3 BIIF D-I) checked all the boxes against Hawaii Preparatory Academy (2-4, 1-4 BIIF D-II) on Saturday and rolled to a lopsided 45-0 victory.

The Cougars forced five Ka Makani turnovers, including two long interception returns for scores. Junior Santiago led the way on the ground for Keaau, racking up over 100 yards and a receiving touchdown, while quarterback Iopeka Laa efficiently connected on short passes and notched three total TDs.

The victory locked up Keaau’s first back-to-back wins since the 2011 season. The margin of victory was the largest in more than a decade for the Cougars.

While the score might not indicate it, Hawaii Prep picked up their play in the loss. The offense was able to move the ball between the 20-yard lines, but the turnovers prevented Ka Makani from getting in the end zone.

Wide receiver Jevon Flippin was the biggest bright spot for Hawaii Prep.

The senior caught 11 balls for 102 yards and was targeted on the majority of Ka Makani pass attempts.

A 51-yard catch-and-run by Flippin was the highlight of the afternoon for Hawaii Prep, however, the play ended with a fumble deep in Cougar territory.

Keaau didn’t pass much in the first half, but the Cougars didn’t find much of a need to. Laa, the newly-minted starting QB, scored twice with his feet, including a tightrope 53-yard run down the sideline.

Santiago and Dylan Waltjen added some powerful runs on the ground, and also contributed as pass-catchers out of the backfield.

After a series of bruising Santiago runs pushed Keaau into the red zone, the senior back hauled in a short pass and scampered 16 yards for a touchdown.

Hawaii Prep had its best chance to score before the half, driving deep into Keaau territory. But with 14 seconds left on the clock, Matthew Tilfas jumped a Ka Makani out route and took the ball back 76 yards to push the lead to 32-0.

Out of the break, Hawaii Prep earned a chance of its own, recovering a fumble on the kickoff. HPA drove into Cougar territory, but it ended in a missed field goal.

After another interception tossed by Ka Makani in the third quarter, Santiago exploded for the longest play of the afternoon, finding a nice hole and outrunning a tired Hawaii Prep defense 86 yards to make it 38-0.

Waltjen capped the big day for the Cougars, rumbling for an 8-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter.

Keaau 6 26 6 7 — 45

HPA 0 0 0 0 — 0

First quarter

KEAAU — Iopeka Laa 4-yard run (kick failed)

Second quarter

KEAAU — Bronston Castro 35-yard interception return (kick failed)

KEAAU— Laa 53-yard run (kick good)

KEAAU — Laa 16-yard pass to Junior Santiago (kick failed)

KEAAU — Matthew Tilfas 76-yard interception return (kick good)

Third quarter

KEAAU — Santiago 86-yard run (kick failed)

Fourth quarter

KEAAU — Dylan Waltjen 8-yard run (kick good)

 

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