De­fense, spe­cial teams pro­pel Pearl City to vic­tory

Honolulu Star-Advertiser - - SPORTS - By Ja­son Kaneshiro jkaneshiro@starad­ver­tiser.com

Pearl City’s of­fense pounced on op­por­tu­ni­ties pre­sented by the Charg­ers’ de­fense and spe­cial teams units to fuel a 27-0 win over Roo­sevelt on Fri­day at Ticky Vas­con­cel­los Sta­dium.

The Pearl City de­fense came up with four take­aways to feed an of­fense paced by se­nior run­ning back Charles Fre­itas, who ac­counted for 91 of Pearl City’s 141 rush­ing yards. Three of quar­ter­back Kekainalu Si­mon’s four com­ple­tions went for touch­downs and the Charg­ers im­proved to 2-1 over­all and 2-0 in OIA Divi­sion II play.

“The (of­fen­sive) line did a great job block­ing, Char­lie Fre­itas ran the ball pretty hard and spe­cial teams did a great job of giv­ing us great field po­si­tion,” Pearl City coach Robin Kami said.

The Pearl City de­fense forced three Roo­sevelt fum­bles, with de­fen­sive back Kasey Kikuyama re­cov­er­ing two, and Jay­den Madariaga’s fourth-quar­ter in­ter­cep­tion helped fin­ish off the shutout.

“(Roo­sevelt) had some good drives on us. We bent a lit­tle bit, but we never broke at the end,” Kami said.

The host Rough Rid­ers (12, 1-1) were with­out start­ing quar­ter­back Shastyn Kekahuna due to a sprained an­kle. Se­nior Noah Rosa took over be­hind cen­ter and run­ning back Charvis Paia led the Rough Rid­ers with 93 rush­ing yards.

But Pearl City took a 12-0 lead into half­time and con­verted two fum­bles into touch­downs in the sec­ond half to pull away.

“Turnovers, you guys know how that goes,” Roo­sevelt coach Kui Ka­hooil­i­hala said. “We have to take care of the ball bet­ter of­fen­sively.”

Robert Ya­masaki ig­nited the Charg­ers with a 69-yard re­turn on the game’s open­ing kick­off, set­ting up the Pearl City of­fense at the Roo­sevelt 15. Af­ter three in­com­plete passes, the Charg­ers took the lead on Zameer Khan’s 37-yard field goal.

Khan con­nected from 27 yards to give Pearl City a 6-0 cush­ion and af­ter fail­ing to con­vert on their first three third-down sit­u­a­tions, the Charg­ers came up big on the fourth.

Fac­ing third-and-9, Si­mon con­nected with Calvin Mock down the right side for a 30yard touch­down pass to give Pearl City a 12-0 early in the sec­ond quar­ter.

Af­ter Eli­jah Par­rish re­cov­ered a fum­ble on the sec­ond play of the third quar­ter, Si­mon found Pa­trick Nunez open over the mid­dle for a 27-yard score on thir­dand-17. He closed the scor­ing with a 13-yard touch­down pass to Mock while ab­sorb­ing a crush­ing hit in the fourth quar­ter.

“He did a great job of read­ing the guys who were open tonight,” Kami said of Si­mon, who com­pleted four of 14 passes for 103 yards. “He took the hit for the team and threw that touch­down at the end.”

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