Sunday, June 26, 2022 |
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KAPA‘A — The Kaua‘i Bulldogs hacked out a 39-8 win over the Pacific Youth Alliance Spartans to claim the first Hawai‘i State Jr. Prep Football League State Championship in a mudbath at the New Kapa‘a Town Park stadium, Saturday night.
Powering behind the yardage-peeling Reggie McFadden, the Bulldogs piled up two touchdowns in the second quarter and added two more in the final period for their first state championship.
Corey Somera-Payomo opened the books early in the game as the Bulldogs capped their opening drive with a 5-yard dive to the end zone at the 7:02 mark, the drive getting help from an unsportsmanlike penalty against the PYA Spartans.
On its second possession, which was interrupted briefly when David Tiumalu plucked a McFadden pass, the Bulldogs recovered to cap the drive when Jhustin Balisacan dove through heavy traffic for a 1-yard score to open the second quarter.
Following Tiumalu’s interception, Kana Smith pounced on the muddy loose ball to regain Bulldog control in the drive at the Spartans’ 24-yard line.
McFadden rolled out on a keeper play to take the ball to the one-yard stripe to set up Balisacan’s score that came with just seven seconds peeled off in the second quarter.
McFadden followed that score with a successful point-after boot for the 13-0 Kaua‘i bulge.
But the Spartans charged back on the ensuing drive when Tiumalu pulled in a Colton Nascimento pass for 10 yards and what proved to be PYA’s only score with 5:32 remaining in the half.
Chris Tuiasosopo, the Spartans’ workhorse running back, did the point-after honors with a run-in for the 13-8 reading.
McFadden went into action for the Bulldogs, fueling the ensuing drive with a 23-yard keeper play that set up Somera-Payomo’s second TD, a 26-yard roll to the right side for the 19-8 lead at the half.
The Spartans ate up much of the clock in the third period, taking the kickoff and grinding the minutes on a long, sloshing drive that ended on the Bulldogs’ 8-yard line.
That frustration was compounded when the Bulldogs’ McFadden, on his second play from scrimmage, broke out for a 75-yard touchdown at the 2:52 mark.
James Bukoski added the point-after boot for the 26-8 edge.
But after being denied the ball for most of the period, the Bulldogs struck again when Bukoski snuffed the Spartans’ drive with a fumble recovery on the Spartans’ 44-yard line.
Rudy Agoot was shaken up on a 10-yard run, and McFadden ended the period with a drive to the Spartans’ 20-yard marker to end the quarter.
Agoot, recovering from his game-stopping injury, returned to open the fourth quarter on a 1-yard charge up the middle with 8:13 remaining in the game.
Daniel Alonzo put the Bulldogs on the board for the final time when he plucked a Spartans pass and ran it back to the Spartans’ 30-yard line to set up the final score.
Alonzo pulled in a Smith pass to set up the score, resting the ball on the Spartans’ 3-yard line and Shain Davis capping the drive on a 1-yard charge for the 39-8 final.
Brad Hiranaka, president of the Kaua‘i Youth Football league, said in the earlier game, Kaua‘i took it on the chin with a 40-0 loss at the hands of the Hammerheads.
But the bright spot came when two scholarship awards were presented, one going to Maka Ah Loo, who carries a grade point average of 3.5, and the other going to Jason Hawthorn with a 4.0 GPA in the Elementary Division.
Hiranaka said registration for the spring season is currently being accepted with the first practice for the spring starting on Jan. 24.
The KYF spring season invites players to three divisions, the Freshman League for students in the 9th grade, the Division I for students in the 7th and 8th grades, and Division II for students in grades 4 through 6.
Visit www.kauaiyouthfootball.com, or call Hiranaka at 652-9962 for more information. Registration forms can be found on the KYF website.
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