Team Makai rallies to flip Team Mauka in 2024 Poly Bowl, 28-17

Team Makai rallies to flip Team Mauka in 2024 Poly Bowl, 28-17

Team Makai rallies to flip Team Mauka in 2024 Poly Bowl, 28-17

BY MICHAEL LASQUERO | HSRN
PUBLISHED JAN 20, 2024

HONOLULU — Water flows from the mountain to the ocean in the natural state of things.

So did the momentum in the seventh annual Polynesian Bowl.

Team Makai rallied from a 17-0 halftime deficit to shock team Mauka, 28-17, Friday night at Kūnuiākea Stadium.

Turnovers was the difference in the game as Makai scored two defensive scores in the second half in the win.

Future Nebraska quarterback Dylan Raiola completed 7 of 15 passes for 111 yards and a touchdown that went to Offensive MVP Mike Matthews.

PHOTOS BY MICHAEL LASQUERO

Farrington’s monster fourth quarter keeps Moanalua winless after back-and-forth affair

Farrington’s monster fourth quarter keeps Moanalua winless after back-and-forth affair

Farrington’s monster fourth quarter keeps Moanalua winless after back-and-forth affair

BY PAUL BRECHT | HONOLULU
PUBLISHED SEP 9, 2023

MOANALUA – The visiting Farrington Governors (3-1, 2-1 league) took down host Moanalua Nā Menehune (0-4, 0-2 league), 37-27, on Friday night as the Govs used 23 fourth-quarter points (16 unanswered) to grab the victory and a share of the top spot in the OIA Division 1 A standings with Leilehua. 

It took a while for the offenses to get going as both defenses came prepared from the opening whistle. After Moanalua went for it on fourth down inside their own 40-yard line, Farrington’s offense took over with fantastic field position and drove into goal-to-go territory as time waned in the first quarter. 

RB Sitani Mikaele wasted no time in the second period getting the Govs on the board, powering his way into the endzone from four yards out for the game’s first score. The visitor’s 7-0 lead lasted just 38 seconds, as Moanalua answered with a 2-play, 76-yard TD drive capped by a 60-yard touchdown catch-and-run by junior WR Jayce Bareng to knot the score at 7-7. 

Nā Menehune gripped the momentum from the quick offensive response, tacking on a pair of field goals in the next two possessions to take a 13-7 lead with 3:23 left in the first half. It looked like the Moanalua defense would hold the lead into half, but a 25-yard fourth-down Farrington touchdown strike to WR Chansen Smith with 1:03 remaining gave the Govs a 14-13 lead into the locker rooms. 

Moanalua opened the second half with a scoring drive aided by some Governors miscues, mounted by sophomore QB Tayden Evan Kaawa connecting with senior WR Kila Keone for a 10-yard touchdown to re-take the lead, 20-14. The defense held strong for the remainder of the quarter, but Farrington ended the period driving once again. 

The fourth quarter was déjà vu for those in attendance, as the Govs struck quickly into the period on the legs of junior Jacob Talamoa to jump ahead, 21-20. Moanalua answered back two possessions later, again using the speed of Bareng on a 66-yard punt return for a touchdown to jump ahead, 27-21, with 7:13 left in regulation of the see-saw contest. 

A massive return on the ensuing kickoff for Farrington set the Govs up for a response, coming three minutes later after a drive of all runs resulted in Mikaele’s second rushing touchdown of the night giving Farrington the 28-27 lead with 4:10 left. 

Twelve seconds later, Farrington produced a safety to extend the lead to three points and get another offensive possession to try to end things. That’s exactly what Talamoa would do, putting the game on ice with his second TD run of the night, this time 45 yards to the house to extend the Govs’ lead to 10 with 3:42 to play. 

Moanalua falls to 0-4 overall and 0-2 in league play but can be encouraged by the return of Kaawa. The sophomore threw for 148 yards and two touchdowns in the loss. Jayce Bareng led Nā Menehune with 85 yards over four receptions and a touchdown, also chipping in a 66-yard punt return for a score. 

Farrington dominated on the ground all night, running for over 200 yards in the team’s bounce-back win over Moanalua after falling to #1 Kahuku last week. Mikaele finished with two scores to go with 129 rushing yards across 28 carries to lead the way for the Govs, who moved into a tie with Leilehua for the top spot in the OIA Division 1 A. 

It’s a bye week next up for Farrington before the Govs gear up for a big clash hosting a loaded, dynamic Campbell team on Friday, September 22. Moanalua will be back in action on Saturday, September 23 against Aiea following a bye week for Nā Menehune.