To the winners go the spoils, and the ‘Iolani Raiders surely spoiled the night for the Damien Monarchs on Saturday, September 15, beating them 30-19 at Aloha Stadium. This was the highly anticipated homecoming game for the Monarchs, who were hoping to cap off the week on a high note with a win over the Raiders. However, this would not be the case as Coach Wendell Look and his team dominated under the Saturday night lights.
The bulk of the Raiders’ offense came through the trenches, where a bruising rushing attack led by running back Ka‘ua Nishigaya ’19 propelled the Raiders to victory with 40 carries and over 200 total yards. Nishigaya set the pace for a balanced offense supplemented by a quick passing attack, where quarterback Jonah Chong ’20 orchestrated multiple drives deep into Monarch territory, scoring once through the air and once on the ground. However, this victory can be attributed to all three phases of the game, with kicker Mika Makekau ’19 nailing 3 field goals with a long of 44 yards, a state record for a female kicker, and linebacker Meki Pei ’20 returning a punt 76 yards for a touchdown. Meanwhile, the defense did their part with two turnovers, with cornerback KC Bell ’21 picking off Damien’s quarterback on the Raiders’ second defensive possession, and lineman Shayden Molina ’21 forcing a fumble to end the hope of a Damien comeback. Throughout the game, the Raiders’ speed on defense was apparent as they closed on the ball repeatedly, exhibiting a “bend but don’t break” style which kept the Monarchs offense out of the end zone. On the offensive end, Nishigaya consistently found holes in the defensive front, churning his way toward a performance to remember.
‘Iolani’s next game is a homecoming affair, next Friday, September 21, against the Radford Rams at 3:00 p.m. in Kozuki Stadium, so be sure to stick around and support our Raiders as they hope to improve to 5-2 on the season!