KEAAU – We must learn to walk before we can run.
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
The preceding sayings were brought to you by the Keaau High football team on Friday night.
That is to say, once the Cougars started to execute the exchange from center a little more smoothly, their fortunes against Hawaii Prep changed incrementally for the better.
Storm Quilinderino, Isaiah Akana and Emelio Acia each scored touchdowns as Keaau beat Ka Makani 22-10 for their first BIIF victory of the season.
The Cougars (1-2 BIIF Division I) finally got going in the second quarter with an 80-yard drive, overcoming two penalties, before Bryant Mercado-Respicio hit Quilinderino for a touchdown.
Along with his 38-yard grab, Quilinderino added 56 yards on the ground. Acia led the way rushing, gaining 73 yards with a score and a pair of two-point runs.
Akana took a punt return back 65 yards for a score to put Keaau ahead for good.
The Cougars allowed only 142 yards off offense in beating Hawaii Prep (1-3, 0-3 BIIF Division II) for the third year in a row.
The scoreless second half was largely uneventful save for three turnovers, two by Keaau. Each team lost two fumbles.
Keaau packed a fair amount of action into a 90-second span late in the second quarter, scoring twice.
After Akana’s touchdown, Keaau recovered a fumble, and two plays later Acia scampered into the end zone on a 25-yard play.
Ka Makani (1-3, 0-3 BIIF Division II) surged to a 10-o lead – Conor Hunt nailed a 48-yard field goal for their first points in a league game this season – by taking advantage of good field position.
Keaau mishandled three early snaps, including a bobbled punt attempt that cost the Cougars 25 yards and set Ka Makani up at their 15. Hawaii Prep capitalized when Umi Kealoha found Jaysen Bragado from 23 yards out for a touchdown.
After showing off his leg, Hunt was short on a 52-yard field goal attempt.
Respicio-Mercado finished 7 of 14 for 114 yards.
Ka Makani’s Kealoha and Seth Beach combined to go 8 of 24 for 76 yards.