KEAAU — Pahoa dominated on both sides of the line, opening holes on offense and closing everything on defense against Kohala, which couldn’t find any answers all afternoon long.
The Daggers thumped the Cowboys 40-0 in a BIIF eight-man game on Saturday at the Cougars Stadium, where Matthew Ortega, Gary Orr, and Matthew Meyer Jr. took turns grabbing the spotlight.
Ortega rushed for 97 yards, including two touchdowns on seven carries, Orr collected two sacks and a had a tackle for loss, and Meyer was a constant presence at linebacker with over a half-dozen tackles.
Pahoa quarterback Josaiah Waiolama didn’t have a high-efficiency rate but made his completions count. He was 5 of 14 for 131 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions.
Duke Palma was Waiolama’s favorite target with three receptions for 62 yards, and it wasn’t just the offense that was effective.
The Daggers controlled the line of scrimmage, made open-field tackles and played shutdown man coverage in the secondary. The Cowboys (0-3, BIIF, 0-3 overall) rushed for just 22 yards on 36 carries. Kohala quarterback Ryan Juan-Kealoha was 2 for 17 for 17 yards with one interception, unable connect on any one-on-one opportunities.
In the first quarter, Ortega opened the scoring on a jet sweep for a 67-yard touchdown. He later added a 3-yard score, set up by David Martinez’ blocked punt that put the ball on Kohala’s 14.
Ortega’s 67-yard TD was a run of beauty. His blockers sealed the perimeter, and he did the rest.
“I was thinking what do I do next when I got the ball,” he said. “I saw I had one defender to beat. When I got past him, I sprinted for my life.
“I liked that everybody was focused, and we worked as one. Our linemen were on point with their blocking, and we executed our plays.”
In the second quarter, senior defensive end Gary Orr turned into a nightmare and consistently got into the Cowboys’ backfield. He had two sacks, Pahoa finished with three sacks; Kimo Kealoha-Ripley had the other sack.
“We made sure we tackled better,” Pahoa coach Chris Midel said. “We worked on our tackling this week. Meyer did some good work at linebacker.”
Palma had a 35-yard reception to set up Meyer’s 1-yard touchdown run for a 20-0 lead. Then the Daggers displayed their quick-strike ability.
Waiolama threw a 26-yard pass to Palma and followed with a 34-yard scoring strike to Kalapana Archuleta for a 26-0 cushion.
In the third quarter, William Velez scored on a 32-yard run, and Waiolama fired a 35-yard touchdown pass to Palma. Velez finished with 70 yards on eight carries.
Midel said the Daggers (2-1 BIIF, 2-2 overall) enjoy playing on their other home field.
“I guess it was different from playing in the rain,” he said. “Our field is in terrible shape. When it rains, the field doesn’t drain. The track is under water, and you have to go through a swamp to get to the field. It was a beautiful day.”
Midel’s last sentence said it all for his Daggers.
Kohala 0 0 0 0 — 0
Pahoa 12 14 14 0 — 40
Pahoa —Matthew Ortega 67 run (run failed), 7:40
Pahoa —Matthew Ortega 3 run (run failed), 4:57
Pahoa —Matthew Meyer Jr. 1 run (Meyer run), 10:31
Pahoa —Kalapana Archuleta 34 pass from Josaiah Waiolama (run failed), 1:04
Pahoa —William Velez 32 run (Ortega run), 5:40
Pahoa —Duke Palma 35 pass from Waiolama (pass failed), 1:32