Pahoa’s Jaydan Broad-Melander threw four touchdowns passes in a career game, while teammate David Martinez ran for three more scores. All that offense wasn’t quite enough to eke out a victory.
Not to be outdone was Ka’u’s Luke Watson, who also went for 100 yards on the ground with three touchdowns.
He was merely the Trojans’ second-most prolific player.
At some point Saturday as morning stretched into afternoon, Ka’u coach DuWayne Ke must have wondered if he’d stumbled into a time warp. Was this 11-man or still eight-man?
“I was thinking, “What the hell is this?,”’ Ke said.
It was points aplenty in Pahala in one of the highest-scoring football games in BIIF history. Watson’s touchdown run with 3:22 remaining put the Trojans ahead 56-50, and Izaiah Pilanca-Emmsley’s interception near Ka’u’s goal line ended the Daggers’ final drive, finally turning back Pahoa after it had taken several steps forward.
One day after Waiakea almost broke through for its first victory in Division I, Pahoa (0-8) nearly did the same in D-II.
The Daggers came within six points of matching its season point total entering its final game.
“It’s the end of the season, and everybody is making adjustments,” Ke said. “Pahoa came out with really good adjustments, our defense couldn’t make the fixes quickly enough.”
So the Trojans (3-4) simply had to outscore Pahoa, and they had the perfect man for the job: Pilanca-Emmsley. The dynamic junior running back ran for five touchdowns and 269 yards on 12 carries to power a ground attack that rolled up 469 yards in all.
As a freshman, Pilanca-Emmsley had a five-touchdown game in the 90-58 eight-man loss to Lanai that is the highest-scoring Hawaii high school football game on record.
The 106 points scored Saturday topped the 105 reached in 2012 when Konawaena beat Hawaii Prep 56-49 in what was reported at the time to be the highest-scoring game in BIIF history.
Of the 15 touchdowns, six came in the second quarter, three by Pilanca-Emmsley. After touchdown runs of 32 and 47 yards, his 16-yard scamper gave Ka’u a 36-22 lead.
Keanu Muck’s 38-yard touchdown catch cut the Daggers’ deficit entering the half, and Martinez’s second score and Broad-Melander’s two-run catapulted Pahoa in front.
But not for long.
On the Trojans’ next place from scrimmage, Pilanca-Emmsley jaunted 58 yards for a touchdown, and a two-point run by Luke Watson (14 carries, 126) made it 44-38 Ka’u.
It was a seesaw battle from there.
Martinez (16 carries, 129 yards) added his third touchdown, and after the teams trade empty possessions, Pilanca-Emmsley scored for a fifth time before Muck’s second touchdown capped a 10-play, 85-yard drive, tying the game at 50.
Pilanca-Emmsley ripped off a 37 yard run to set up Watson’s go-ahead score.
Broad-Melander completed 19 of 27 for 246 yards, hooking up nine times with Palma, who gained 113 yards with a score.
In its first season in Division II since 2012, Ka’u has a chance at a .500 season when it travels to face Kohala (2-5) on Saturday.
“I really don’t know what to expect,” Ke said.
After last Saturday’s fireworks, how could he?
Pahoa 14 16 14 6 – 50
Ka’u 6 30 14 6 – 56
Pahoa – Duke Palma 27 pass from Jaydan Broad-Melander (pass failed)
Ka’u – Luke Watson 12 run (run failed)
Pahoa – Noah Kaawaloa 6 pass from Broad-Melander (David Martinez pass from Broad-Melander)
Ka’u – Luke Watson 9 run (Jeremiah Nurial-Dacalio run)
Ka’u – Pilanca-Emmsley 32 run (Nurial-Dacalio run)
Ka’u – Pilanca-Emmsley 47 run (kick failed)
Pahoa – Davis Martinez 2 run (Palma pass from Broad-Melander)
Ka’u – Pilanca-Emmsley 16 run (Nurial-Dacalio run)
Pahoa – Keanu Much 38 pass from Broad-Melander (Palma pass from Broad-Melander)
Pahoa – Martinez 3 run (Broad-Melander run)
Ka’u – Pilanca-Emmsley 58 run (Watson run)
Pahoa – Martinez 3 run (run failed)
Ka’u – Pilanca-Emmsley 35 run (run failed)
Pahoa – Muck 10 pass from Broad-Melander (pass failed)
Ka’u – Watson 3 run (run failed)