It all had all the ingredients of the first time Kaiser and Pearl City met Sept. 16.
This time, though, the final reward went to the opposite team with so much more on the line in the OIA D-II semifinals.
On Friday night at Bino Neves Stadium, Kaiser was staring at a possible season-ending loss in the face, trailing by 17 points midway through the fourth quarter.
But, just like in the first encounter on, the Cougars (6-3) began to show real life behind quarterback Easton Yoshino and pushed on to a 31-24 victory over Pearl City.
In the final 6:32, they got all of those 17 points back, thanks to two Yoshino touchdown passes to Donovan Reis for 22 yards and Kai Blackston for 3 and Ian Shearer’s 25-yard field goal to make it 24-all.
In overtime, Kaiser sealed it on Yoshino’s 10-yard TD pass to Makana Naleieha, dashing the Chargers’ hopes for an OIA championship.
Instead, the season for the Chargers (7-3) is over.
It’s the Cougars who will move next weekend to Nanakuli to face the Golden Hawks (8-1) for the league crown and then, whether they win or lose, will play in the state tournament in November.
Yoshino threw 60 passes on the night, connecting with receivers on 33 of them for 329 yards, four touchdowns and an interception.
Returning from an ankle injury he suffered against Kaiser in that Sept. 16 game, Pearl City’s Trey Dacoscos went 16-for-27 for 122 yards, three TDs and two interceptions. Teammate Bobby Best, who was the backup QB during Dacoscos’ absence, rushed for 110 yards on t6 carries.
Jadsen Dias (8 tackles, including a sack) and J.T. Richards (10 tackles) turned in solid defensive outings for Kaiser.
In that Sept. 16 game, Pearl City won 27-21, but held a 27-7 lead before Yoshino brought the Cougars back. It took a game-saving tackle by the Chargers’ Shyne Kalilikane-McMoore on Reis at the Pearl City 7-yard line as time ran out to save the win. You can read that ESPN Honolulu game story here: Pearl City Stops Kaiser’s Surge As Time Runs Out For A 27-21 Victory.
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