WAIMEA — Junior quarterback Koa Ellis threw three touchdown passes as Hawaii Prep blanked Honokaa 41-0 Saturday in the final regular season Big Island Interscholastic Federation Division II game for both teams.
Ka Makani senior running back Bobby Lum rushed for more than 123 yards in the win over the Dragons.
“We had fun,” said Ellis, who was 7 of 9 passing for 150 yards. “I made a few bad throws and wasn’t completely on my game today, but my line just blocked the whole time so I didn’t really have to worry about it. It was mostly Bobby (Lum). Bobby was bringing us all the way down the field, and then coach just let me finish it off. The wide receivers caught every ball I threw near them.
“It was a team win. We played together today.”
After the strong finish to the regular season, Hawaii Prep (7-2, 5-2 BIIF) will host Kamehameha Oct. 19 at 3 p.m. in the BIIF semifinals.
The loss caps off a lost season for Honokaa (0-8, 0-7), which posted its only winless regular season in 57 years in the BIIF. The Dragons’ next game will be Oct. 18 at Konawaena in the semifinals.
“We knew it was our last regular season game, so we just wanted to play hard and tough,” said senior wide receiver Lii Purdy, who ran for a 15-yard touchdown and also caught a 6-yard score. “Coach (Jordan) Hayslip always says to take it game by game, week by week and that’s what we did today. But we are definitely looking forward to the next one. It’s like a token. We have to grab our token and use it to go out there and play again. And if we win, we get another token and we get to keep playing.”
A low layer of gray clouds moved over the HPA field early in the first half, but that did little to dampen Ka Makani’s offense. HPA drove the length of the field on its opening possession with Purdy capping off the drive with his 15 yard touchdown run. On HPA’s following series, Lum lumbered forward on carries of 12, 10 and 8 yards, breaking tackles on all sides and dragging Honokaa defenders with him deep into Dragon territory. After setting up Ka Makani up with a first and 10 on the Honokaa 24 yard line, Ellis rolled right and sailed a long pass to a wide-open Nicky Palleschi in the end zone to put HPA up 12-0 early.
Ellis tossed added another pair of touchdowns in the second quarter, the first the quick 6-yard pass to Purdy and the other a 12-yarder to Kellen Gillins.
Having scored on all but one of its possessions in the first half, HPA led 27-0 at the break. Midway through the third quarter, Blake Hooser broke a pair of tackles on a run to the right, then tip-toed his way down the sideline for a 31-yard touchdown. Not satisfied with having that as the biggest play from scrimmage, Alex Brost broke free for a 55-yard score run late in the fourth.
“It’s a rebuilding year for us,” Honokaa coach Bobby Embernate said. “We’re getting some good experience, and we are going to improve in the future.”
Honokaa was led by sophomore quarterback Nainoa Falk, who completed 3 of 12 passes for 28 yards and added 16 yards rushing on 11 carries. Makana Kaniho rushed for 24 yards on six carries to lead the Dragons.
Honokaa 0 0 0 0 - 0
HPA 12 15 7 7 - 41
9:40 — Lii Purdy 15 run (kick failed)
4:14 — Nicky Palleschi 24 pass from Koa Ellis (kick failed)
10:35 — Purdy 6 pass from Ellis (2-point conversion Purdy from Ellis)
1:35 — Kellen Gillins 12 pass from Ellis (Alex Brost kick good)
7:13 — Blake Hooser 31 run (Brost kick)
2:14 — Brost 55 run (Brost kick)