‘Iolani defeats Moanalua for a Berth in the Football State Championship

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‘Iolani is officially states bound, defeating the Moanalua Menehunes 35-9 after a month-long football hiatus to prepare for the HHSAA Division I Football State Championships tournament. After losing to the Menehunes 21-20 to start the season, many were skeptical of the Raiders’ chances coming into the game. After tonights’ dominant performance in front of the Moanalua crowd, however, ‘Iolani’s state championship hopes are more alive than ever.

The match was won on the ground, with running back Brock Hedani ’20 rushing 24 times for 90 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. Hedani added on an additional 15 yards and a touchdown through the air to be the offense’s go-to weapon.

The air attack was extremely efficient as well, with quarterback Jonah Chong ’20 completing 11 of 19 passes for 168 yards and two touchdowns. His favorite target of the night, Carter Kamana ’20, made it into the history books after hauling in four passes for 78 yards, making him ‘Iolani’s all-time receptions leader with 169 catches over a three-year career.

While impressive on the offensive side, the Raiders’ defense was the real reason for the lop-sided victory. In the trenches, the defensive line held Moanalua running back Darius Johnson ’20 to 22 yards on nine carries while the secondary absolutely picked apart the air attack, intercepting Moanalua’s star quarterback RJ Javar ’20 five times. Seniors Meki Pei ’20 and Micah Shikada ’20 each had a pair of picks, with Shikada’s final interception in the fourth quarter ultimately sealing the game.

After tonight’s blowout victory, ‘Iolani now has a chance to capture the HHSAA Division I Football State Championship in only its second year of existence. After coming up short in the semis to the eventual champion Waipahu Marauders last year, ‘Iolani is now looking forward to playing on the biggest stage in front of the entire state. In this momentous match up, the Raiders will be facing top-seeded Hilo next Friday, 4:00 P.M. at Aloha Stadium. Be sure to join ‘Iolani and the Raider Nation at the stadium to cheer on the boys in their quest for the black banner!