The ʻIolani Raiders defeated the Castle Knights 33-28 on Friday night to go 8-2 on the season. The Raiders maintained a lead throughout the game, holding onto a 31-14 in the third quarter before fending off a fourth quarter comeback attempt by the Knights.
ʻIolani’s consistent offense was key in maintaining a thin lead. Quarterback Jonah Chong ’20 opened the scoring with a run into the endzone putting the score at 7-0. Going 13-26 passing on the night, Chong worked in tandem with a strong running game to propel the Raiders to victory. A field goal and a touchdown catch from receiver Wailoa Manuel ’21 gave ‘Iolani a 17-14 advantage at the half.
During the third quarter, running back Brock Hedani ’20 shined with two touchdowns, extending the ʻIolani lead to 31-14 by the end of the quarter. With the game slipping out of the Raider’s grasp, the Knights made a last-ditch effort, scoring two touchdowns to cut the lead to 31-28. With the ball and a chance to take their first lead of the evening, the Knights looked to march the ball downfield to accomplish one of the best upsets of the season. Fortunately, the Raider defense stepped up and tackled Castle’s running back Kala Estocado-Matthews ’20 in the endzone for a safety. With a minute left in the game, ‘Iolani regained possession and ran out the clock to seal the game.
With this win, ʻIolani now faces Damien in a playoff for the Division I ILH crown along with the lone ILH berth into the Division 1 HHSAA Football State Championships. The game will take place at Aloha Stadium on Friday, October 25, at 7:30 p.m.