The West High football team struggled to find any rhythm and struggled to stop wide receiver Kanawai Noa in a 48-0 season-opening nonconference loss to Punahoa High in Honolulu on Friday.
All four of Noa's receptions went for touchdowns as the sophomore torched the Eagles for 152 yards in the first half, scoring on plays of 55, 6, 44 and 47 yards. Punahoa added a short touchdown run from Ryan Tuiasoa to lead 34-0 at halftime.
West quarterback Conor Feckley, who completed 8 of 22 passes for 95 yards, was just about everywhere on the field. He punted, returned punts and kickoffs, and even took a stab at defending Noa.
At times, West found difficulty with simple aspects of the game. The Eagles botched four snaps that sent the ball to the turf and forced Feckley to chase after it. Feckley managed to recover the first three, but the fourth was recovered in the end zone by David Torigoe for Punahoa's final score.
Punahoa was no slouch of an opponent, however, having lost Hawaii's state championship game by six points last season.
Noa managed to accomplish something no Punahoa receiver did in a game last season by accumulating more than 100 yards. Larry Tuialetta was the quarterback for Noa's first two touchdowns and backup Luke Morris hit Noa for his next two.
Held to minus-26 yards rushing and 32 yards total offense through three quarters, the Eagles almost managed to score on their final drive.
Feckley brought the Eagles across midfield with a 22-yard, first-down run and followed with two first-down completions to Eric Vandervort. He just missed Vandervort in the end zone from 20 yards out on the next play. The Eagles called a timeout with one second remaining, but Feckley's final shot at the end zone sailed over receiver Lincoln Tulimasealii's outstretched arm.
East 42, Kenai 7
East quarterback Jesse Vanilau ran for two touchdowns and threw for another Friday, helping East cruise to a 42-7 nonconference win over host Kenai.
Vanilau scored on runs of 15 and 45 yards and hit receiver Jarred Laws for the passing score. Egisone Mulu, Ed Jones and Jakeil Bell all added rushing touchdowns for the Thunderbirds.
"It wasn't the prettiest of games," said East coach Jeff Trotter. "It was either total fiasco or shove it down their throats. We had four turnovers and six touchdowns.''
Kenai's only touchdown came with about four minutes remaining when Duncan Brewer bulled one yard into the end zone.
East 7 28 7 0 -- 42
Kenai 0 0 0 7 -- 7
East -- Bell 5 run (Gingras kick), 1:20
East -- Mulu 6 run (Gingras kick), 9:45
East -- Jones 1 run (Gingras kick), 5:55
East -- Laws 46 pass from Vanilau (Gingras kick), 3:29
East -- Vanilau 10 run (Gingras kick), 0:39
East -- Vanilau 43 run (Gingras kick), 8:00
Kenai -- Brewer 1 run (Wagoner kick), 3:51
First downs 10 7
Rushes-yards 31-212 39-96
Passing yards 143 10
Return yards 9 0
Punts 1-19 5-30.8
Fumbles 4-3 3-2
Penalties 3-25 5-25
Rushing -- East: Atiifale 9-109, Vanilau 3-57, Bell 3-11, Lealao 4-20, Mulu 3-7, Jones 4-4, Cottee 2-5, Wolfe 3-(-1). Kenai: Mendenhall 7-31, Barcus 13-28, Daniels 15-36, Wagoner 3-2, Brewer 1-3.
Passing -- East: Vanilau 5-10-1--143. Kenai: Barcus 1-4-1--10.
Receiving -- East: Laws 3-100, Blunt 1-35, Luafulu 1-8. Kenai: Wagoner 1-10.