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Kalani blows past Bonita Vista (Calif.), 28-6

By: Wes Nakama

Look out, OIA football — here come the Kalani Falcons. Yes, those Kalani Falcons, who are now 3-0 for only the second time in 53 years after blowing past Bonita Vista (Chula Vista, Calif.), 28-6, Friday evening at Kaiser Stadium.

Kynan McCartney completed 15 of 20 passes for 145 yards and two touchdowns, and added 61 tough rushing yards on nine carries to lead the Falcons past the Barons, who compete in the San Diego Section’s Division IV (out of five divisions) and fell to 1-1.

Sonny Iaea added 67 yards rushing and two TDs, as Kalani rolled up 317 total yards and led 7-0 at halftime and 28-0 after three quarters. Defensively, the Falcons held Bonita Vista to 147 yards and pitched shutout ball until 4:52 remaining in the game.

This was all after kickoff was delayed 30 minutes due to Kalani’s late-arriving bus, a delay that appeared to have no effect on the Falcons.

“We always stay ready, we’re always ready to go,” said Kalani coach Quinn Griffiths. “That’s what I love about this team, they’re a very high-energy, scrappy team.”

The Falcons scored 20 first-quarter points in their season-opening 20-9 victory over Waialua, then led 13-0 in the first half of their 20-0 win over McKinley a week later.

On Friday, Kalani grinded out a 16-play, 87-yard scoring drive capped by Iaea’s 1-yard plunge and Brennan Takara’s extra point to take a 7-0 lead four minutes into the second quarter. The Falcons then took the second half kickoff and marched 63 yards in eight plays, culminating in Iaea’s 14-yard run to paydirt. Takara’s PAT made it 14-0.

On the ensuing series, the Barons advanced to the Kalani 37, but was stopped on fourth-and-2. The Falcons then covered 63 yards in just five plays, capped by McCartney’s 12-yard scoring pass to Silas Soberano to help push the lead to 21-0 with 3:52 still left in the third quarter. 

Two plays after the ensuing kickoff, linebacker Aiden Trinidad sacked quarterback Antonio DiStefano and forced and recovered his fumble, giving Kalani possession at the Bonita Vista 13. Four plays later, McCartney threw a 1-yard scoring pass to Jordan Amalato, and Takara’s point-after made it 28-0 with 1:14 remaining in the third quarter.

The Barons finally got on the scoreboard with 4:52 left in the game on DiStefano’s 7-yard TD pass to Xavier Bravence, and they regained possession after recovering a fumble on the first play from scrimmage after kickoff. But they lost the ball on downs just four plays later.

“We didn’t help ourselves, we weren’t really able to throw the ball well today,” Bonita Vista coach Tyler Arciaga said. “And then once the score starts going 14-(0), 21-(0), it starts making us predictable and we can’t be as balanced as we want. I think (the Falcons) punted only one time, so they did a great job controlling the clock. There’s some stuff we need to clean up, but kudos to Kalani for putting out a solid effort there.”

Arciaga said he played for Bonita Vista when the Barons visited Maui to play Baldwin in 1999, and wanted his players to experience Hawai’i as well.

“I remember what a cultural experience that was for all of us,” Arciaga said. “So for these kids to go see Pearl Harbor, and put all the history into real life, was a really neat experience for them. Kalani has been a fantastic host, we’re going to go have dinner with them right now. Their whole program is just a first-class program.”

Photos: Cole Mausolf