Hawaiian’s Take Double Header But Not Without Fight
byDirk Knudsen| Posted on Saturday, September 1st, 2012
It was an amazingly beautiful night in Corvallis, Oregon as four teams met for the first time. Coming all the way from Hawaii were McKinley and Radford High Schools. Hosting them were LaSalle Prep and Crescent Valley of Oregon. While the Hawaiian teams would both take home a "W" it was not without a battle.
The opener was between LaSalle and McKinley and was a really fun game to watch with some great scoring drives by both teams that led to a 23-22 halftime lead favoring McKinley.
In the second half things stayed close until the fourth quarter when LaSalle just seemed to run out of gas.
One guy that did not was #44 for McKinley; 5'11"-235 Pound Linebacker – RB Mathias Tuitele-eafeta. This powerhouse Junior showed amazing balance and speed for such a big man. And in the red zone he was just too much to handle. We are awaiting final stats but let's just say there were some college coaches there from our smaller NW Colleges looking asking us for his number.
Other stand outs for McKinley were QB Denzel Kalahiki-gasper who was solid and poised in the win and tailback Gerime Bradley who cracked off some very nice runs. Tyrell Tuiasasopo was electric at the WR spot and looked good on defense too. All of these Tigers are only Juniors.
Mana La'ulu a 6'3" 265 pound Junior was a stalwart linemen piling up the running lanes and blowing holes on the O line on a regular basis.
For LaSalle Prep Senior QB Mark Holenstein showed that he can run and pass and handle a heck of a lot of pressure. He kept his head in the game and made some very nice passes throwing crisp balls all night. Colin Meisner at the WR-DB spot stood out as a clear stud all night long and 6'6"-215 pound Sean Hayes made some nice catches at the TE spot too.
Here are the PICS UNEDITED for all of you players and Families to Take for Free on us. We will clean them up soon!
In #2 we saw a real slugfest as things heated up as the lights of Friday went on. The Raiders of Crescent Valley came to play and that was evident from the opening kick when Jedison Lassen took the rock 97 yards for the TD. Lassen interestingly enough is from Maui so maybe this speedy Junior was just showing off to his brethren from Oahu. Either way it was pretty cool to see.
We again are awaiting stats but it was not long before the Radford Rams answered with a 71 Yard TD from QB Junior Cody Lui-Yuen to WR Jamison Pasigan to tie the game.
Crescent Valley answered with a Field Goal to take the 10-3 lead before Lui-Yuen hooked up again with Pasigan for the a 6 yard TD to go up 14-10.
The game then turned into a battle of flags and big hits and the linemen of Crescent Valley dug in as the Rams threw everything and the Kitchen sink at them on both offense and defense.
Gary Gomez had an inspired game for CV carrying the ball 21 times for 168 yards and a TD to put the Raiders up 16-14. Late in the third Gomez broke off a nice 14 yard run around the left side right in front of his team only to be drilled in the legs by Jordan Pacheco of the Rams. The blow saved a sure TD but terribly also broke Gomez's leg in a manner so severe that was impossible to look at without tearing up.
We want to praise the Crescent Valley staff and trainers for responding so quickly to such a terrible injury. The young man was quickly stabilized and transported to the hospital for what surely had to be some surgery and medical work. Our hearts and prayers go out to him.
Radford's Ammon Seei picked a ball off in the 3rd quarter and took it 61 yards for the winning score and the game ended in a defensive hard hitting affair 21-16 in favor of the Rams.
Stand outs for CV were Gomez, Nick Pozzesi (RB), Brad Taylor at (WR/LB), Jared Baumgartner (WR/DB), and Tanner Fiez (WR/LB). Also for the Raiders we saw solid line play from PSU commits Austin Powell and Bryon Bodon who the Rams when after all night. The encouraging thing for the Rams is that Center Will Heck continued to get better (6'1"-270 Pound Center) and Michael Chen (6'1"-250 Pounds) and Jacob Bucher (6'3"-220 Pounds) both looked inspired and tough all night long.
Fiez was every bit the college prospect we expected him to be and at 6'2"-220 pounds was literally flying around all night. He showcased a wide array of skills and proved why he among the top athletes in our2013 Prospect Watch List for Oregon this season.
For the Radford Rams we were very impressed with Junior AB Cody Lui-Yuen as his 6'4"-210 pound frame is proto-typical of a big time QB and the young man runs well. But it was his crisp passing and nice rotation that we like. His accuracy and overall QB IQ has room for improvement as he is relatively new to the position but he impressed throwing for 161 yards despite being picked off 3 times by a solid CV Secondary. He is one to watch.
Pasigan that we mentioned earlier is only a 10th grader for the Rams and had 90 yards receiving. Overall we liked the speed and tenacity of this Radford team who have a very tough few weeks ahead as they face one of the toughest schedules in the Islands.
Here are Pics Raw and Unedited from Game #2 for all to take and enjoy. Have at them.
Take Aways From The Games
Hawaii has a brand of football that is well known. There is a toughness and fire to these kids that comes from the Islands they are born from. They are fast, agile, and they play at 110% all the time. So we knew that going in and they delivered. It was great to see all the kids getting together and having a chance to share the experience of being together and playing football too.
The Oregon kids were in their season openers. Were they rusty? Yes. But they showed that they can play too and their was no quit in either team. We spoke to several of the Hawaiian athletes that talked openly about the quality of their opponents here in Oregon and the toughness they displayed as well.
So it was a successful mission all the way around. The Hawaiian's got a good look at Oregon on their trip and just based upon all the local Polynesian families in the stands cheering on their teams one could see many of them are here in the Pacific Northwest building their lives. Putting down Hawaiian roots in the great NW. Football in Oregon has been influenced by Hawaiian and Polynesian players and coaches more then most people realize and we will do a follow up story on that. And that influence has been a very very positive one indeed!
Great job to all involved and thanks to Crescent Valley and Coach Scott Sanders and his staff and the CV School District for sponsoring this wonderful double header.
Here is Part 1 of our Story if you Missed it.http://oregonpreps.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=1402734
About the AuthorDirk Knudsen
Dirk is a lifelong resident of the Pacific NW; athlete and Merit scholar. He runs camps, clinics, and has been a sports writer and analyst for nearly a decade now; mostly with Rivals.com as the editor of OregonPreps and WashingtonPreps.com. Dirk is the founder of NWPR & BrainChampions.org; a charity for injured athletes suffering from Brain Trauma / Concussion. He is a father of three and married.
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