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Damien runs over Kaua‘i High, 61-24

LIHU‘E — Kaua‘i High School’s Noah Ibaan pushed for two touchdowns and Racen Pegeder added one on Friday afternoon against the Damien High School Monarchs in a preseason football game at Vidinha Stadium.

But the host Red Raiders could not find an answer to Damien’s Dayton Saves, who scored four of the Monarch’s nine touchdowns in the 61-24 Damien victory before a pocketful of enthusiastic Monarch faithful breaking up the sea of red-shirted fans.

Kaua‘i’s bright spot in the loss came briefly in the opening quarter when they took the lead over the Monarchs after Red Raider defender Lynden Kealoha plucked a Monarch aerial to set up a Kaua‘i drive on the Damien 40-yard line with a little more than a minute left in the opening stanza.

The Red Raiders capped the drive with Ibaan making a two-yard charge to paydirt. Ibaan kept the pigskin on a two-point point after touchdown (PAT) run and Kaua‘i took the lead, 8-7, after Saves took the opening kickoff to paydirt for the Monarch 7-0 lead.

The glory lasted for about a minute after Saves broke out for a 38-yard score with just 9.3 seconds showing in the first period. Kaua‘i’s Kealoha plucked a Monarch 2-point pass play attempt, giving Damien a 13-8 lead.

Ibaan notched his second TD on a 10-yard drive to paydirt in the final two minutes before the half, with Kaua‘i signal caller Tyren Aona keeping the ball for the 2-point conversion for the 28-16 scoreboard reading at the break.

Staying close, Kaua‘i’s Racen Pegeder notched the Raiders’ final score in the third quarter on a 14-yard running play.

Kaimana Kaui, doing exceptional duty on kickofff returns, pounced on a loose pigskin in the end zone for a 2-point PAT.

From that point, Damien’s second quarterback, Alani “AJ” Tuifua, kept the ball for a 23-yard score, and Monarch defender AJ Kanae Jr. plucked an Aona pass to stop Kaua‘i when ball carrier Sylas Alaimalo found Saves in the end zone on a 25-yard pass.

Tuifua connected with Ian Sera on a 16-yard scoring pass to open the final frame, and Monarch defender Micah Neizmen put the cork on the Kaua‘i effort by intercepting a Red Raider pass and running it back 30 yards for a touchdown with 2:24 remaining. Damien kicker Samuel Kawakami was five-for-seven in PAT boots.

With the loss, Kaua‘i finishes its preseason with a one-win, two-loss record after winning its sole contest over Viewpoint School from California, and dropping to Pearl City and Damien.

The Red Raiders next travel to the Bryan J. Baptiste Sports Complex stadium in Kapa‘a on Sept. 2 to face Kapa‘a High School (2-0 in the preseason), the Kaua‘i Interscholastic Federation’s sole Division I team.

Junior varsity play starts at 4 p.m. with the varsity contest starting 30 minutes after.

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Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 808-245-0453 or dfujimoto@thegardenisland.com.
Source: The Garden Island

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