Insight, News, and Opinion by Nick Abramo
  • September 23, 2021
Damien Fights Off PAC-5 To Win In Nip-And-Tuck Fashion, 27-21

In the rare spotlight of the featured Interscholastic League of Honolulu football game of the week, Damien fell behind by two touchdowns before roaring back for a 27-21 victory over PAC-5 on Friday night at Aloha Stadium.

With just 3:35 left and trailing by one, the Monarchs’ Sylas Alaimalo made the final difference with a 29-yard touchdown run to cap the 77-yard winning drive.

Alaimalo finished with 119 rushing yards and two touchdowns for Damien (2-1, 0-1 ILH Division I), winners of two games in a row. He also threw for 60 yards and one TD, while running back Peyton Dalmacio chugged for 59 yards on the ground.

But it was the Wolfpack (0-2, 0-1 ILH Division II) who took command early. After Joshua Arcayena gave PAC-5 its first touchdown, quarterback Ezekiel Rodrigues followed up with a 99-yard TD jaunt for a 14-0 edge.

Then the real nipping and tucking and lead changes began.

Alaimalo found Pono Sales with a 21-yard TD pass to pull the Monarchs to within seven points at halftime.

Early in the third, Nalu Chinen-Zablan’s 49-yard interception return knotted it up at 14 apiece.

New Pac-Five coach Kena Heffernan got mighty close to his first victory when Rodrigues finished off a 62-yard drive with a 29-yard TD run to put the Wolfpack ahead 21-20 with 7:39 remaining.

Instead, Damien got the comeback drive it needed for new coach Anthony Tuitele, whose Monarchs tasted victory for the second time in three games this season.

Jayce Jay-Pedro had three tackles for loss
for the winning Monarchs.

(BedrockSportsHawaii file photo).

Rodrigues wound up with 156 rushing yards to go along with his two TDs. The hard-charging Wolfpack running attack also got 98 yards out of Arcayena.

The featured 7:30 p.m. time slot, usually reserved for the ILH’s Open Division teams, went to the Monarchs and Wolfpack due to the COVID-19 related postponement of the Saint Louis vs. Kamehameha game.

Among the game’s defensive standouts were Damien’s Braeden Faurot (eight tackles) and Jayce Jay-Pedro (three tackles for loss), and PAC-5’s Daymian Lapitan and Arcayena (eight tackles each), Duke Mobley (three tackles for loss, fumble recovery), Tanner Pangan (fumble recovery) and Nai Iwaki (interception).

Both teams play at Aloha Stadium next Friday. The Monarchs face Saint Louis II at 5 p.m., and the Wolfpack go up against ‘Iolani at 7:30.

Damien 27, PAC-5 21

At Aloha Stadium

Damien (2-1, 0-1).  7.  7.  6.  7.  —   27
PAC-5.  (0-2, 0-1).  14.  0.  0.  7.  —   21

PAC-5—Joshua Arcayena 3 run (Bryson Tsukayama-Daniel kick)
PAC-5—Ezekiel Rodrigues 99 run (Tsukayama-Daniel kick)
DAMIEN—Sylas Alaimalo 1 run  (Rustyn Ah Yat kick)
DAMIEN—Pono Sales 21 pass from Alaimalo (Ah Yat kick)
DAMIEN—Nalu Chinen-Zablan 49 interception return (rush failed)
PAC-5—Rodrigues 29 run (Tsukayama-Daniel kick)
DAMIEN—Alaimalo 29 run (Ah Yat kick)

RUSHING—Damien: Alaimalo 22-119, Dalmacio 15-59, Chinen-Zablan 1-9, Jensen Tanele 4-5, TEAM 2-(minus-8). PAC-5: Rodrigues 12-156, Arcaeyna 14-98, Neivyn Kahoopii 5-19, Chad Schmidt 5-7, Daymian Lapitan 1-(minus-5).
PASSING—Damien: Alaimalo 4-7-1—60. PAC-5: Rodrigues 3-10-1—26, Leighton-Moses Kaai 0-1-0—0.
RECEIVING—Damien: Sales 2-50, Thor Gante 2-10. PAC-5: Blade Kaululaau 1-12, Rome Lilio 1-10, Nai Iwaki 1-4.


ALSO AT BedrockSportsHawaii.com: Allison Chang Is On The Leading Edge Of A New Wave Of ‘Iolani Female Place-Kickers

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