Photo courtesy Peter Caldwell/ScoringLive.comBy Wes Nakama
A bumpy road at the start of the Moanalua football season suddenly got a lot smoother somewhere in the middle of last Saturday's O'ahu Interscholastic Association game at Kailua.
Na Menehune, who lost starting quarterback Max Fiatoa to an anterior cruciate ligament injury in the opening defeat at Mililani and then lost to Wai'anae at home a week later, trailed 13-7 early in the second quarter at Kailua.
But that's when junior quarterback Micah Kaneshiro and the Moanalua offense kicked into high gear. Kaneshiro completed passes of 27 and 13 yards to Donald Lambert and Jon-Michael Sharsh, respectively, to help set up Ishmil Scott's 29-yard touchdown that tied the score at 13-13.
After a three-and-out on the Surfriders' ensuing possession, Kaneshiro connected with Lambert for 10 yards on fourth-and-6 to keep Na Menehune's drive going and Kaleo Yanai cashed in one play later and scored from 24 yards out to give Moanalua the lead for good.
Tahi Caldwell then made his second interception to end Kailua's next series, and Kaneshiro capitalized by throwing a 41-yard TD pass to Lambert and Landon Ogawa's extra point made it 27-13 with 39 seconds remaining in the half.
Kaneshiro stayed hot early in the third quarter, hitting Sharsh on a 6-yard touchdown pass while facing third-and-goal to help put Na Menehune ahead, 34-13.
When the dust finally settled at game's end, Kaneshiro finished with 13 completions in 17 attempts for 243 yards and three TDs, with no interceptions, helping Moanalua score a stunning 39 unanswered points and win its OIA Red Conference Eastern Division opener.
Na Menehune return home Friday for another Red East game vs. Castle. Kickoff is set for about 7:30 p.m.