Chargers Striving For Coveted State Football Tourney Berth

With the team having come within a few plays of winning last year’s OIA White title, this season couldn’t come quickly enough for Pearl City and head coach Robin Kami.

Indeed, if any White team saw 2014 as a way to settle unfinished business, it was the Pearl City Chargers.

They worked diligently in the off-season to position themselves for another post-season run.

The “second season” is officially here as they prepare to play an OIA White first-round game this weekend.

Matchups and times were to be finalized after press time.

The OIA White title game will take place Oct. 31, and the top two finishers earn berths for next month’s Division II state football championships.

A look at the Chargers’ post-season prospects is below.

The Pearl City file

Record: 6-1 in the OIA White, heading into last weekend’s finale against Kalaheo.

The Chargers were the OIA DII runner-up in 2013 en route to earning a berth in the state championships.

Wins: Over Roosevelt 34-6 at home Aug. 15, over Waialua 34-7 Aug. 23, over Kaimuki 46-13 Aug. 29, over Anuenue (2-0 by forfeit) Sept. 5, over Radford 34-26 on neutral ground Sept. 20, over Kalani 42-20 Oct. 3

Losses: At Nanakuli 28-21 Sept. 26 Signature wins: Radford, Kalani

Offense at a glance: Behind the decision-making of veteran quarterback Jordan Taamu and a host of talented play-makers, the offense has been humming with precision all season, as the team topped the 30-point plateau in six of its first seven games.

The one time it failed to score 30 or more came in its lone defeat at the hands of Nanakuli.

Considering that Pearl City held leads in that game of 14-0 (after the first quarter) and 21-14 (heading into the fourth), you can bet it wouldn’t mind another matchup with the Golden Hawks.

On the offensive side of the ball, it all begins with Taamu.

The quarterback entered last weekend’s game against Kalaheo having thrown 15 touchdowns versus just one interception through seven games to go with a completion rate of 61.6 percent.

Taamu also is averaging 6.4 yards per carry on the ground.

Dominic Maneafaiga, Keelan Domingo-Ishikawa, Kavossie Mason and Garrett Kanamu have been his favorite targets.

The foursome have combined for 13 touchdown receptions to date.

Maneafaiga is also leading rusher, having averaged 7.4 yards per carry with seven touchdowns on the ground.

Pearl City is averaging 322 total yards per game, offensively — 169 rushing and 142 in the air.

Defense at a glance: Pearl City’s defensive hopes are tied to its ability to stop the opposing team’s run game.

In the Chargers’ only loss of the season (to Nanakuli), they gave up 181 yards on the ground — an average of 6.2 yards per carry.

That was considerably more than the 94.3 rushing yards they give up on average.

The Chargers will have to tighten up over the next few weeks to position itself for a state tournament berth.

They have given up just 19 points in the first quarter of games this season, a trend that bodes well for the post-season.

Did you know? Pearl City has outscored its opponents 81-19 in the first quarter of its games in 2014.