Hawks fly high again, continue Alohas fall
Southridge beats injury-riddled Aloha 20-10 on Friday night
ALOHA - If nothing else, the 2011 Metro League football season has produced plenty of unexpected results.
That trend continued on Friday when Southridge - overlooked in the Metro race after a 1-3 non-league run - knocked off defending Metro and Class 6A state champion Aloha 20-10 at Aloha High School.
The win, Southridge's third straight after opening the year at 0-3, lifted the Skyhawks' Metro record to 2-0 (3-3 overall) and continued the team's recent rise in the standings.
'We just threw some things away early on,' said Southridge coach Brad Mastrud. 'But we've kind of cleaned some things up. It's been a good three weeks.'
Injury-plagued Aloha, meanwhile, lost for the fourth straight time and fell to 0-2 in league (2-4 overall). That result left the Warriors in real danger of finishing out of the Metro's top three, an event that would force Aloha to win a Class 6A state Play-In game just to join the 32-team Class 6A state playoff bracket.
'We just needed to move the ball more consistently,' said Aloha coach Chris Casey, whose team played again without - among others - tailback Thomas Tyner, tight end/ defensive end Bryson Sullivan and wide receiver/safety Sheldon Prince. 'And we had some assignment/technique problems, and our eyes in the wrong place on the play-action pass they had for the TD.'
Friday's first half was a back-and-forth affair highlighted by defensive stops, missed opportunities and three field goals, two of them from Southridge's Kyle Oliviero that provided a 6-3 edge at halftime. Oliviero hit from 39 yards in the first quarter, and connected again from 21 yards in the second before Aloha's Lenana Meekisho hit a 23-yarder in the second period.
The Skyhawks didn't sit on that lead either. They struck for the game's first touchdown in the third quarter, getting a 44-yard Reza Aleaziz-to-Justin Calo TD pass in the third quarter, then stretched their lead to 20-3 when Kevin McClean picked off a Cory Sinner pass and took it back 31 yards to score in the fourth quarter.
Aloha answered with a 10-yard Sinner-to-Maurice McSwain touchdown pass in the fourth quarter to make it 20-10, but the Warriors just didn't have enough time after that to come back.
'I think our defense has been playing a lot better of late,' Mastrud said after his team held Aloha to 250 yards in total offense. 'The coaches have changed some things and we've definitely been playing better.'
Despite the loss, Casey saw some good things from his team and believes the Warriors will continue to improve.
'We improved again, and we played very well on defense again,' he said, emphasizing the efforts of Brayden Kearsley and Michael Kluge on the line and Justin Howard at linebacker.
For the game, Southridge tailback Blake Wolfington rushed for 113 yards on 21 carries, while Aleaziz went 12-of-19 passing for 189 yards and one TD. For Aloha, Sinner ran 17 times for 102 yards while Ryan Russo carried 12 times for 71 yards. Sinner completed 5-of-12 passes for 57 yards with one interception.
On Friday: Aloha plays at Jesuit at 7:30 p.m., and Southridge plays at Sunset at 7:30 p.m.