By Randy Dela Cruz, Ho'okele Sports Editor
Wahine Koa quarterback Dana Hester threw for three touchdowns and ran in for another to lead the team to a 30-18 win over the Bomb-shells on Feb. 23 in an Xtreme Flag Football at Keehi Lagoon Park.
The win improved Wahine Koa’s record to 2-0, while the Bombshells have opened the new season by losing two straight games.
Both teams are filled with military-family members affiliated with Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.
“She’s stepping up,” said Wahine Koa head coach August Young about Hester’s prowess at QB. “Her mobility in the pocket is really good, that and reading where her blockers are. She picked it up so much. We go over it in practice and she implements it.”
Working with first-year offensive coordinator Lt.j.g. Gennaro Hawkins, Navy Computer Telecommunications Area Master Station Pacific, Hester wasted little time in getting the team moving forward.
Starting at her own 20-yard line, Hester finished off a seven-play drive to pay dirt with a 13-yard scoring toss to Sandy Robinson, a Navy spouse who has recently enlisted with Navy and will be attending boot camp later this year.
The two-point conversion was good to give Wahine Koa the early upper hand at 8-0.
After the Bombshells were stopped on downs on their first drive of the game, the team responded on the next possession by moving the ball 43 yards on nine plays for six points.
Bombshells quarterback Caryn Harman, a Navy spouse, came up big with two long gains on a couple of keepers before handing the ball off to Staff Sgt. Sade Vasquez, 15th Wing, for a one-yard plunge into the end zone.
With their lead cut down to two points, Wahine Koa, behind the straight forward running style of retired Army veteran Simone Davis, quickly got the lead back up to eight.
Davis started off the five-play drive with a strong 11-yard rush and then later picked up another five yards before catching an eight-yard scoring pass from Hester just prior to halftime.
Wahine Koa kept the pressure on in the second half by storming out of the break with their third scoring drive of the day.
Aided by a pass-interference penalty on Bombshells’ defensive back Ashley Jenkins, an Air Force spouse, that placed the ball at the Bombshells’ seven-yard line, Hester needed only two plays before completing her third touchdown pass of the game by lobbing a short one-yard toss to Fleming Belvilyn, who is a Coast Guard spouse.
The teams traded touch-downs, with Navy spouse Jessica Fama scoring on a one-yard run for the Bomb-shells and Hester taking off on a 22-yard scamper before Fama reached the end zone on a nine-yard pass from Harman for the final score.
While the Bombshells have now lost two games this season, which is something that didn’t happen to the team until the final championship matchup at the end of last season, Harman remained positive.
“Everything is possible,” said Harman about winning the rest of the team’s games. “Look, we’re the only team that can score that amount of points on the Koa, so there’s no reason we can’t go out and blast everyone from here on out.”
The Bombshells’ slow start may have ultimately cost the team the game as Wahine Koa scored on each of their possessions except their last series, which they used to run out the clock.
In designing the team’s attack, Hawkins said that the ladies did everything he asked them to do.
“We just try to take advantage of everything the other team has to offer,” Hawkins explained. “A lot of teams come out aggressive and, of course, we’re going to try and exploit that. There’s some things we got to work on, but other than that, it felt great.”
After winning the league championship two seasons in a row, Young said that anything short of a three-peat would a disappointment.
“Undefeated championship. That’s the goal,” Young said. “Hopefully, we’ll get there.”