Top five plays of Polynesian Bowl, including offensive MVP Puka Nacua's TD

Photo: Polynesian Bowl

Top five plays of Polynesian Bowl, including offensive MVP Puka Nacua's TD


Top five plays of Polynesian Bowl, including offensive MVP Puka Nacua's TD


With the running games of both teams bottled up in the first half of the Polynesian Bowl, Team Makai built a big lead and then Quincy HS (Ill.) running back Jirehl Brock iced the game in the fourth.

Team Makai defeated Team Mauka 27-7 in the 2019 Polynesian Bowl.

Orem HS (Utah) wide receiver Puka Nacua was named offensive MVP, finishing the game with six receptions, 93 yards and one incredible touchdown grab.

His touchdown catch was thrown by Chandler HS (Ariz.) quarterback Jacob Conover, who, including this game, finished his high school career 15-0 in postseason games and bowls.

The defensive player of the game was Menlo-Atherton HS (Calif.) linebacker Daniel Heimuli. He finished with six tackles, a sack and 3.5 tackles for loss.

Here are the top five plays in the game. It will be rebroadcast Sunday on CBS Sports Network.

5. Brock ices the game

Maybe Team Mauka thought Brock was surrounded and would go out of bounds. He didn’t.

Maybe each of them thought the next guy would get to him. They couldn’t.

The two teams combined for 16 rushing yards in the first half, but Brock exceeded that total on this play alone. He got to the sideline and outraced defenders, scoring a touchdown from about 23 yards out to extend Team Makai’s lead in the fourth quarter.

4. Asa Turner interception

It seemed like Carlsbad HS (Calif.) DB Asa Turner was consistently around the ball. Early in the game, he got his hands on one. When quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa was forced to scramble and then threw deep, Turner jumped into the passing lane and grabbed it.

He stayed in bounds and won Team Makai possession.

3. Taulia Tagovailoa finds Lincoln Victor deep

Trailing 20-0 in the third quarter, Thompson HS (Alabaster, Ala.) quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa rolled to his right as if he were going to throw it toward a man at the line of scrimmage. The safety bit, charging forward, and Union HS (Vancouver, Wash.) WR Lincoln Victor streaked past the cornerback.

Wide open, he made the grab and stayed in bounds to put Team Mauka on the board.

2. Heimuli crosses the field for a sack

St. Louis HS (Honolulu) DT Faatui Tuitele burst around the offensive lineman and jumped in pursuit of Casteel (Queen Creek, Ariz.) quarterback Gunner Cruz. Cruz scrambled left and tried to direct a receiver into the clearing.

But before anything could materialize downfield, defensive MVP Heimuli burst into Cruz’s line of vision. He had crossed from the other side of the field and had a clear line toward the QB.

It was a hard hit and a much-needed sack for Team Mauka.

1. Puka Nacua toe-tap touchdown

In the second-quarter drive, Orem HS (Utah) WR Puka Nacua showed two different ways he was able to rack up a country-leading 2,336 receiving yards this year.

First, he made a catch near the sideline, landed, and made a hesitation move before breaking to his right into the middle of the field. This moment allowed him to break free and gain extra yardage.

Then, later in the drive, he made the play of the game.

With Conover rolling left on a third-and-22, Nacua followed his progress downfield.

Conover made a nice throw on the move into the corner of the end zone, and despite being held, Nacua was ready. He caught the pass on the sideline, toe-tapped down and went to the ground. As he got up with his shoulder pad out of his jersey, Nacua took off his helmet, ran back into the end zone and tried to demonstrate that the catch was inbounds.

The referee agreed. Touchdown. Team Makai took a 17-0 lead on the possession and would not relinquish it.

Here’s another angle in which you can momentarily see his toes come down.


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