Kaiser’s Canaan Saole blocked a punt that was recovered for the go-ahead score as the Cougars scored 17 unanswered points to defeat Kauai 17-7 in the Division II final of the First Hawaiian Bank/HHSAA Football State Championships on Saturday night at Aloha Stadium.
It’s the first state football championship for Kaiser (13-1), which won the 1979 Prep Bowl.
Kauai finishes its season 10-1.
Defenses from both teams dominated the game as Kaiser finished with 1119 total yards while Kauai was held to 77. The Red Raiders had 36 rushing attempts for a total of 10 yards.
Nearly all of that came on an 18-play, 83-yard drive in the second quarter that took up 9:55 on the clock. Kanoa Iwasaki scored on a 3-yard run to give the Red Raiders a 7-0 lead with 1:05 remaining in the half.
Kaiser outscored Kauai 17-0 after the break. The Cougars tied the game on a 10-yard touchdown pass from Kahoalii Karratti to Elima Haole in the third quarter.
Saole blocked a punt to start the fourth quarter that was recovered by Melvin Kahunanui, who ran it in from the 1.
Kahunanui later intercepted Kauai’s Kanoa Andrade with a minute left to seal the win.
Saole finished with nine tackles and a sack and Karratti was 8-for-15 for 91 yards and a touchdown with an interception.
Matt Sai added a 30-yard field goal for the Cougars, who won their final 13 games after losing to Campbell in their season opener.