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Kahuku pulls away from Punahou to retain D-I football title

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 12:07 a.m. HST, Nov 24, 2012

Kahuku running back Aofaga Wily rushed for 188 yards and three touchdowns and the Red Raiders retained the Division I state football championship with a 42-20 win over Punahou tonight at Aloha Stadium.

Wily scored twice in the fourth quarter as the Red Raiders pulled away from the Buffanblu in the rematch of last year's final of the First Hawaiian Bank/HHSAA State Football Championship and captured the program's second straight state title and seventh overall.

"It was a whole team effort and that's why we've been successful," Kahuku head coach Reggie Torres said.

Punahou running back Ryan Tuiasoa finished with 118 yards on 22 carries and scored three touchdowns.

Kahuku took the lead in the second quarter on Wily's  53-yard touchdown run.

Kahuku quarterback Lasi Livai completed just two passes in the first half, but both went for touchdowns.

Lasselle Thompson chased down a throw down the right side and made the catch for a 29-yard score with 2:27 left before halftime.

The Kahuku defense forced Punahou to punt with 25 seconds left and the Red Raiders took possession at its 36. Livai then threw a pass over the middle to Will Cravens, who made the catch near midfield and flipped the ball to Kawehena Johnson just before being knocked to the turf. Johnson sprinted the remaining 53 yards down the sideline and reached the end zone with 5 seconds left to complete the stunning hook-and-ladder that sent the Red Raiders into halftime with a 21-0 lead.

Punahou got on the scoreboard on its first drive of the second half. Tuiasoa converted a third down with a 26-yard run and scored from 25 yards out on his next carry. The PAT cut Kahuku's lead to 21-7.

Punahou then stopped Kahuku on fourth and 1 at the Red Raiders' 41 and Tuiasoa capped an eight-play drive with an 8-yard touchdown run.

The Red Raiders responded with two scores in a span of 12 seconds in the fourth quarter. Kahuku converted a third and 16 with a 20-yard pass to Thompson and Wily broke free three plays later for a 38-yard touchdown run.

On the kickoff, Kahuku's Soli Afalava forced a fumble and Cravens picked up the loose ball at the 6 and took it into the end zone to stretch the Red Raiders' lead to 35-14 with 9:40 left in the game.

Johnson came down with an interception on Punahou's next possession and Wily's 25-yard touchdown run put the game out of reach.

Tuiasoa added a 3-yard touchdown run with 2:10 left.

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808chubs wrote:
Congratulations KAHUKU Red Raiders...job well done. Punahou you were a worthy opponent, good job by you also. Think it is time for Iolani to come up to Div I.
on November 23,2012 | 09:47PM
Tipops wrote:
I think that when the other schools in D2 can offer tuition assistance (aka: scholarships) and free tutoring the playing field will become a lot leveler.
on November 23,2012 | 10:54PM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
Coach Okimoto of Farrington summed it up last when he said "Its seems that Kahuku plays at another level".
on November 23,2012 | 11:34PM
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