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Punahou takes final step, wins state D-I football title

By Jason Kaneshiro

LAST UPDATED: 01:39 a.m. HST, Nov 24, 2013

Punahou quarterback Larry Tuileta threw three touchdown passes and the Buffanblu held off a furious Mililani comeback to capture the program's second state title with a 28-22 win in the Division I final of the First Hawaiian Bank/HHSAA State Football Championships on Saturday night at Aloha Stadium.

Tuileta threw for 202 yards and three touchdowns in the first half to send Punahou into halftime with a 21-8 lead, and the Buffanblu (11-0) survived a fourth-quarter rally after the Trojans (12-2) cut a 20-point lead to six with 3:53 left in the game.

Tuileta completed his high school career with his first state title after the Buffanblu fell short in the title game the previous two seasons.

He connected with Trent Sitar, Kanawai Noa and Dakota Torres for a 21-0 lead.

Mililani quarterback McKenzie Milton's 6-yard fade pass to Kalakaua Timoteo got the Trojans on the scoreboard with 16 seconds left in the first half. A 2-point conversion sent Mililani into halftime trailing 21-8.

Punahou running back Wayne Taulapapa extended the lead to 28-8 with a 1-yard run on the first play of the fourth quarter.

Mililani responded with trickery as receiver Kainoa Wilson took a handoff, pulled up and fired a 36-yard TD pass to Bronson Ramos with 10:45 left in the game.

After an interception by Jayson Cardines, the Trojans called the same play with the same result, this time Wilson hitting Ramos for a 62-yard strike to bring Mililani within six with 3:53 left.

Mililani stopped the Buffanblu to regain possession at the Trojans 46 with two minutes remaining. But Milton's pass on fourth-and-16 was intercepted by Joseph Augafa.

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luv2play wrote:
Punahou both lucky and good tonight. Mililani just as good, not as lucky. Great game.
on November 23,2013 | 10:44PM
Rakone wrote:
Not sure what Coach Ane was thinking....you're ahead 28 to 15 with 4 minutes left in the game, you have the ball, 4th down and 10 at Mililani's 40 yard line....and you GO FOR IT? Why not punt and pin them deep? Your punter was definitely having a great game....and other than QB's broken scrambles and trick plays, Mililani was not going to beat you straight up. Then again, you have the ball, 4th down and 1 at around Mililani's 45 yard line, 2 minutes left, and you go for it? Once again, not punting and pinning them deep...instead, 2nd consecutive time you don't convert on 4th down. When Mililani got the ball back with 2 minutes left, they should have ran the same play for a 3rd time (since the DB's didn't get it twice in a row)....but instead of throwing, fake the throw and I bet the sideline would have been wide open. Oh well...Punahou did get lucky. Mililani HAS a young but talented team. They will be MUCH better next year, which is scary.
on November 23,2013 | 11:19PM
allie wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on November 24,2013 | 08:21AM
luv2play wrote:
Football is icing on the cake at Punahou. Plenty of glory there to go around without football.
on November 24,2013 | 09:07PM
HAJAA1 wrote:
Yup Punahou got lucky. That was a clear fumble. Should put an asterisk next to the title.
on November 24,2013 | 12:05AM
slacker47 wrote:
Just a second post, imploring Hawaii hs grads to consider cold midwest colleges. Look at Manti Te'o of Notre Dame, who seemed to be typical hard playing athlete,excelling in midwest. And I recalled,after looking at an old 1966 Mich State-Notre Dame program of a Nov 19 game i attended. It was freezing cold in stands,and out comes Dick Kenney( Iolani hs) to kick a 40 something yard filed goal--barefoot! In same game of this famous 10-10 tie,was Bob Apisa(Farrington hs) running back for Michigan State. The Hawaii players seem to play harder and with more grit
on November 24,2013 | 04:25AM
Alewa2Mililani wrote:
Yup, Punahou got lucky 11 times this year! The players weren't that good, the coaching isn't that good. Their overall program is average. All luck. HHSAA SHOULD have a HUGE asterisk next to their title! (ohmmmgeeeee..haters gonna hate, envy is difficult to control---when you're 7).
on November 24,2013 | 06:54AM
erickalm wrote:
Pay no attention to the haters. Punahou earned their championship and their number 1 ranking. All these negative comments cant change that. They brought it hard on Saturday and EARNED that win. Still gotta say HELL OF GAME TROJANS! You guys played with hard and with heart until the end and left everything on the field. Heads up you guys despite your loss to Punahou (who is a awesome team as well) you guys ended the season like champs.
on November 25,2013 | 06:43AM
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