POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Oct 24, 2010
It ended, appropriately enough, with another sack and another penalty.
For the Leilehua Mules, an ugly win was lovely enough.
Fourth-ranked Leilehua got three touchdown passes from Jordan Kalaau and overcame 191 yards in penalties for a 26-13 win over Castle last night at Hugh Yoshida Stadium.
Leilehua (6-2, 6-1) advanced to the semifinal round of the Oahu Interscholastic Association Red playoffs and will meet Kahuku on Friday at Aloha Stadium. Castle's up-and-down season ended as the Knights went backward for most of a cool, crisp evening at the Mules' field.
Castle had 131 yards in penalties and quarterback Jaymason Lee was sacked eight times and lost 78 yards in the process.
"It was very frustrating. We made too many mistakes and Leilehua played a great game," Castle coach Nelson Maeda said. "It's tough to play when you're always going backwards. Maybe it was the attention of the big game."
Part of that was due to Leilehua's unorthodox standup defense that has had opposing offensive linemen desperately figuring out matchups all season. Defensive end Penitito Melei, a 6-foot-1, 200-pound senior, led the way with 3.5 sacks. Linebacker Reece Acohido added 1.5 more. Defensive linemen Matai Tuaato and Cornelius Fitiausi managed fumble recoveries.
The Mules never sat back and allowed Lee, one of the OIA's most productive passers, to get comfortable. Though Lee found openings and scrambled for big yardage in the second half, Leilehua kept coming.
"We talked about hard work and keeping up the hard effort," Melei said, deflecting any notion that it was a spectacular game for the defensive unit. "It was a regular game as usual."
Despite all the offensive struggles, Lee's 7-yard scramble for a touchdown with 2:41 left brought the Knights within 19-13 with 2:41 to play. Castle pooched the ensuing kickoff and Leilehua gained possession at its 36-yard line. Three plays later, backup Kenan Sadanaga rifled a bullet to Fred Padrones, who turned and beat the defender for a 61-yard touchdown — his second score — to seal the win with 2:09 left.
Kalaau finished 16-for-25 with 169 yards, overcoming two interceptions in the first half (by Josh Kong and Moses Alimott). Padrones had seven catches for 152 yards.
The first half, and especially the opening quarter, was a series of penalty-flag stoppages occasionally interrupted by actual play. The teams combined for 15 penalties for 171 yards in the first quarter alone. Combined with TV timeouts, the tempo left Mules fans frustrated and venting at the high-decibel sounds of the Castle band.
The first touchdown of the game came after Leilehua's defense pinned Castle near its own goal line. A 27-yard punt return by Jeremiah Andrade and a subsequent spearing penalty on Castle gave the Mules first down at the Knights' 11-yard line. Allen Racette's 11-yard catch and run to the pylon gave the Mules a 6-0 lead with 4:24 left in the first quarter.
With Leilehua's defense dominating — the Mules sacked Lee five times in the first half — the game was a stalemate until late in the second quarter. Jordan Kalaau's 53-yard bomb to Padrones lifted Leilehua to a 13-0 lead with 1:36 remaining in the half.
Kalaau's 8-yard touchdown pass to Darrien Shealy boosted the Mules' lead to 19 points with 10:16 left in the third quarter.
Castle finally broke its scoring drought on Lee's 44-yard bomb to Hough with 8:37 left in the third.
Lei--Allen Racette 11 pass from Jordan Kalaau (kick failed)
Lei--Fred Padrones 53 pass from Kalaau (Tim Momiyama kick)
Lei--Darrien Shealy 8 pass from Kalaau (kick failed)
Cast--Jacque Hough 44 pass from Jaymason Lee (Adam Aquino kick)
Cast--Lee 7 run (kick blocked)
Lei--Padrones 61 pass from Kenan Sadanaga (Momiyama kick)
RUSHING--Castle: Cy Pana 7-16, Josh Kong 1-12, Teawe Olds 6-9, Timothy Torres 1-6, Olycon Finau 2-(minus 8), Lee 14-(minus 24). Leilehua: Racette 5-45, Dillon Pauu 6-38, Austin Schmidt 3-11, Jeremiah Andrade 2-3, Sadanaga 3-(minus 20),
PASSING--Castle: Lee 10-24-0-116. Leilehua: Kalaau 16-25-2-169, Sadanaga 5-9-85.
RECEIVING--Castle: Kong 4-22, Hough 2-49, Moses Alimott 2-28, William Oku 1-13, Noah Makainai 1-4. Leilehua: Shealy 8-60, Padrones 7-152, Andrade 2-20, Racette 2-14, Elijah Barro 1-6, Stan Mersburgh 1-2.