Kaimuki coach Clint Onigama did his best to keep the Bulldogs offense balanced in the first half.
But when it came to crunch time, he knew exactly who to ride.
Washington State commit Chester Sua rushed for 206 yards and scored the game-winning touchdown and 2-point conversion combo to give Kaimuki a physical 14-13 victory over Kalaheo last night in a matchup of undefeated teams in the Oahu Interscholastic Association White Conference.
Sua had 19 of his 29 carries in the second half, piling up 127 rushing yards to push the Bulldogs (5-1, 5-0), a game up on the Mustangs (3-1, 3-1) in league play.
"We’ve got a lot of faith in Chester," Onigama said. "We had an opportunity to run the ball and went with it and hoped our playmaker could make some big plays."
Kalaheo was led by a pair of 100-yard rushers in seniors Jesse Carney (122 yards) and Justin Pagan (102 yards).
Pagan, who also threw for 59 yards and a touchdown, scored on a 2-yard run with 4 minutes remaining to pull the Mustangs within 14-13.
Kalaheo, which rushed for 292 yards, decided to go for the lead, but failed on the 2-point conversion as Pagan was stuffed by a host of Bulldogs defenders.
"We don’t play for ties, ever," Kalaheo coach Chris Mellor said. "There were still a few minutes left in the game, so it wasn’t for the win but it was for the lead and we’ll go for it every time."
The Mustangs got the ball back after Reynolds Gonsalves forced Bulldogs quarterback Dallas Reis to fumble. Zane Lauriano recovered the ball at the Kaimuki 44 inside of 3 minutes remaining.
Two plays later, Kalaheo’s chance at victory ended when Ma’anoa Tau drilled Pagan, forcing a fumble that was recovered by Justice Sarcedo just prior to falling out of bounds.
"We had our shot, but we fumbled it back," Mellor said. "(Kaimuki) was tough. We’ll learn a lot from this and probably see these guys later in the playoffs."
Kalaheo scored on its opening possession when Pagan hit Nainoa Frank for a 20-yard touchdown.
The Mustangs didn’t score the rest of the half, turning the ball over three times and missing a 30-yard field goal.
"We worked on their option play all week," said 270-pound lineman Mike Moala, who led the Bulldogs with eight solo tackles. "We had our two tackles hit the guy no matter what, if they get it or not and our end would go for the quarterback.
"We just made sure to hit them every play."
Moala also put the final touches on the win, carrying the ball twice for 15 yards to get Kaimuki its final first down to allow it to run out the clock.
Reis, who threw the ball only four times in the second half, finished 6-for-13 for 121 yards, including a 21-yard touchdown to Mason Kualii-Moe. He had four catches for 93 yards.
The Bulldogs host Kalani next weekend before closing the season with tough games at Waipahu and against Pearl City at Roosevelt.
At Kaiser H.S. field
|Kalaheo (3-1, 3-1)||7||0||0||6||—||13|
|Kaimuki (5-1, 5-0)||6||0||0||8||—||14|
Kalh–Nainoa Frank 20 pass from Justin Pagan (Royce Baginski kick)
Kaim–Mason Kualii-Moe 21 pass from Dallas Reis (kick failed)
Kaim–Chester Sua 2 run (Sua run)
Kalh–Pagan 2 run (run failed)
RUSHING–Kalh: Jesse Carney 19-122, Pagan 15-102, Anthony Maglinti 15-66, Shannon Aiwohi 1-2. Kaim: Sua 29-206, Mike Moala 2-15, team 1-(minus 1), Siaosi Hala’api’api 1-(minus 2), Reis 2-(minus 6).
PASSING–Kalh: Pagan 5-12-1-59. Kaim: Reis 6-13-0-121.
RECEIVING–Kalh: Frank 4-46, Quincy Mason 1-13. Kaim: Kualii-Moe 4-93, Nick Motellang 1-13, Justice Sarcedo 1-6, Sua 0-9.
Junior varsity — Kalaheo 26, Kaimuki 0