Kahuku posted its sixth shutout of the season and the Red Raiders advanced to the state championship game for the 10th time with a 13-0 win over Waianae tonight at Aloha Stadium.
Kahuku safety Keala Santiago returned the first of his two interceptions for a touchdown early in the third quarter and Red Raider quarterback Kesi Ah-Hoy rushed for 142 yards on 40 attempts in a Division I semifinal of the HHSAA/First Hawaiian Bank State Football Championships.
Top-seeded Kahuku — 7-2 in the championship game since the state tournament was established in 1999 — will face the winner of the second game of tonight’s semifinal doubleheader between Saint Louis and defending champion Mililani.
“It’s finally good to be back, give these young guys the experience” Santiago said. “Looking forward to next week.”
Neither offense reached the end zone with two Kekoa Sasaoka field goals and Santiago’s interception return on the second play of the third quarter accounting for all of the scoring.
The Kahuku defense held Waianae to 76 yards in total offense and came away with three turnovers in the second half.
After Waianae’s Mosiah Brame came down with an interception on Kahuku’s first possession of the game, the teams traded 10 punts with Waianae controlling field position for much of the first half.
Kahuku held Waianae without a first down until the 8:51 mark of the second quarter and the Seariders were able to string two together late in the half. The drive stalled at the Kahuku 46 and the Seariders lined up for another punt. The snap went to the up-back but his pass fell incomplete giving Kahuku possession near midfield.
Cameron Renaud stepped in an quarterback and completed a 34-yard pass down the Red Raider sideline to Kekaula Kaniho. A 15-yard strike to Royce Pao then gave Kahuku first-and-goal at the 5 with 22 seconds left. But after three incompletions, Sasaoka hit a 22-yard field goal and the Red Raiders took a 3-0 lead into halftime.
Santiago scored the game’s lone touchdown with his 32-yard return 49 seconds into the third quarter. Kaniho added an interception on Waianae’s next possession and Santiago had another on Waianae’s lone play of the fourth quarter.
Kahuku has now gone 15 quarters without giving up an offensive touchdown and just one in the last 27.
Waianae finished its season at 9-4 and made its first appearance in the state tournament since 2010.