comscore Prep football: No. 1 Kahuku holds off No. 3 Mililani to capture OIA title | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
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Prep football: No. 1 Kahuku holds off No. 3 Mililani to capture OIA title

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                                Kahuku quarterback Waika Crawford is sacked by Mililani defensive lineman Jabiel Iauvao.


    Kahuku quarterback Waika Crawford is sacked by Mililani defensive lineman Jabiel Iauvao.

                                Kahuku running back Kana Loa Kaluna is brought down by Mililani defensive lineman Jabiel Iauvao.


    Kahuku running back Kana Loa Kaluna is brought down by Mililani defensive lineman Jabiel Iauvao.

The gap between Kahuku and its biggest threat in the OIA wasn’t as big as it looked in the regular season.

But it still exists.

The No. 1-ranked Red Raiders survived two turnovers in the opening five minutes to come from behind and knock off Mililani 21-14 to win the OIA championship in the Open Division on Friday night at Hugh Yoshida Stadium.

Kahuku junior Liona Lefau caught a 26-yard touchdown pass on fourth down with 7:36 to go to give the Red Raiders their first lead and junior linebacker Leonard Ah You forced a Mililani fumble with 1:11 to go to seal the Red Raiders’ fifth OIA title in six years and No. 28 overall.

“All we had to do was focus on getting off the field and the game was over,” Ah You said. “Big-time players make big plays, so I tried to go out there and make a play for my team and my community because this championship means so much to them.”

Kahuku (8-0) entered the game having won all seven of its games by at least 26 points.

Mililani got the start to the game it needed if it wanted to upset the team it lost to by 35 points during the regular season.

The Trojans intercepted two passes in a span of 30 seconds and led 14-0 but couldn’t score over the final 43 minutes of the game.

“I will probably be tossing and turning a long time knowing we was up 14-0,” Mililani coach Rod York said. “You can’t ask for anything more than that.”

York’s 100th win in his 11th season at Mililani would have been one of his sweetest, but instead, he’ll have to go for it against ILH champion Saint Louis in the semifinals of the Open Division state championships a week from today at Farrington.

Kahuku will play today’s Campbell/Waianae winner in the other semifinal.

“I’m just so proud of our boys, how they’ve persevered throughout this whole season and even last year with no season,” Kahuku coach Sterling Carvalho said. “For them to be down 14-0, they never stopped believing. They never got down on any one person, any one sides of the ball, everybody stayed positive together, and I think that was the biggest thing.”

Kahuku junior Kainoa Carvalho, who accounted for 102 of Kahuku’s 134 receiving yards in the game, took a quick pass on third-and-19 and split four Mililani defenders for a 46-yard touchdown catch late in the first quarter to inject some life into a Kahuku team facing its biggest deficit of the season.

The score remained the same until the opening drive of the second half, when Clyde Taulapapa capped a seven-play drive with a 1-yard TD run to tie the game 14-all.

With a steady rain causing problems for both teams, Kahuku caught a break when a punt hit the leg of a Mililani player and was recovered by Kingsley Ah You on the Mililani 30 early in the fourth quarter.

Four players later, facing a fourth-and-6 from the 26, Kahuku dialed up a play called “Summer’s special,” named after Lefau’s mom, Summer.

It was the first time they called the play all year, which saw quarterback Waika Crawford take a deep drop and roll to his right before throwing back the other way to Lefau, who snuck out the back end and caught the ball.

He was first hit at the Mililani 10 but plowed through multiple defenders, carrying at least one player the final few yards for a 26-yard TD to give Kahuku the game-winning touchdown.

“I knew I needed to get in there for my team and it was a tied game,” Lefau said. “I knew I could make it in there.”

“We’ve been practicing that play for weeks,” added Sterling Carvalho. “We actually dedicated that play to (Liona’s mom) and we were just waiting for the right time … and it was executed very well.”

Crawford bounced back from throwing a pick-6 on his first attempt to finish 10-for-16 for 132 yards and two touchdowns.

He played every drive after starter Jason Mariteragi was intercepted on his second pass of the first drive.

“Because of this rain we needed our quarterback to run a little bit more and I didn’t want Jason to get hurt,” Sterling Carvalho said. “(Crawford) was able to give us that little bit extra with his legs throughout the game.”


Nanakuli 30, Radford 12

The Golden Hawks waited until the fourth quarter to find their scoring touch.

Nanakuli got a scoring touchdown and a receiving score from Joseph Lewis IV, and scored 22 points in the final quarter to beat visiting Radford.

“They were crazy plays. We got execution from all around that made those plays happen,” Lewis IV said.

The Golden Hawks (4-4) went up 16-6 on a 62-yard pass from Keahi Ah Sui to David Kalili, and Christian Asinsin’s 2-point conversion run with 11:44 remaining.

The Rams (6-2) answered on the next possession on a 36-yard scoring pass from Kalob Victorino-Avilla to Olijah Gomez, which made it 16-12 with 10:20 remaining. The conversion pass failed.

Nanakuli answered on a 56-yard touchdown pass from Ah Sui to Lewis IV with 8:43 remaining. The 2-point conversion pass from Ah Sui to Kalili made it 24-12.

Nanakuli’s Branztyn Reyes capped the scoring on a 4-yard run with 1:52 left.

“That’s the story of the year, sometimes it takes us time to get going,” said Nanakuli coach Kili Watson. “It’s a blessing and a curse, but tonight it was obviously a good thing and we came out with the win.”

Ah Sui completed 11 of 16 passes for 204 yards. He was intercepted by Radford’s Jalin LeGrand and Syncere Dillard in the first half. Kalili had four catches for 97 yards and Lewis IV had four receptions for 87 yards.

Radford had already qualified for the OIA Division II final against Kaiser next Friday. The winner will earn the league’s lone berth in the state tournament. The Cougars beat the Rams 34-14 on Nov. 5.

“We came into this game with a game plan on how to play the game,” said Radford coach Fred Salanoa, who added he pulled a few starters during the game. “No disrespect to Nanakuli, I did have a talk with their head coach, we need to make sure our guys are ready for next week.”

Victorino-Avilla had 211 passing yards for the Rams, who averaged 41.2 points over their first six games. Jack Carlson had four receptions for 97 yards.

“Our defense is a resilient group,” said Watson. “We really emphasize swarming to the ball.”

The Rams scored on the opening possession on a 12-yard rum by Michael Hayslett, which capped a seven-play, 78-yard drive.

The Golden Hawks took an 8-6 lead on an 8-yard run by Lewis IV, who also converted the 2-point conversion run, with 2:39 left in the first quarter.

Nanakuli had a golden opportunity to score late in the half after a 26-yard punt return by Reyes put the ball at the Radford 13. After a 6-yard sack by the Rams’ Dillard, Golden Hawks quarterback Ah Sui scrambled inside the 5, but fumbled the ball and Radford’s Zander Writesel recovered at the 3.


Kyle Sakamoto, Star-Advertiser


Kalani 30, Pearl City 16

The Falcons played spoiler on Pearl City’s senior night, running their way to a win behind Josh Oh and the O-line. Kalani finishes the season with a 6-2 record for their best winning percentage (.750) in school history.

“It’s good for the school, it’s good for the community, and it’s good for the program,” Kalani head coach Scott Melemai said. “We hope we can keep building from this.”

Kalani, which opened in 1960, matched the most wins in school history, done three other times (6-4 in 2013, 6-4-1 in 1969 and 6-4 in 1972).

“We knew it was a big game,” Oh added about the milestone. “Everyone knew we had a chance to make history. Tonight, we did.”

Oh toted the ball 21 times, finishing with two touchdowns and a game-best 136 yards, 102 coming in the first half.

“Big thanks to my O-line,” Oh said of his performance. “I love my line. They did everything, I give all credit to them. I just did my job, read my holes, and executed.”

“We’ve relied on him all season,” Melemai added.

Also playing big roles in the run game were receiver Noa Uchida and quarterback Logan Lim. Uchida carried the ball just four times, but picked up 51 yards, including a 38-yard touchdown run. Lim carried the ball 12 times, racking up 48 ground yards. With the run game firing on all cylinders in the downpour, Lim saw a limited workload in the passing game, He threw for a quiet 50 yards on 9-for-16 passing, but also tossed a first half touchdown.

Pearl City quarterback Sefo Feesago threw for a game-high 123 yards on 11-of-20 passing with a touchdown pass.

Kalani opened the game with a big defensive stand, forcing a Pearl City three-and-out on the game’s first drive. The Falcons offense capitalized, holding onto the ball for an 11-play scoring drive that ended with Lim’s 9-yard touchdown toss to Jonah Viernes. In the second quarter, Pearl City came through with the equalizer when quarterback Sefo Feesago hit receiver Joshua Gleason for a 17-yard touchdown connection.

The Chargers had a chance to take the lead one drive later, but a 37-yard field goal attempt was blocked. Instead, it was Kalani that doubled up their score, as Oh took a handoff for 63 yards and a touchdown on the next Falcons drive to make it 14-8 at the half time break.

After trading punts on the first three drives of the second half, Kalani broke the deadlock on Oh’s second score of the day, a 9-yard rumble. The Falcons recovered the ensuing onside kick. The following seven-play drive took the game into the final frame, but yielded a turnover on downs that kickstarted another defensive back-and-forth.

The Falcons again broke the scrum, taking advantage of a short field to cement their lead on Uchida’s 38-yard touchdown run. Pearl City made some noise at the end of the game, as Micah Higa returned a short kickoff 60 yards to the house. The following onside kick was recovered by the Falcons, who kneeled out the game.


Jonathan Chen, Star-Advertiser


Kaiser 40, McKinley 14

Cougars junior quarterback Easton Yoshino passed for 286 yards and four touchdowns as the Cougars romped the Tigers to remain undefeated.

Kaiser jumped ahead early, first on senior Shane Smith’s 22-yard field goal and then on Yoshino’s 16-yard touchdown pass to freshman receiver Rayne Sumida. Senior Shane Sumida kicked the extra point to give Kaiser a 10-0 lead in the first quarter.

The Cougars defense tackled McKinley junior quarterback Dustin Chow in the end zone for a safety and a 12-0 lead. Later, Yoshino connected with senior wide receiver Justin Kanekoa and Sumida for touchdown passes of 4 and 5 yards, respectively, for a 26-0 halftime lead.

McKinley scored their first touchdown on Ethan Duong’s 34-yard catch from Chow and Justin Fujioka-Silva made the extra point for a 26-7 score. Kanekoa caught a 48-yard pass and freshman receiver Jesse Shinagawa added an 11-yard score for the Cougars’ 40-7 lead to close the third quarter.

Chow connected with junior wide receiver Preston Note and Fujioka-Silva made the extra point for the final score of the game.


Noelle Kakimoto, Special to the Star-Advertiser


Kahuku 21, Mililani 14

At Hugh Yoshida Stadium

Mililani (5-2) 14 0 0 0 – 14

Kahuku (8-0) 7 0 7 7 — 21

Mil — Makanale’a Meyer 2 run (Makel Paiva)

Mil — Gavin Hunter 45 interception return (Paiva kick)

Kah — Kainoa Carvalho 46 pass from Waika Crawford (Carvalho kick)

Kah — Clyde Taulapapa 1 run (Carvalho kick)

Kah — Liona Lefau 26 pass from Crawford (Carvalho kick)

RUSHING—Mililani: Nehemiah Timoteo 14-63, Meyer 4-10, Emana Tarape 4-(minus 8). Kahuku: Taulapapa 14-35, Crawford 10-32, Kingsley Ah You 1-21, Kana Loa Kaluna 8-17, Kelsyn Tangaro-Kanoa 1-(minus 2), team 2-(minus 2).

PASSING—Mililani: Tarape 17-27–2-146. Kahuku: Crawford 10-16-1-132, Jason Mariteragi 1-2-1-2.

RECEIVING—Mililani: Kapono Ho‘okano-Sallas 5-63, Jensyn McGee 4-25, Gavin Hunter 2-21, John Herold-Namu 2-12, Lando Werner-Celes 2-12, Raymond Roller 1-8, Meyer 1-5. Kahuku: Carvalho 7-102, Lefau 1-26, Brock Fonoimoana 1-4, Kealoha Kaio 1-2, Kaluna 1-0.

Junior varsity — Mililani 28, Kahuku 21


Nanakuli 30, Radford 12

At Nanakuli

Radford (6-2) 6 0 0 ­6 — 12

Nanakuli (4-4) 8 0 0 22 ­— 30

Rad­­—Michael Hayslett 12 run (kick failed)

Nan­­—Joseph Lewis IV 8 run (Lewis IV run)

Nan­­—David Kalili 62 pass from Keahi Ah Sui (Christian Asinsin run)

Rad­­—Olijah Gomez 36 pass from Kalob Victorino-Avilla (pass failed)

Nan­­—Lewis IV 56 pass from Ah Sui (Kalili from Ah Sui)

Nan­­—Branztyn Reyes 4 run (pass failed)

RUSHING­—Radford: Christian Payton 16-89, Victorino-Avilla 3-12, Hayslett 2-11, Dominic Alejandro 2-10, Naaliilaniokekai Nicholas-Mattos 1-6, Michaell Robinson 1-2, Dane Fagaragan 1-(minus 3), Olijah Gomez 1-(minus 10). Nanakuli: Asinsin 12-73, Lewis IV 9-48, Reyes 7-36, Ah Sui 10-17, Allen Mahoe III 1-3, Kalili 1-(minus 6).

PASSING­—Radford: Victorino-Avilla 10-21-1-211. Nanakuli: Ah Sui 11-16-2-204, Nicholas-Mattos 0-1-0-0.

RECEIVNG­—Radford: Jack Carlson 4-93, Roch Schaefer 2-15, Payton 1-55, Gomez 1-36, Dane Fagaragan 1-9, Makana Dayton 1-3. Nanakuli: Kalili 4-97, Lewis IV 4-87, Hansen Salausa-Kaawa 3-20.


Kalani 30, Pearl City 16

At Pearl City High School

Kalani (6-2) 8 6 8 8 — 30

Pearl City (5-4) 0 8 0 8 — 16

KLN—Jonah Viernes 9 pass from Logan Lim (Josh Oh run)

PC—Josh Gleason 17 pass from Sefo Feesago (Gleason run)

KLN—Oh 63 run (run failed)

KLN—Oh 9 run (Oh run)

KLN—Noa Uchida 38 run (Uchida pass from Lim)

PC—Micah Higa 60 kick return (Gleason pass from Ryan Littlejohn)

RUSHING—Kalani: Oh 21-136, Lim 12-48, Uchida 3-13, TEAM 1-(minus 1). Pearl City: Caleb Kaai 7-54, Shaedyn Quemado 6-40, Feesago 10-17.

PASSING—Kalani: Lim 9-16-0-50. Pearl City: Feesago 11-20-2-123.

RECEIVING—Kalani: Noah Ah Sam 5-28, Viernes 1-9, Oh 1-7, Uchida 1-5, Mikala Nishimoto 1-1. Pearl City: Gleason 5-60, Marcus Rodriguez 1-24, Higa 2-17, Zion Gella-Kaulia 2-13, Cameron Galutira 1-9


Kaiser 40, McKinley 14

At Kaiser High School

McKinley (0-8) 0 0 7 7 — 14

Kaiser (8-0) 10 16 14 — 40

KAI – FG Shane Smith 22

KAI – Rayne Sumida 16 pass from Easton Yoshino (Smith kick)

KAI – Safety, Dustin Chow tackled in end zone

KAI – Justin Kanekoa 4 pass from Yoshino (Smith kick)

KAI – Sumida 5 pass from Yoshino (Smith kick)

McK – Ethan Duong 34 pass from Chow (Luke Fujioka-Silva kick)

KAI – Kanekoa 48 pass from Yoshino (Ian Shearer kick)

KAI – Jesse Shinagawa 11 pass from Yoshino (Shearer kick)

McK – Preston Note 35 pass from Chow (Fujioka-Silva kick)

RUSHING—McKinley: Elias Bermudes 6-13, Chow 11-(minus 37). Kaiser: Kai Strawn 12-98, Justin Aizawa-Walker 8-31, Donovan Reis 2-13, Yoshino 3-(minus 23).

PASSING—McKinley: Chow 24-41-4-287. Kaiser: Yoshino 19-30-3-286, Reis 1-5-0-4.

RECEIVING—McKinley: Michael Papa 14-160, Note 6-72, Duong 1-34, Bermudes 3-21. Kaiser: Kanekoa 7-109, Kamakana Mahiko 4-90, Sumida 5-67, Shinagawa 1-11, Strawn 1-10, Aizawa-Walker 1-4, Reis 1-(minus 1).

Hawaii Prep World

Hawaii Prep World

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