comscore Kahuku shuts out Punahou to win a record 10th state football championship
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Kahuku shuts out Punahou to win a record 10th state football championship

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  • JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                Kahuku coach Sterling Carvalho joins Reggie Torres and Siuaki Livai as the only coaches to lead the Red Raiders to a state championship in consecutive seasons.

    JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Kahuku coach Sterling Carvalho joins Reggie Torres and Siuaki Livai as the only coaches to lead the Red Raiders to a state championship in consecutive seasons.

Kahuku quarterback Waika Crawford threw for a touchdown and ran for another and his defense did the rest in a 20-0 shutout of Punahou in the Open Division final of the First Hawaiian Bank/HHSAA State Football Championships tonight at Mililani’s John Kauinana Stadium.

Reigning Star-Advertiser Defensive Player of the Year Liona Lefau made six tackles and forced one of three fumbles recovered by the Red Raiders defense to help Kahuku finish the season 12-2 with a 22-game winning streak against Hawaii opponents. The state championship is Kahuku’s 10th, a record.

>> RELATED STORY: GAME DAY BLOG: Kahuku and Punahou play for Open Division state title

Kahuku’s only two losses were to St. John Bosco (Calif.) and Saint Frances (Md.), who were ranked in the Top 3 in the nation when those games were played.

The Red Raiders are back-to-back state champions for the first time since 2011-12. Sterling Carvalho joins Reggie Torres and Siuaki Livai as the only coaches to lead Kahuku to a state championship in consecutive seasons.

The shutout was Kahuku’s fourth this season and the first in the top-tier division state final in 23 years.

Kahuku senior Kainoa Carvalho, who missed most of the season with a fractured foot, kicked field goals of 21 and 40 yards and had a game-high nine receptions for 79 yards. Kahuku outgained Punahou 437 to 197 in total yards.

Crawford capped a 12-play drive on Kahuku’s first possession of the game with a 1-yard TD run and hurt Punahou with 69 rushing yards on nine carries, converting multiple third downs with his legs to keep drives alive.

His 13-yard touchdown pass to Kaimana Carvalho with 27 seconds left in the first half put Kahuku ahead 17-0 at intermission.

>> PHOTOS: Kahuku vs. Punahou

Kahuku has won all four state-final meetings against Punahou (9-2) and its 30 victories in the state tournament are a record.

Punahou quarterback John-Keawe Sagapolutele finished 16-for-33 for 129 yards and did not commit a turnover.

Kahuku held Punahou junior running back Ala’i Williams, who had an Open Division record 237 rushing yards in a semifinal win over Mililani a week earlier, to 5 yards on three carries.

Crawford finished 15-for-27 for 177 yards.

Punahou did not possess the ball inside the Kahuku 35-yard line until 10:21 remained in the fourth quarter. The Buffanblu drove the ball to the Kahuku 2 on that drive when Kahuku senior Leonard Ah You forced and recovered a fumble.

Freshman Madden Soliai intercepted a Ty McCutcheon pass with 2:42 remaining for Kahuku’s fourth takeaway of the game.

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