He left the field in an ambulance, moments after Kahuku and Campbell fans saw him crumble to the ground after taking a powerful hit.
Kahuku junior wide receiver Kuuliko Carvalho is recovering from a concussion, has four broken teeth and some nerve damage, coach Reggie Torres confirmed on Sunday.
Reaching down to catch a pass on a crossing route, Carvalho was hit at point-blank range by Campbell’s Jerney Tago-Sue (pictured above) during the OIA’s third-place game at Mililani’s John Kauinana Stadium. For several minutes, he was down and almost motionless. During the wait for paramedics, Kahuku fans didn’t hesitate to question officials for not calling a penalty on the play.
“He got hit pretty bad. He was spitting out blood. It’s a scary situation,” Torres said after the game. “He’s well loved by all his teammates. I know it wasn’t on purpose. It just happened. It’s football. Our concerns are about him.”
From Billy Hull’s game story in Sunday’s Star-Advertiser:
The game was delayed nearly 40 minutes after Carvalho took a brutal hit running a route over the middle on a third-and-long play.
Campbell’s Jerney Tago-Sue leveled a defenseless Carvalho and wasn’t whistled for a penalty on the play. To Tago-Sue’s credit, he checked on Carvalho immediately before slowly walking toward the Campbell bench as coaches ran out to check on the Kahuku receiver.
For teammates, fear, frustration and anger all boiled near the surface. The seasoned, experienced Red Raiders coaching staff had, perhaps, its most difficult moment of the season. The staff, with decades and decades of experience, kept the team cohesive.
“We tried to refocus. The kids needed to settle down. We said a prayer and we tried to refocus on football,” Torres said. “It’s tough. It’s emotional. We had kids crying on the sideline and they wouldn’t stop crying. It’s tough, but hat’s off to Campbell. They played through it and they played a great game. I wish them the best at states.”