(The following is a little extra info on the ‘Iolani-Kauai semifinal game that was cut from my preview story that ran in Wednesday’s Star-Advertiser (subscriber content). Kickoff is set for Saturday, 2 p.m., in this First Hawaiian Bank/HHSAA Division II State Football Championships matchup.)
(Kauai) linebackers James Bukoski (5-8, 170), Pono Bukoski (5-10, 155) and Keanu Hanohano (5-7, 175) are mobile finishers. Hanohano moves to the defensive line sometimes. Safety Kaiea Iwasaki (5-6, 135) is another integral part of the unit, which features seven seniors.
“Our defense is smaller, but they’re fast and they get to the football. That’s been our strong point all year, our defense,” Kauai coach Tommy John Cox said.
Kauai won all three games against second-place Kapaa by scores of 6-3, 7-6 and 6-3. They rely on quarterback Kelson Andrade to take care of the pigskin. Andrade has thrown just two picks and uses his legs to get out of trouble, but he isn’t asked to take risks.
“That’s the thing, we can’t turn over the football,” Cox said.
The teams last met in 2010, when ‘Iolani won a state-tourney semifinal 14-0 at Eddie Hamada Field. In ’09, ‘Iolani edged Kauai in the state final 24-17 with big games from then-quarterback Jarrett Arakawa (251 yards) and wide receiver Trevyn Tulonghari (eight catches, 134 yards).
In ’07, Kela Marciel passed for 290 yards in a 35-21 win by ‘Iolani.