Trench Warfare is going to have to take a different approach in this one, as Punahou’s Canton Kaumatule takes on Kamehameha guards Radson Jang, Joshua Ancheta and a host of others. Kaumatule has rarely played this year, but he doesn’t miss the big games. Kamehameha runs a host of blockers at the beast, making a 1-on-1 matchup difficult. All judging is on the 10-point must system and completely subjective.
Kaumatule starts out against Jang, a junior. He shed his fellow 11th-grader and gets the the quarterback, probably Kamehameha’s worst fears realized early. But as with other Trench Warfares, you never know. Kaumatule beats Jang again around the right side on the second play, a run, but Kaumatule switches over to take on senior Lucas Gray Beddow and doesn’t have as much luck. Gray Beddow handles him twice, but Kaumatule makes it clear in the first round that he is going to be a handful.
Beddow finished the first series with the upper hand on Kaumatule, but it is the other way around to start the next series. Kaumatule sheds Beddow easily on a running play to start the drive and crushes the running back. He uses the same move on the second play, leaving Beddow behind and pursues the quarterback. He shoots the gap on Ancheta on the third play and gets a hand on the running back one more time but doesn’t make the tackle.
Kaumatule is killing Kamehameha, but you have to give the Warriors credit. They are throwing the first punch. Jang does the honors in this round, getting into Kaumatule on the first play and never giving him a chance to breathe. Beddow and tight end Chance Arakaki double-team Kaumatule on the next play and knock him to the ground. Kaumatule is favoring one leg as he rises, but he beats Ancheta and almost gets to the quarterback on the next play. Still, Kamehameha made its point on the first two.
Kaumatule returns for the next drive not showing any ill effects from what seemed to be bothering him earlier, and fights Beddow to a draw on the first play. He then beats Jang around the edge but Jang rides him around the corner to make his pressure ineffective. Ancheta and Dane Chung take their shot at Kaumatule, bottling him up with a double team. Beddow gets under Kaumatule during a sneak play on the next snap, and helps Jang take him down after that. What a coincidence, Kamehameha’s first sustained drive comes on the first drive that it contains Kaumatule. Beddow then stands Kaumatule up and neutralizes him, but it is pretty obvious that the defender is a lot stronger. The Warriors run away from Kaumatule the rest of the series, but they are neutralizing his quick first step by getting a body on him and letting someone else come along and chop him down while he is engaged. That’s two rounds in a row for the Warriors.
Kaumatule is a beast on this series, eating Jang up and dropping the running back in the backfield before having his way with Beddow. Kamehameha is going to need to respond in the next series, Kaumatule is almost looking like shades of Kennedy Tulimasealii against Kahuku last year. Almost.
Jang has had a tough time with Kaumatule so far, and the sixth series starts the same way with Kaumatule beating him and getting to the quarterback. Kaumatule tries to bullrush the junior on the next play but Jang is more equipped for that and keeps him in front of him. Kaumatule then beats Jang and zips past Tyler Burkhart, who holds him to save his quarterback. Kaumatule then goes after Beddow, beating him on the other side before Beddow responds with superior hand control and wins a battle. The damage had been done, though.
Jang needs every bit of strength and technique he has to keep Kaumatule out of the backfield, but it works on the first play as he gets his hands under Kaumatule’s pads and neutralizes him. The good-natured Kaumatule doesn’t like that, and throws Jang aside on the next play but Jang gets some help from Burkhart on the next play and renders the tackle ineffective. Jang butts heads with Kaumatule on the next three plays and holds his own, but the Punahou player is too strong for him and wins all three.
With the game well in hand, Kaumatule sits out a series. He doesn’t show any sign of injury, just stands on the sideline waiting for his number to be called.
Kaumatule is back on the field and Kamehameha triple-teams him immediately before letting Burkhart handle him by himself and the senior makes it tough on him. Beddow and Ancheta then double up and neutralize Kaumatule, but Punahou has this game well in hand and Kaumatule seems to know it.
Kaumatule sits out the final series for his team, spending his time in front of the bench chatting with his teammates. Smiles abound, the Buffanblu win their third straight ILH championship and are returning to the state tournament.
So we go to the judge…
There is really no need to go to the judge in this one, Kaumatule won by KO. Officially, the score was 98-93 and Kamehameha’s array of blockers had their moments but Kaumatule pretty much had his way inside and allowed the rest of Punahou’s defenders to grind Kamehameha’s offense to a halt.