About one blade of grass short

Leilehua came this close to earning a first down against Kahuku. Randall Ishii / Special to the Star-Advertiser.
Leilehua came this close to earning a first down against Kahuku. Randall Ishii / Special to the Star-Advertiser.

Fourth down and a piece of grass.

That’s how close Leilehua was to a first down.

With about three minutes left in the third quarter and with the ball at the Kahuku 6-yard-line on Friday, Mules quarterback Kalanimoku Pauole faded back and slipped as he let go of a pass to an open receiver near the end zone. The ball was underthrown and the eighth-ranked Red Raiders, leading 21-7, took over.

The game’s complexion could have changed dramatically if the Mules had four more downs and punched it in.

As it turned out, No. 4 Leilehua (5-1, 5-1 OIA Red) scored later to make it a 21-14 loss that put the Mules in a first-place tie with Kahuku.

“That’s why they call this a game of inches,” Kahuku’s public address announcer said after the official measurement that took longer than usual because of the difficulty the head official had in determining if there was space between the tip of the ball and the first-down marker.


  1. BigRedCountry September 30, 2014 9:57 am

    Call could have gone either way, thats one of the perks of homefield advantage. Kahuku has its fair share of being on the other end of these calls too through out the years even on a neutral field like the Aloha Stadium.

  2. Troy Caminos October 4, 2014 4:42 pm

    Just want to say congrats to both teams for a good game. But really want to focus on the leilehua mules who played one hell of a game at kahuku and at kahuku’s homecoming. And it really show how home field really has advantage’s. If you look at the pic they have on here, it wasn’t even inch’s not even centimeter’s, it was a first down no doubt. Why? Take a close look at the marker stick, it’ actually leaning away from the ball, it’s not straight up. Now if it was straight up, depends on the ref it should be a first down. You tell me? If the first down was given to the mules, guess what… different story. But then again, at the end of the night kahuku got the W. Was it home field or was it luck? Things that make you go hmmmm…

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