By Paul Honda
All the Kailua Surfriders needed was a break or two, especially with the wind at their backs.
Facing that tumultuous wind, Campbell fumbled the ball on two of its first three plays from scrimmage, leading to two quick touchdowns and a 21-0 football win by Kailua last night at the Surfriders’ gusty field.
Kailua (4-5, 3-4) advanced to the quarterfinal round of the Oahu Interscholastic Association Red Conference playoffs and will travel to Leilehua on Friday to face the Mules.
Campbell closed the season 3-6 overall (2-5 OIA Red) despite a staunch defensive effort that limited Kailua to 95 rushing yards on 40 carries. Offensively, the Sabers struggled with the wind and a tough Kailua defense. The Sabers tried to run early, but finished with only 30 rushing yards on 19 attempts.
“We were trying to control the ball as much as we can,” Campbell coach Amosa Amosa said. “It was just execution. Kailua came out ready and firing on all cylinders, and we couldn’t find out a way to get going.”
The Surfriders used Clinton Aina, the second-leading rusher in the OIA Red East, as a safety for most of the night. That gave them more speed to shadow Campbell’s playmaker, Samson Anguay, who finished with 21 rushing yards and four receptions for 34 yards.
Campbell quarterbacks Chris Carlos and Mike Ulufale combined for 158 passing yards (16-for-30) with one pick.
“We did a lot of combination things,” Kailua coach Gary Rosolowich said, noting Anguay’s breakaway ability. “It depended on how the game unfolded, and we scored early, so that helped.”
Aina was a hammer early, forcing the ball from Campbell running back Sy Delizo, and Keola Kiko-Kahawai recovered for the Surfriders at the Sabers’ 30-yard line. Three plays later, Chevrolet Mikaele hit Eric Lum on a deep post for a 29-yard touchdown pass, and Kailua led 7-0 with 9:44 left in the first quarter.
Campbell’s next play from scrimmage, a pass from Carlos to Jordan Szadkowski, led to a fumble recovery by Martin Lagazo. Kailua scored two plays later on Isaac Sato’s 25-yard run, and the Surfriders led 14-0 with 8:49 to go in the first.
Aina later dove for an interception before the half, while Travis Camara, Kepueli Tauatevalu, Hakau Pikula, Lagazo (half) and Ethan Mahaulu (half) were all in on sacks — four total by the Surfriders.
Kailua drove 53 yards in five plays for a third touchdown with its first possession of the third quarter. Mikaele found Corey Lau on an out route for a 10-yard scoring pass to give Kailua a 21-0 lead with 8:50 to go. The play was set up on the previous snap, when Mikaele missed Lau on a post route in the end zone.
Sato, who rushed for a team-high 44 yards, left the game during that drive with a leg injury.
Campbell drove to the Kailua 13-yard line late in the third quarter following roughing-the-passer and unsportsmanlike-conduct penalties against the Surfriders. A Kailua player was ejected, but Campbell went backward and got no closer to scoring the rest of the windy night.
Now Kailua will focus on Leilehua.
“It’s Andrew Manley. They’ll air it out,” Rosolowich said, noting his team’s four fumbles — they lost two — against Campbell. “We can’t do those things next week.”
Aina’s willingness to play defense was key. So was the play of Lagazo, who has filled in well for injured Calen Friel, who will have surgery on his knee this Friday.
“He’s stepped in, and I give him all the credit. He’s getting the job done,” Rosolowich said.