The first of three state football champions will be decided in the Division II state final between Kapaa and Lahainaluna at Aloha Stadium.
The winner will join King Kekaulike in the 2006 Division II state final as the only state champions from the neighbor islands.
Lahainaluna is 0-3 in the state title game while Kapaa is making a second consecutive appearance after losing to Radford last season.
Here’s the game preview that ran in the Star-Advertiser.
Kickoff is set for 4:30 p.m. Live updates will follow below.
Lahainaluna 21, Kapaa 14
Lunas (9-4) join King Kekaulike as only neighbor island teams to win a state football championship.
at Aloha Stadium
Lahainaluna (9-4) 0 14 7 0 — 21
Kapaa (8-2) 0 0 7 7 — 14
Lah—Siale Hafoka 23 blocked punt return (Pablo Rico kick)
Lah—Kiliona Keohuloa 7 run (Rico kick)
Lah—Bailey Honda 55 interception return (Rico kick)
Kap—Kapena Texeira 1 run (Clifton Oliver kick)
Kap—Gabe Keener 32 pass from Teili Fonua (Oliver kick)
First downs 8 15
Rushes-Yards 42-136 33-92
Passing yards 41 160
Passes A-C-I 4-3-0 27-12-1
Total offense Plays-Yards 46-177 60-252
Fumble Returns-Yards 0-0 0-0
Punt Returns-Yards 2-33 1-22
Kickoff Returns-Yards 1-8 2-61
Interception Returns-Yards 1-55 0-0
Punts (Number-Avg) 5-36.8 3-20.7
Fumbles-Lost 0-0 1-0
Penalties-Yards 9-73 5-54
Possession Time 25:53 22:07
Third-Down Conversions 3 of 11 3 of 11
Fourth-Down Conversions 1 of 3 2 of 4
Sacks By: Numbers-Yards 2-12 0-0
RUSHING—Lahainaluna: Unaloto Pahulu 2-34, Donovan Defang 8-29, Elijah Ragudo 10-27, David Kawabata 3-13, Keohuloa 2-8, Joshua Tihada 8-7, Radon Sinenci 5-7, Justice Tihada 1-5, Aliksa Pihda 1-5, Etuati Storer 2-1. Kapaa: Leighton Moniz 13-49, Fonua 10-18, Ryan Banashian 5-13, Kurt Napoleon 1-8, Texeira 4-4.
PASSING—Lahainaluna: Etuati Storer 3-3-0-41, Nyles Pokipala-Waiohu 0-1-0-0. Kapaa: Fonua 11-23-1-150, Napoleon 1-3-0-10, Texeira 0-1-0-0.
RECEIVING—Lahainaluna: Hafoka 1-39, David Kawabata 1-5, Jo. Tihada 1-(minus 3). Kapaa: Keener 6-93, Makena Tabura 3-32, Napoleon 2-29, Moniz 1-6.
Lah: Pahulu 7 tackles, 1 sack, 3 TFL, 1 FF; La’akea Shim 7 TKL.
Kapaa: Braden Watanabe 7 TKL; Izaya Valeria 6 TKL, 3 TFL; Kapena Texeira 5 TKL, 3 TFL.
Kapaa ball on its 27 with 13 seconds to go. Do the Warriors have a miracle in them? Short pass is caught but tackled immediately and that’s IT. LAHAINALUNA WINS ITS FIRST EVER DIVISION II STATE FOOTBALL TITLE.
Donovan Defang with the straight handoff up the middle and he gets 9. LB Daniel Asotasi comes flying in on the run blitz on second down and trips up the back for a loss of 1. It’s third-and-2. Lunas draw Kapaa offsides. That’s a first down for Lahainaluna with 2:51 remaining. Kapaa uses its second timeout with 2:38 remaining after a 2-yard run. David Kawabata picks up 4 yards to set up third-and-4 but a flag is down. After the play, personal foul on Kapaa. What a terrible mistake by the Warriors. 15 yards, automatic first down, and that will come close to doing it as Kapaa has only one timeout left. Lahainaluna snaps it with 21 seconds on the play clock and the game clock running for the second time for who knows what reason. It’s a disaster on both sides. Now a holding penalty on the Lunas. Another flag now after a 3-yard run and it’s on the Lunas. Another holding call. First-and-30 on the Lunas’ 42. Clcok has to run though but again the Lunas snap it with 20 seconds on the play clock not allowing the game clock to run. Timeout Kapaa as it’s second-and-25 from the 47. Tick. Tick. Tick. Tick. Lunas will have to snap a third-down play with about 1:05 left on the game clock. Fourth down. Clock still running. Tick. Tick. Tick. Tick. ABout 21 seconds difference between game clock and play clock. Lunas call timeout with 22 seconds to go. Ball on Lunas 46.
Handoff to Moniz who is stopped for no gain. Second down as we’re under the 5-minute mark. Handoff back to Napoleon who throws it into triple coverage. Incomplete. Lunas could have picked that pass off as well. Another incomplete pass and it’s fourth down. Kapaa will go for it. Pass is dropped but it was short anyway and Lahainaluna was all over it. Lunas take over on their 28 with 4:03 to go. Lunas dodge a huge one.
Lahainaluna ball on the 20 with 7:04 remaining. DE Ikona Fernandez gobbles up Joshua Tihada for a loss of 2. Ragudo is taken down by DE Izaya Valeria for another tackle for loss. Third-and-14. Valeria AGAIN. Three Lunas runs, three tackles for loss and Lahainaluna will punt from its 9..NO IT’S A FAKE. Pahulu goes for it and makes a man miss. He’s almost there but NO! He’s tackled short. Kapaa takes over on the Lahainaluna 27. Lunas tried a fake punt on fourth-and-21 from their own 9. Incredible.
Pass to Keener is good for 14 yards and a first down. Holding call hurts Kapaa on the next play. Napoleon with a catch to set up third-and-12 and Fonua runs for three yards. Fourth down, but a flag is down and the Lunas are called for a personal foul. Didn’t see exactly on what there. Reverse to Napoleon who throws a bullet for 10 yards and a first down. They run the reverse again and Napoleon picks up 8 yards to the 28 but a flag is down. They decide to pick it up. Ball on the 27. Moniz gets 3 yards and a first down at the 24. Clock ticking though. Kapaa needs to finish this drive off with a TD at this point. Miscommunication and the Lunas drop another INT. Kapaa tries a trick play with DL Dillon Abergas faking the run and then throwing. He had a man open but overthrows him. Third down. Texeira is sacked. Pahulu and Sombelon-McEwen in on the sack. Timeout Kapaa with 7:13 to go and fourth-and-18 coming up. Ball is throw up near the pylon and it’s CAUGHT. Gabe Keener with a 32-yard TD catch on fourth-and-18 on the pass from Fonua. Kapaa down only 7, 21-14, with 7:04 remaining.
Perfect punt pins Kapaa at the 2 but there’s a flag down. Illegal formation on Lahainaluna results in a rekick. Dillon Apilado fields it on a bounce at the 10 and gets it out to the 30. Big penalty there.
Lunas will have it third-and-7 at the Kapaa 37 to start the fourth quarter. Lunas lose 8 on the run in the fourth quarter.
Lunas start on Kapaa’s 40.
Moniz with a 6-yard reception to set up third-and-3 at the Kapaa 33. Ryan Banasihan picks up 2 yards and just enough to move the chains. Kapaa tries to go fast but Fonua is way off target on third down and Kapaa will punt. Warriors try a fake but it’s poorly executed and Napoleon throws a ball to nobody and it’s a turnover on downs.
Lunas start on their 15. Joshua Tihada strung out for a loss of 1. Ragudo picks up 21 yards on the run out to the 35. A second-down hold kills the drive as it’s now third-and-16 after an incomplete pass. Radon Sinenci gets a yard on third-and-long and Lunas will punt.
Kapaa has to start on its 10 after an illegal block on the kickoff. WR Makena Tabura makes a couple of defenders miss, picks up a block, and takes it 14 yards on the reception. Tabura with another catch, this one for 13 yards and a first down. Another catch for Tabura for 6 more into Lahainaluna territory. DB Donovan Defang steps in front of a pass and drops what likely would have been another pick-six for the Lunas. Kapaa goes for it on fourth-and-4 and Texeira runs with it out of a bunch formation and picks up the first down. Jump ball is caught by Keener for 35 yards to the 3. Texeira runs for 2 yards down to the 1. Timeout Lahainaluna. Kapena Texeira bulls his way for a 1-yard TD run. 21-7, Lunas, 6:27.
Gabe Keener with a 32-yard kick return and Kapaa starts on its 38. Moniz with two quick runs to pick up 11 yards and move the chains. Just the third first down of the game for Kapaa. Hafoka forces an incompletion on a last-second hit or else Kapaa would have been deep in Lunas territory. DB Bailey Honda on a ball off the receiver’s hands picks it off and returns it 55 yards for a Lahainaluna touchdown. 21-0. 10:54.
First downs: Lah 5, Kapaa 2
Rushing yards: Lah 87, Kapaa 44
Passing yards: Lah 41, Kapaa 15
DB Braden Watanabe with five solo tackles for Kapaa. LB Josiah Sombelon-McEwen with four tackles for Lahainaluna. DL Unaloto Pahulu has two tackles, a sack, a forced fumble and a 16-yard run on fourth down on a fake punt for the Lunas.
Kapaa takes over on its own 25 with only 14 seconds remaining and no timeouts. Moniz runs for 3 yards and fumbles but fortunately Kapaa jumps on it. Halftime.
Lunas pick up a first down and are content to run out the clock. Kapaa takes a timeout with Lahainaluna facing third-and-15 at its 29 with 1:09 remaining. Lunas call another reverse and Keohuloa looks like he has a lot of room but the turf eats him up and he’s down short of the marker.
Good returns for 28 yards and Kapaa will start from its 33. Third-and-4 on the 39 and Moniz goes for 15 yards to the 46 of the Lunas. Fonua finds Napoleon for 22 yards to the 23. Third-and-6 on the 19 and DL Hoaka Phillips stops Fonua for a 2-yard gain. Kapaa tries a field goal and it’s hooked wide left. Lahainaluna holds.
Lahainaluna will start in Kapaa territory at the 44. Storer hits Hafoka for 39 yards to the 5 to set up first-and-goal. Lunas take timeout before second-and-goal play from the 7. Reverse to Kiliona Keohuloa is good for a 7-yard TD run. 14-0 Lunas. 8:01.
Lunas force a three-and-out as the QB draw is short on third down.
Hafoka is third player to return a blocked punt for a TD in a state championship game. Kainalulaakea Paikai (StL) & Melvin Kahanui (Kais)
Kapaa will have it third-and-11 at its 27 to start the quarter. Radon Sinenci blows up the screen pass on third down and Kapaa punts. It’s BLOCKED. Siale Hafoka picks up and returns it for the Lunas’ TD. Kupono Kahae-Ampong on the block. It’s 7-0 Lunas, 10:59.
Kapaa starts on its 28 but is whistled for an illegal block on the first play. Leighton Moniz picks up 8 on the first run and then the Lunas are whistled for encroachment to make it a suddenly gainable second-and-12.
QB Donovan Defang keeps on third-and-3 to pick up seven yards and the Lunas are into Kapaa territory at the 46. Run play on third-and-6 nets a first down for Lahainaluna just past the marker. Joshua Tihada with the carry for 5 yards to the 31. Etuati Storer gets pounded at the 30 to set up third-and-4. Holding negates a long run down around the 10. Lunas call a timeout on fourth-and-7 at the Kapaa 33. Ragudo gets the carry but Raffy Perono and Braden Watanabe wrap him up short to force a punt.
Warriors will start on their 29. Kapaa calls a flea-flicker on the first play and QB Teili Fonua has Kurt Napoleon open deep but Napoleon can’t bring in the long throw. Lunas rush three on third down but get the sack anyway to force three-and-out. Josiah Sombelon-McEwen on the sack.
Lunas will start from their 20. Elijah Ragudo gets the first carry and picks up 7 yards. Third-and-one after a 2-yard run and Ragudo is stuffed behind the line of scrimmage by Kapena Texeira for a tackle for loss to force the three-and-out. NO! Lunas fake the punt and Unaloto Pahulu keeps it and makes two defenders miss to pick up the first down out to the 40. Kapaa’s Dusten Ramseyer-Burdett is injured on the play but he gets up and looks OK. Short pass out to the flat and LB Mana Kupihea is right there for the tackle for loss. Kapaa stops two runs to force a punt that is kicked this time.
Kapaa wins the toss and will defer to the second half.
Lahainaluna: Justice Tihada, Josiah Sombelon-McEwen, Mosese Felemi
Kapaa: Mo Unutoa, Kurt Napoleon, Mana Kupihea, Kapena Texeira