Getting a little muggy now. Breeze has died down. Hope these guys are well hydrated.
Gabe LeLesch scores easily on a 1-yard dive. Kailua drove 62 yards in 10 plays, aided by a late-hit personal foul by the Sabers on a third-down scramble by Noah Auld that was short of the first down. KAIL 7, CAM 0, 8:12.
Campbell gets into the end zone quickly after a 51-yard kick return by Aaron Bunting. On third and 11, QB Kawika Ulufale scrambles for a 25-yard TD. Untouched. CAM 7, KAIL 7, 7:13.
A fumble after a completion by Kailua is returned 44 yards by Nicholas Kernaghan to the Kailua 15-yard line. Fumble forced by linebacker Ethan Muagututia. Kailua’s defense stiffens and comes up with a sack, but on fourth and 19, Ulufale takes a hit from a pass rusher and delivers a 19-yard TD pass to Noah Esprecion. PAT kick is wide left. CAM 13, KAIL 7, 3:53.
Kailua smashes the ball through the heart of Campbell’s D-line to set up a 14-yard TD pass from Auld to Isaiah Damo-Agcaoili. Auld nicely bought time rolling out of the pocket to catch his target, who was crossing back in front of the goal line. KAIL 14, CAM 13, 1:13.
Sabers drive 79 yards in 13 plays, with a 3-yard out pattern by Esprecion for an easy TD from Ulufale. Ulufale runs for the 2-point conversion after a pass interference call on the initial attempt. CAM 21, KAIL 14, 9:56.
Esprecion is playing a big game, moving piles for a first down earlier, and he had a 27-yard catch to set up the TD.
Surfriders get another long scramble by Auld — it may be their most effective play tonight — after his receivers clear the field deep to set up a 15-yard TD pass from Auld to Martin Tigilau. KAIL 21, CAM 21, 6:51.
Auld has 37 rushing yards on three carries so far.
Kailua goes ahead on a freaky, focused play by WR Koolau Gaspar. A fourth-down pass from Auld was intended for Tigilau, who tipped the ball near the goal line. It ricocheted to Gaspar in the back of the end zone for a 10-yard TD pass. PAT blocked. KAIL 27, CAM 21, 3:58.
Surfriders get the ball back but the drive stalls at the Campbell 40. Auld’s pooch-style punt is downed at the 1 with 2:15 left in the half.
Kailua with 120 rushing yards and 128 passing yards. Might be the most balanced offense I’ve seen this season. Campbell with 11 rushing yards and 153 through the air. Ulufale is 13-for-24 with one pick and all 153 passing yards. Auld is 9-for-16 with no picks. He’s made almost entirely good decisions with the ball and hasn’t taken a sack while rushing for 43 yards on four carries, all after exhausting his options through the air.
The tempo has slowed to a crawl just as the heat and humidity have increased. Just about everyone here, I’m guessing, is sweating now. Even at 10:20 p.m. Kailua’s offense has gone stagnant with three consecutive no-score drives, but they’ve locked down defensively to retain a 27-21 lead entering the fourth stanza.
Campbell put Siaosi Soto in at QB after its first series.
Christian Mejia, a 6-foot-4, 210-pound junior, hauls in a nice play-action pass on third down from Auld. Mejia is having a great game defensively with three sacks.
Kailua drives to the CAM 30, but gets stonewalled on fourth-and-1. CAM gets the ball back with 7:14 left.
CAM goes three and out, 14-yard punt. KAIL ball with 5:07 to play. Soto having trouble with pass rush.
Run, run, incomplete pass for KAIL. 34-yard punt and CAM has the ball on its 15 with 3:34 to go.
Mark Lagazo picks off a pass by Soto, who was scrambling toward the right sideline under pressure, and returns it 27 yards to the CAM 3-yard line. LeLesch scores around the right side on the next play. KAIL 34, CAM 21, 1:39.
Ulufale returns and has the Sabers moving the ball, but their only real scoring threat is in the final minute when Esprecion drops a sure TD pass. The guy returned kicks, too. Gotta be exhausted.
It’s early, 30 minutes before the JV kickoff. Partly cloudy, no visible threat of rain and a decent breeze of 5 mph. A lot better than last week, for sure.
Campbell enters this game winless in a tale of big, cyclical swings in the world of OIA Division I football. Leilehua is also going through a somewhat similar transition, and that’s two perennial powerhouses struggling in their quests to reach the playoffs this fall.
That’s how tough it can be in the OIA. Kailua, though, is the Cinderella story of the season in the public-school OIA. At 4-0 (3-0 in OIA Blue), they’re becoming an endangered species when it comes to identifying unbeaten teams across the state. Perhaps the Surfriders haven’t been fully tested yet, though I’d have to say Kapolei had the blueprint to scrape away a win recently, losing 20-6 here at Alex Kane Stadium.
Kailua is for real because they do two things well: run the ball and play good defense. The offense is balanced, but when they decide to eat the clock, they get their 4 yards and move on. Coach Joseph Wong’s commitment to winning every battle in the trenches is showing quite well. Noah Auld has been another nice surprise — not that he didn’t have the talent to lead this offense. Auld is a three-sport standout, and even then, he’s savvy as the decision-maker out of the pistol and shotgun. He makes the right decisions, doesn’t force anything. That’s the kind of player coaches and teammates always love. That’s the reason teammates have always seemed to love Tim Tebow, who moves the chains and makes high-percentage, low-risk decisions with the ball. It’s a sign of mutual trust.
I think Auld has achieved that.
JV game: Kailua has rallied from two TDs down to tie the game at 14-all with less than 3 minutes left in the third quarter. Varsity game probably will not kick off until 8:00 p.m., my guess.
JV final: Campbell 26, Kailua 21. Diving catch by the Sabers in the corner of the end zone with no time on the clock for the winning TD.