A team other than ‘Iolani will be crowned Division II state champion in football tonight for the first time since 2006. Can Kauai bring home a state championship for the first time in school history or will Kaiser become the first OIA team to win a Division II state title since Campbell in 2004?
Live updates below:
4:09 p.m.: Kauai sends the opening kickoff out of bounds. I can’t imagine Kauai ever kicking deep to Thomas Buntenbah-Leong, who has six returns (five kickoff, one punt) for touchdowns this season.
4:13 p.m.: Cougars go three-and-out. Buntenbah-Leong runs twice for three yards and then Kahoalii Karratti with a perfectly thrown deep ball that is dropped by sophomore Nic Tom. Kauai takes over on its 33.
4:15 p.m.: Kauai runs three times for 4 yards and has to punt. Senior Derek Costa with a tackle for loss for the Cougars.
4:19 p.m.: Still no first downs for either team as senior James Bukoski stops Fitou Fisiiahi on third-and-4. Fisiiahi tries to run for it on fourth down as the punter but is stopped and Kauai takes over on the Kaiser 38.
4:20 p.m.: Reggie McFadden runs for 11 yards for the game’s first first down. Fourth-and-7 on the 24 and Kauai goes for it as Kanoa Iwasaki catches a 9-yard pass from Kelson Andrade for a first down. Bad snap on the next play though and it goes for a loss of 16 with Fisiiahi getting the tackle for a loss. Kauai with fourth-and-23 from the 28 after a delay of game and they go for it. Incomplete pass on a shot to the end zone. Kaiser takes over.
4:28 p.m.: Kaiser takes a shot deep on first down. Another great throw by Karratti but an even better play by the defender, who knocks the ball away from Isaac Slade-Matautia. Justin Ikei with a 10-yard reception on third-and-9 and Kaiser has its first first down but Karratti is sacked on the next play by defensive end Fred Astrologio. Karratti scrambles for 23 yards and a first down. Karratti sacked again on the next play by Keli’i Efhan. Kaiser faces a third-and-19 from the 45 as the quarter ends.
Sideline reporter Mason Yoshida brings us a quarterly report that 17 cameras are currently shooting the game. Yes, 17.
4:35 p.m.: Kaiser punts and narrowly avoids disaster as Fisiiahi takes a hard shot to the knee. No roughing, I guess referee ruled the punt was tipped. Fisiiahi gets up and looks fine, but that was scary. Defender dove right at his knees.
4:37 p.m.: Kanoa Iwasaki with a 7-yard catch on third-and-6 for a first. Didn’t look like he got a foot in on the replay but they give him the catch and the first down. Andrade with a first down pass to Pono Bukoski after it was tipped by the defender. Kaiser is getting to Andrade though as he takes another big hit.
4:42 p.m.: Costa with his third tackle for loss but Kaiser is called for roughing the passer on the next play for a Kauai first down.
Quick first quarter note: Kaiser ran 15 plays for 24 yards. Kauai ran 14 plays for 20 yards.
4:44 p.m.: Costa with his fourth tackle for loss and forces a fumble but Kauai recovers. Kyren Rapacon runs for 6 yards on third-and-7. Kauai with fourth-and-1 from the 25 and Rapacon runs for 2 yards and a first down. Trevin Kahunanui forces another fumble that Kauai again recovers. Third-and-4 from the 17 and Kauai calls timeout. Fisiiahi jumps offsides to give Kauai a first down.
4:51 p.m.: Zeno Choi with a tackle for loss to make it third-and-12 for Kauai. Iwasaki with an 11-yard reception to the 3. Fourth-and-1. Kauai has had the ball for 10 minutes on this drive. Kanoa Iwasaki with a 3-yard touchdown run and Kauai takes a 7-0 lead with 1:05 left in the quarter.
Red Raiders went 83 yards in 18 plays and took 9:55 off the clock. Unbelievable drive.
4:57 p.m.: Kickoff out of bounds again as Kauai tries to keep it out of Buntenbah-Leong’s hands. Kauai rekicks and THAT kick goes out of bounds as well. Kickoff is now from the 30. Kaiser gets the ball on its 46 with a minute remaining. Karratti throws to Buntenbah-Leong out of the backfield who goes for 34 yards. James Bukoski with the touchdown-saving tackle. Kaiser whistled for a killer holding penalty moving the ball back from the 20 to the 35. Karratti scrambles to the 30. Kauai jumps offsides. Third-and-15 from the 25 and Karratti is intercepted by James Bukoski. Kauai takes a knee. It’s halftime.
Halftime box score
Kauai 7, Kaiser 0
Kauai (10-0) 0 7
Kaiser (12-1) 0 0
Kauai—Kanoa Iwasaki 3 run (Pono Bukoski kick)
RUSHING—Kauai: Kyren Rapacon 8-18, Reggie McFadden 7-13, Iwasaki 2-6, Tristan Bukoski 1-(minus 3), Kelson Andrade 2-(minus 18). Kaiser: Kahoalii Karratti 4-11, Thomas Buntenbah-Leong 4-4, Fitou Fisiiahi 2-(minus 8).
PASSING—Kauai: Andrade 7-0-0-62. Kaiser: Karratti 4-9-1-56.
RECEIVING-Kauai: T. Bukoski 3-31, Iwasaki 3-27, Cameron Henry 1-4. Kaiser: Buntenbah-Leong 3-46, Justin Ikei 1-10.
Time of possession: Kauai 15:52, Kaiser 8:08. Kauai had the ball for 10:09 in the second quarter.
5:25 p.m.: Kauai is three-and-out to start the second half. Kaiser gets the ball and is running right at Kauai with Fisiiahi, who only had two carries in the first half. Kaiser drives to the Kauai 28 but is backed up by an illegal block. Karratti drops the snap on third down and Kaiser goes from promising drive to a punt on fourth-and-28.
5:33 p.m.: Andrade gets away with one as he forces a pass into triple coverage that goes off the hands of a defender. Kaiser forces a three-and-out and should get the ball back with great field position. Kaiser just missed blocking the punt and takes over on its own 49.
5:39 p.m.: Cougars pound the ball with Fisiiahi and Canaan Saole. Third-and-goal from the 10 and Karratti finds Elima Haole, who beat Damien Butac on the slant. Touchdown Cougars to tie the game at 7-7 with 2:07 left in the third quarter.
5:45 p.m.: Kauai’s average starting field position on its three second-half drives is its own 14. Third straight three-and-out for Kauai. Remember that time of possession stat? Kaiser evening it out. Kauai will punt to start the fourth quarter.
5:50 p.m.: Canaan Saole blocks the punt and Melvin Kahunanui recovers it on the 1 and takes it in. Touchdown Kaiser. HUGE turn of events. Saole had come clean on the previous punt and somehow missed the block.
5:54 p.m.: Gotta give a ton of credit to the Kaiser coaching staff. They have adjusted in the second half and completely shut down Kauai. Red Raiders have run 12 plays for nine yards in the second half and are punting after their fourth three-and-out of the half.
5:58 p.m.: Kaiser’s average starting field position in the second half is its own 48. Cougars take over on the Kauai 49 and run three straight times up the middle for 1 yards and will immediately punt it back.
6:03 p.m.: Still no first down in the second half for Kauai as Manase Palu sacks Andrade on third down. Fifteen offensive plays for 5 yards in the second half for the Red Raiders.
6:04 p.m.: Punt goes only 17 yards and Kaiser takes over on the Kauai 20 with 6:23 left.
6:07 p.m.: Third-and-11 on the 21 and Karratti hits Parker Higgins for 15 yards to the 6. Kauai holds but Matt Sai kicks a 30-yard field goal to make it a two-possession game with 1:58 remaining.
6:19 p.m.: Costa and Fisiiahi double up on a sack of Andrade. Dominant second half by the Kaiser front seven. Melvin Kahunanui, who recovered the blocked punt for a touchdown, intercepts an Andrade pass on fourth down and that will do it.
The Kaiser Cougars are the 2013 Division II state champs in football, winning their final 13 games of the season. Kauai finishes its season 10-1.
Defenses dominated the game as Kaiser had 119 total yards while Kauai was held to just 77. Kauai attempted 36 rushes for only 10 total yards on the ground. Kauai held Kaiser’s Thomas Buntenbah-Leong to 16 rushing yards on 11 carries. Buntenbah-Leong also had three catches for 46 yards. Karratti finished 8-for-15 for 91 yards and a touchdown with an interception.