No. 7 Kapolei (6-3, 4-3 OIA D-I) at No. 3 Kahuku (8-0, 7-0)
Saturday, Oct. 17, 2015
Carleton Weimer Field
The JV game has ended with Kahuku over Campbell 28-7.
Connection here is a little slow, please bear with this pupule. Plus, these new PVC pipes on the fence in front of the press box (for support) kill my video camera view, so I’ll be standing to handle the camera. Typing might be a challenge.
Gut feeling, this is a low-scoring game for some time. Kahuku has the girth, power and will to impose their smashmouth strategy on any foe. Can a team that almost entirely eschews the forward pass win an OIA and state championship?
Coach Vavae Tata and his staff sure would like to try and find out, it seems.
Note: There were some injuries during the JV game, including one to a player who suffered a head injury. The PA has announced that there will be a slight delay. My guess is the ambulance that’s waiting nearby will drive into the track next to the sideline where the Campbell JV player is sitting. He’s being cared for by paramedics.
Red Raiders called for a hold on its first series, three-and-out. This came after a first-down pass by Kesi Ah-Hoy was nearly picked off for a TD by Leon Lee, who dropped the ball. Then came a bad punt snap, but they got the punt out. Kapolei had first down at the KAH 42, but two plays into their series, Taulia Tagovailoa’s pass was picked off by Kekaula Kaniho, who went untouched down the right sideline for a 72-yard TD return. That Kahuku defense done it again. KAH 7, KPO 0, 10:20.
Second series much better for the visitors. 15-play drive covers 84 yards as Tagovailoa gets into a rhythm on short, quick passes. A TD pass was dropped, but they manage to get a 30-yard FG from Beau Meyer. KAH 7, KPO 3, 4:37.
Kahuku goes to its jumbo hybrid set — hurry-up, no huddle all the way — for the first time after a 68-yard kick return by Keala Santiago. Power, power, power. Ah-Hoy gains 11, 2, and then 21 yards off left tackle for a touchdown. Simply overpowered a stout Kapolei defense. Who needs a forward pass anyway? Not Kahuku. KAH 14, KPO 3, 3:26.
Hurricanes knocking on the door in this third series. Tagovailoa connects with Jaymin Sarono on a corner route, or “flag pattern” as we called it in the old days. The play goes for 39 yards to the Kahuku 2. Sarono has to be happy; he dropped the same pass, same route earlier.
Kahuku defense stiffens at the 2. Third-and-goal, Tagovailoa misses a wide-open Kainoa Bardon on a swing pass out of the backfield. ‘Canes decide to go for it on fourth down. Same play, this time Tagovailoa hits Bardon in stride for an easy 2-yard TD. Not sure how Kahuku let that happen twice in a row. KAH 14, KPO 10, :00.
Big Red back at it again with power football. Ah-Hoy carries five times in a row and is still the only ballcarrier so far in the game for Kahuku. Then a chop-block penalty on Kapolei moves the ball all the way to the 29, and on another Ah-Hoy carry, a facemask penalty.
Harmon Brown finally breaks Ah-Hoy’s string by running for 10 yards. Ah-Hoy runs for an 11-yard TD on the left side, skillfully wiggling and eluding tacklers as he follows his big boys. KAH 21, KPO 10, 9:07.
Kapolei has a masterful drive on its fourth series with Jenesus Tago-Su‘e pulling in darts over the middle from Tagovailoa. In traffic. Fearless. But at the 11-yard line, Tagovailoa has nobody open and forces a pass. Kaniho one-hands a leaping pick at the 4-yard line. Wasted drive. Almost paydirt, but Big Red comes up big with 4:47 left in the half.
Kahuku drives 96 yards in five plays, al on the ground. It’s Ah-Hoy for two plays, then Harmon, who carries three times. He caps it with a 75-yard run up the middle for a TD. He seemed to be stopped near the line of scrimmage, but emerged from a scrum like a rocket. Maybe his forward progress had been halted, but he was in a crowd and I doubt any of the officials could see him. KAH 28, KPO 10, 2:55.
Kapolei starts at its 20 after another kickoff by Kekoa Sasaoka finds the end zone for a touchback. Tagovailoa hits Ty-Noah Williams for his second reception, but the drive stalls out at the Canes’ 31. Williams has been covered closely tonight: five targets, two catches, 10 yards. They certainly know his name and number.
Kahuku drives to the Kapolei 23, but Sasaoka is wide right on a 41-yard FG try. No matter. On the next play, Kahuku safety Stokes Botelho picks off a Tagovailoa pass and weaves across the field before being forced out of bounds at the 1-yard line. Just 4.7 seconds left in the half. Each team calls a time out. Kahuku is going for it.
Ah-Hoy leaps and is stopped short. Ref blows the whistle, KAH time out with :00.5. This time, he sneaks in for the TD. KAH 35, KPO 0, :00.
Interesting stats… Ah-Hoy has 136 rushing yards on 19 carries. Just two pass attempts, no completions. … Tagovailoa is 21-for-39, 225 yards with one TD and three picks. … As a team, Kapolei has 230 yards of total offense. Kahuku has 234 total yards, all on the ground. But the Red Raiders are winning the turnover battle, 3-0.
At Carleton Weimer Field
Kapolei 10 0 — 10
Kahuku 14 21 — 35
KAH—Kekaula Kaniho 72 interception return (Kekoa Sasaoka kick)
KAP—Beau Meyer FG 30
KAH—Kesi Ah-Hoy 21 run (Sasaoka kick)
KAP—Kainoa Bardon 2 pass from Taulia Tagovailoa (Meyer kick)
KAH—Ah-Hoy 11 run (Sasaoka kick)
KAH—Harmon Brown 75 run (Sasaoka kick)
KAH—Ah-Hoy 1 run (Sasaoka kick)
JV—Kahuku 28, Campbell 7.
#45 Lorenzen Panapa 4-(-1)
#31 Bardon 2-8
#12 Tagovailoa 1-(-2)
#26 Ah-Hoy 19-136
#8 Brown 4-94
#37 Sefa Amerperosa 1-4
#26 Ah-Hoy 0-2-0-0
#15 Xhavier Mason 3-33
#14 Jaymin Sarono 7-98
#8 Tago-Su‘e 5-49
#45 Panapa 2-19
#10 Ty-Noah Williams 2-10
#31 Bardon 2-16
Kahuku’s second series of the second half pays off. Ah-Hoy carries six times in a row out of the jumbo hybrid set, scoring on a 35-yard run on fourth-and-1. KAH 42, KPO 10, 4:58.
Kapolei drives to the KAH 12, but the drive stalls in the red zone again. KAH bending, not breaking.
Brown breaks away for a 55-yard TD run. Kahuku doing the same thing over and over again. Two pass attempts in the first half, none in the second. KAH 49, KPO 10, 10:04.
Tagovailoa trying to evade a pass rusher, forces a pass into traffic and is picked by Hirkley Latu. New QB in the game is Cameron Renaud. Kekona Neumann also rotating at QB.
Neumann with a 7-yard TD strike to Morgan Capillan. KAH 56, KPO 10, 2:58.