The 2015 First Hawaiian Bank/HHSAA Football State Championships kick off tonight with two first-round Division I games at Aloha Stadium.
Up first is OIA third-place Waianae (8-3), which is making its first appearance in states since losing to the Marcus Mariota-led Saint Louis Crusaders in the 2010 final, against MIL champion Baldwin (8-3), which wants to snap a three-game losing streak in the tournament.
Waianae has managed to continue a tradition of success under first-year coach Walter Young. Baldwin has managed to get its offense to click in the second half to the season and has one of the top two-way players in the state in La’akea Kahoohanohano-Davis.
Kickoff is set for 4:30 p.m. Live play-by-play with videos and stats will follow below:
Baldwin: Jonovan-Taje Akaka, Kawena Alo-Kaonohi, Chazzaniel Sa’u, La’akea Kahoohanohano-Davis
Waianae: Ikaika Pa’ao’ao-Ahina, John Kapua
Baldwin wins the toss and will defer. Seariders will receive the opening kickoff.
Waianae starts on its 35 after the kickoff goes out of bounds. Jaren Ulu starts at QB for Waianae as he has all season. Ulu comes out passing and hits Kade Amrbocio for 19 yards. Nice touch pass over the middle. Waianae now goes to Jurick Valdez, who runs for 17 yards on his first two carries. Up next is Royce Carrick, who bounces it outside for 19 yards to the 10. Valdez up the middle is stuffed for only a 1-yard gain. Ambrocio now bounces it out right and he’s into the end zone for a 9-yard TD run. Waianae takes early 7-0 lead as it marches 65 yards in six plays on first drive. 9:31, Q1.
We get out first glimpse of Kahoohanohano-Davis, who bursts up the middle for a 36-yard return on the kickoff to the Baldwin 49. Sophomore QB Chayce Akaka goes deep on the first pass but a leaping interception is made by Chavison Kalamau for the Seariders at their own 16.
Baldwin does a good job on the run forcing a third-and-5. Ulu has Ezekiah Moniz-Hopeau open out of the backfield for a first down but it’s dropped. Seariders go three-and-out.
Baldwin starts on its 35. Junior Kamaki Gouveia gets the carry on first down and picks up 6. They go back to him on second down and he runs into a mass of linemen but spins out of it and bounces around the end for 3 more yards to make it third-and-1. Gouveia gets the pick up for 2 yards over the middle to move the chains. Akaka sprints out to his right and has Kaylon Santos-Kekona open but Akaka puts a little extra mustard on the throw and it’s dropped. Gouveia picks up 5 but has to come out because his helmet came off. Third-and-5. Akaka scrambles to his right and outraces the defenders to the sideline, sliding just after the marker for a 6-yard gain and first down. Akaka runs on the draw up the middle for 2 yards and slides and takes an awkward shot from behind. They throw the flag. Waianae with the 15-yard penalty to move the ball to the 26. After a false-start penalty, Baldwin goes to Kahoohanohano-Davis on the double move and he catches it but he’s out of bounds. Akaka misses Santos-Kekona over the middle and it’s third-and-15. Akaka is flushed out to his left and goes out of bounds. Credit the sack to Waianae’s Brandon Hattori. Baldwin goes for it on fourth-and-19 and Hattori comes flying in to force a fumble on the sack. Ball recovered by Noah Kealoha on the Baldwin 35. Big play for the Seariders.
Valdez bursts through on the first play for an apparent 35-yard TD run but it’s called back by a holding penalty. Carrick is stuffed for a loss by LB Kaohu Pua’a, who forces a 3-yard loss. Now Waianae moves back further after moving early. Screen to tight end Kana’i Mauga who makes a great catch of a ball behind him and then breaks two tacklers to pick up 17 yards to make it third-and-1. Jumbo set with Javen Towne plowing through the middle for 5 yards and a first down. Play-action pass and Ulu hits Royce Carrick over the middle who snares it with two hands and falls backward into the end zone. 21-yard TD pass from Ulu to Carrick. 14-0, 2:36, Q1.
Waianae squib kicks it so that Kahoohanohano-Davis doesn’t get a chance to return it. Baldwin starts on its 31. Akaka rolls out to his right and at the last minute, finds Jonovan-Taje Akaka for 38 yards. Waianae sniffs out a delayed draw on second down for a 2-yard loss. Sophomore LB Francis Mailo with the tackle for loss. Now Akaka is forced to roll out again and doesn’t throw it away but runs out of bounds for a loss. Rudy-Jay Keopuhiwa gets credit for the sack. Fourth and very long and Akaka throws one up that is caught by Jonovan-Taje Akaka who reaches out with one arm and hauls it in with the other. Touchdown Baldwin. 2-point conversion is no good. 14-6, 0:55, Q1.
Waianae ball near midfield after a nice return but the quarter ends with Baldwin LB Kawena Alo-Kaonohi throwing down Ulu for a big sack to force a third-and-10.
Ulu has a man open on third-and-10 but it’s broken up at the last second and Waianae is three-and-out for the second time.
Crazy play as Baldwin starts from the 20. Gouveia is wrapped up for a 1-yard loss but his knee never hits and he finally squirts his way out of the tackle and then picks up 12 yards before getting hit. Fumble is recovered by Waianae. TV shows Gouveia’s knee was down it looked like but nonetheless Waianae ball.
LBs Damien Awai and Aloalii Laga combined to stop Waianae for a 3-yard loss. Third down and a screen pass goes off the fingertips of the running back and into the hands of Awai, who comes up with a big INT for the Bears. Baldwin ball on its 42.
Kahoohanohano-Davis was back in on defense on that last drive after missing the end of the first quarter. Baldwin sticking with the run but Gouveia picks up just a yard. Akaka throws a ball to Kahoohanohano-Davis, but it’s knocked up into the air and then Jonovan-Taje Akaka dives and grabs it before hitting the ground for a catch and a first down. Crazy play. Kealoha comes flying in on a run-blitz and stops Gouveia for a loss to make it third-and-11. Pass to the sideline is thrown on time and Jonovan-Taje Akaka comes down with it. It’s ruled a catch and a first down. Waianae fans don’t like it. Kealoha with another tackle for no gain. Akaka goes deep but the ball hangs up way too long and Mosiah Brame comes down with the INT for Waianae. That’s already the fourth turnover by Baldwin.
Seariders start on their own 7. Baldwin hit with a personal foul after a strong run by Valdez and suddenly the ball is out to the 34. Valdez hit behind the line of scrimmage for a tackle for loss by Alo-Kaonohi but he’s called for unsportsmanlike conduct. Add on another 15 yards. Valdez with a 6-yard run to move the ball past midfield. Ulu runs for 3 to make it third-and-1. Jumbo set and Towne is hit right at the line but it looks like it is just enough for the first down. Or not. They will measure. Laga was in their first on the stop for Baldwin. It is JUST short. Inches. Of course, Waianae will go for it and Valdez gets 6 yards. Waianae with its first timeout of half with 4:58 left. First-and-10 on Baldwin 37. Waianae with two big gains of 8 and 9 yards to the 20 as the Seariders’ running game is coming alive. Carrick now pops one for 8 yards to the 12. Awai AGAIN with a big play for Baldwin as he’s the first to get to Carrick to stop him for a 5-yard loss. Third-and-7. Short pass to Mauga is complete but a nice tackle by Jac Keoni Toruw forces a fourth-and-3. Waianae goes for it and Ulu has to throw it early as Alo-Kaonohi forces the incomplete pass with pressure. Turnover on downs.
A 15-yard reception for Jonovan-Taje Akaka who is having a nice first half receiving for the Bears. Only one target so far to Kahoohanohano-Davis, who hasn’t been out there a ton. A false start and a holding penalty hurts the drive but Gouveia almost breaks a long one. Shoe-string tackle by LB Jaylen Gonzales saves a much larger rain. Third down and Akaka throws deep to Kahoohanohano-Davis. Ball looks way overthrown but he almost races to it and gets it. It goes off his fingertips as he managed to get one arm out there. Baldwin will have to punt from its 16.
Waianae gets the ball on its own 43 with 17 seconds left. What can it do here? Low snap and Ulu has to scramble to get it but he managed to pick up 4 yards anyway. Seariders timeout with 9 seconds remaining. Jonovan-Taje Akaka breaks up a deep pass. Now four seconds remaining. Deep ball is picked off by Kahoohanohano-Davis who returns it past midfield but Baldwin is going to get called for a defensive pass interference. Ball moves to the 24 for one untimed down. Waianae tries a 41-yard field goal but it’s way short and we go to halftime.
Waianae kicks to Kahoohanohano-Davis who returns it for 32 yards and is tackled by about five Seariders. Bears on the 42. First pass is to Jonovan-Taje Akaka who picks up 10 and a first down past midfield. Gouveia picks up 14 barreling over defenders and Baldwin has come out fired up. Short pass is complete to Kaelon Wainui. Another pass to Wainui but it’s low and he can’t come up with it. Third down. Waianae shows blitz and causes Baldwin to move early. Wainui with another catch but he’s short of the marker by about 4 yards. Baldwin will go for it. Waianae brings a heavy rush and Gonzales and Kealoha are the first two to get in on the sack. Waianae takes over on its 36.
Bears having trouble stopping the run as Waianae is flexing its muscle on offense. Ambrocio picks up another first down to the 38. Carrick to the 35. Ambrocio breaks another one, this time for 16 yards inside the red zone. Javen Towne with a 19-yard TD run for his 19th rushing TD of the season. 21-6, 6:04, Q3.
Shawn Silva on the kick return for Baldwin as Kahoohanohano-Davis isnt in. Bears will start on their 35. Bears go three-and-out however as Akaka’s pass is low and incomplete on third down.
Bears get it right back as they stop three Waianae runs for 9 yards. Seariders line up to punt but then fake it. Hattori runs it and it’s close. They will have to measure. Big-time gamble here by Waianae on its own 32. They measure and the drive will continue. First down. That was big because Kahoohanohano-Davis was in to return a punt for the first time tonight. Waianae has to punt again.
Ball rolls and it looks like just before it comes to a stop Kahoohanohano-Davis picks it up and takes off. He is flying down the sideline but the referee’s blow it dead. Ball was clearly still rolling on the replay. It’s called a 37-yard punt but Baldwin might have a gripe there. Bears ball on their 29.
Gouveia run gives Baldwin first-and-10 on its 40 as the third quarter ends.
Third quarter stats show Waianae with a 245-162 edge in total yards. Valdez leading the way with 63 yards on 11 carries. Akaka is 10-for-21 for 147 yards with 1 TD and 2 INT.
Hattori with another sack for Waianae. Personal fouls on both teams and then a hold on Baldwin really messes this drive up. It’s third-and-45 at the 5 and Akaka’s pass is incomplete. Baldwin punts and Waianae with excellent field position at the Baldwin 38. Baldwin still fighting though as DL Avant Sheldon comes up with a monster third-down sack to force a punt.
Punt goes out of bounds at the Bears 6. Baldwin pinned deep. 8:09 remaining. Gouveia with a nice 16-yard run as he runs through tacklers and bounces off people. Even threw in a spin move there. Just caught a glimpse of Kahoohanohano-Davis jogging out to the Baldwin sideline from the locker room. Not sure what happened there. Gouveia picks up 4 more on the ground but Baldwin needs to move down 15. Fourth-and-4 and Akaka completed a pass to senior Keli’i Kaiama, who picks up 13 and a first down on his first catch of the game. Boy, Akaka has to scramble on every play as Waianae brings the rush every time. Third-and-7 and Akaka has Dalton Mata streaking down the middle but just overthrows him. That could have gone for big yards. Fourth down and a miscommunication between the Akaka brothers and Waianae takes over on the Baldwin 48 with 5:23 remaining.
Third-and-2 on the 40 and sophomore Rico Rosario picks up 6 yards right up the gut. Seariders going to run this one out it looks like. FINAL.