Kapolei. Punahou. It was a marquee matchup in the quarterfinal round of the newly-created Open Division of the First Hawaiian Bank/HHSAA Football State Championships. It wasn’t a new being, of course. The six-team format of Open Division mirrored the previous top-tiered division at the state tourney, Division I. In that division, there had rarely ever been such a tough matchup for both teams, but this was the first time an Interscholastic League of Honolulu runner-up was permitted to play for a state title.
There were clutch plays from start to finish, from Kapolei’s risky fourth-down in its own territory to Punahou’s Hail Mary late in the contest to keep hope alive. In the end, it was the mastery of Kapolei’s offense, behind the accuracy of sophomore QB Taulia Tagovailoa, and the persistent pass rush led by Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa, that carried the Hurricanes to an upset victory over the Buffanblu.