By Paul Honda
Defense brought a state championship to Kamehameha, and a chunk of that same defense gave the West All-Stars a near-flawless performance in a 27-6 win over the East All-Stars in Saturday’s HUB Goodwill Senior Bowl at Aloha Stadium.
The West All-Stars, with standouts like Beau Yap, Keko‘o Weisbarth-Tafaoimalo and Wave Ryder of Kamehameha, limited the East to 60 rushing yards on 31 carries. The West amassed three interceptions — Tu‘u Lolohea’s one-handed grab, another by Asalemo Fruean (Waipahu) and a 57-yard touchdown return by Ryan Graves to close out the scoring in the fourth quarter.
Along with sacks by Graham Rowley, who also caught the first touchdown of his career, and Yap, the West had firm control of a frustrated East offense.
The West offense didn’t light up the scoreboard, either, but did enough with Christian Carlos (63 rushing yards on eight carries) at quarterback. Eleu
Wilson’s 1-yard plunge over the goal line gave the West a 7-0 lead as the first quarter ended, capping an eight-play, 65-yard drive — all on the ground.
Lolohea came up with a second turnover, forcing and recovering a fumble at the East 30-yard line less than a minute into the second quarter. Rowley, a defensive end, lined up at tight end hauled in a 4-yard touchdown pass from T.C. Campbell to give the West a 13-0 lead with 7 minutes left in the first half.
Garrett Paredes got the East on the scoreboard with a 14-yard run, making it 13-6 with 6:10 left in the third quarter.
Early in the fourth quarter, Rowley’s teammate from Waialua, Branden Galapia, scored on a nifty 14-yard catch-and-run pass from Campbell.
“I saw the play up on the scoreboard and I didn’t even know it was him. It looked good,” Rowley said.
Graves added his pick-6 with 10 seconds to play.
Most valuable player awards for the West went to Carlos (offense), Lolohea (defense) and placekicker Tyler Yamanouchi (special teams). East MVP honors went to Keali‘i Poomaihealani (defense), Tauai (offense) and Corey Lau (special teams).