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(Fri) December 5, 2008

HHSAA Division I FOOTBALL: Punahou Routs Leilehua, Claims School’s First State Crown

By Kyle Galdeira

Punahou racked up 518 yards of total offense, and the Buffanblu came away with a 38-7 victory over Leilehua this evening in the championship game of the 10th Annual Hawaii High School Athletic Association/First Hawaiian Bank Division I Football State Championships at Aloha Stadium. The state title is the first in school history for the Interscholastic League of Honolulu champion Buffanblu.

Punahou quarterback Cayman Shutter completed 24 passes for 400 yards and two touchdowns. His favorite receivers on the evening proved to be Robert Toma and Mark Silverstein who finished the contest with 147 and 146 yards and a score, respectively. Buffanblu running back Dalton Hilliard paced his squad on the ground, rushing for 98 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries.  

Leilehua was limited to 210 yards of total offense, and Punahou’s defensive unit forced six turnovers. Mina Gould led the Buffanblu with 10 total tackles, while teammate Manti Te‘o racked up eight tackles, two sacks, three tackles for loss, and a forced fumble.

A 53-yard pass from Shutter to Toma on the Buffanblu’s first offensive series set up a 28-yard touchdown strike from Shutter to Mark Silverstein down the middle of the field. Robert Izuta booted the extra point, and gave Punahou a 7-0 advantage with 11:05 to play in the first quarter.

Following a Brian Suite interception of Leilehua gunslinger Andrew Manley that the junior defensive back returned to Leilehua’s 43 yard line, Shutter found Silverstein again on a 31-yard pass that put Punahou in the red zone at the Mules’ eight yard line. After two one-yard runs moved the Buffanblu offense into a third-and-goal situation, Shutter scrambled up the middle for six yards, and jumped into the end zone to put the Buffanblu up 14-0 with 3:33 to play in the opening period.

After Punahou (12-1) forced Leilehua’s third punt of the first period, Dalton Hilliard gave the Buffanblu a 21-point cushion on a 38-yard touchdown run that came just short of a minute into the second quarter.

The Mules (11-3) narrowed the deficit to 21-7 as Manley found Rico Newman on a fourth down touchdown pass spanning five yards followed by Maika Kunioka’s successful extra point. The score capped Leilehua’s nine-play drive that allowed the Mules to take some momentum into the locker room at halftime.

Punahou posted the first points of the second half as Izuta converted a 29-yard field goal with 6:33 remaining in the third quarter, and gave the Buffanblu a 24-7 advantage.

Shutter added his second touchdown pass of the contest 13 seconds into the fourth quarter as the senior quarterback found Toma wide open in the end zone for a 15-yard completion. The score widened Punahou’s lead to 31-7, and all but ended any hope of a Leilehua rally.

Buffanblu wide receiver Galen Arakawa scored on a seven-yard touchdown run in the game’s waning minutes to put Punahou up 38-7. The additional score helped Punahou achieve a historic feat as it became the state tournament record holder for most points tallied in a championship game.

Manley finished the contest with 205 yards and a touchdown on 30 completions. Receiver Edieson Dumlao hauled in nine catches for 45 yards in defeat. The Mules received a game-high 12 tackles from Kalua Ellis, and forced five Buffanblu turnovers.