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(Fri) December 5, 2008

HHSAA Division II FOOTBALL: Iolani Rushes By Radford En Route To Second Straight Division-II Title

By Kyle Galdeira

Iolani claimed its second consecutive state championship, and third crown in four years at the Division II level, with a 35-20 victory over Radford this evening in the title game of the 6th Annual Hawaii High School Athletic Association/First Hawaiian Bank Division II Football State Championship at Aloha Stadium.

The Raiders (11-3) relied on their stellar running attack that accounted for 194 yards on the ground, and an average of 8.1 yards-per-rush. Kellen Imada led the charge for Iolani with 119 yards on 17 carries and two scores, and teammate Kela Marciel chipped in 70 yards rushing and a touchdown on four carries.

Andrew Forester gave the Rams (10-4) the first lead of the game on a 22-yard touchdown connection with quarterback Mosiah Manuma just over three minutes into the game. Cody Spraker’s successful extra point provided Radford with the early 7-0 advantage.

However, Iolani answered with 9:02 to play in the opening quarter as Imada scampered for a 34-yard touchdown run that, when coupled with Andrew Skalman’s extra point, knotted the score at 7-7.

The Raiders pushed the lead to 14-7 with 35 seconds remaining in the first half as quarterback Jarrett Arakawa found receiver Trevyn Tulonghari in the middle of the field for a 27-yard touchdown. Skalman’s point after attempt was true, and Iolani took the seven-point lead into the locker room at halftime.

The Rams put together a nine-play, 44-yard drive on their first possession of the second half, and caught the Iolani defense off guard as Doug Brown took a pitch from Manuma on what proved to be a fake sweep play, and delivered a perfect strike to Brad Osborne for an 18-yard touchdown connection. Spraker followed with a successful extra point, and tied the score at 14-14.

But Breland Almadova returned the ensuing kickoff 67 yards, eluding a handful of would-be tacklers in the process, and put the Raiders up 21-14 with 6:46 remaining in the third quarter. Almadova also notched an interception and racked up four total tackles on defense.

Iolani relied on its speed the rest of the way, as Marciel and Imada torched the opposing defensive unit for touchdown runs of 70 and 49-yards, respectively. The two scores—especially Imada’s scamper with 8:52 remaining in the game—afforded the Raiders ample breathing room as the black-clad squad went up 35-14.

Radford ended the game on a nine-yard pass from Manuma to Osborne as time expired. Manuma finished the contest with 167 yards, and notched 21 completions in 33 attempts. Phil Hogan paced the Radford rushing game with 35 yards on 10 carries.

Sealii Epenesa led the Iolani defensive unit with 10 total tackles, 1.5 sacks, and four tackles for loss. Teammate Carl Gibson chipped in nine tackles, including a sack and two tackles for loss, and an interception on the evening.