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(Fri) November 18, 2011

HHSAA Division I FOOTBALL: Kahuku Stops Leilehua, Secures Spot in Title Game

By Kyle Galdeira

In a clash between a pair of Oahu Interscholastic Association rivals, Kahuku emerged victorious in overtime as the league champions downed the Mules, 13-10, in the second semifinal contest of the First Hawaiian Bank/HHSAA State Football Championships tonight before 8,659 at Aloha Stadium. Aofaga Wily Jr. scored on a three-yard run to give the Red Raiders the game’s final lead in the second overtime round, and propelled Kahuku into Friday’s title game.

Leilehua’s Russell Siavii snagged his second interception of the evening as Kahuku attempted to score on its first overtime possession. The Mules then turned to Tim Momiyama Jr., but the senior kicker missed wide right on his 42-yard try that would have won the game for Leilehua.

The Red Raiders proceeded to hold Leilehua to a Momiyama Jr. field goal on its ensuing offensive possession in the second overtime round. Kahuku then answered with Wily Jr.’s touchdown dive to put an end to the see-saw battle.

The Red Raiders dominated the game statistically, both on the ground and defensively. The red-and-white clad squad racked up 238 yards rushing on 59 carries while holding the Mules to 68 total yards.

The squads engaged in a defensive slugfest, playing to a scoreless tie through the first half, Kahuku managed 77 yards of offense while holding Leilehua to a mere 12 yards on 18 plays.

The Red Raiders appeared poised to score on their first drive of the second half, but kicker Kekahu Aluli clanked a 20-yard field goal attempt off the upright nearly halfway through the third period. Kahuku continued to rush the ball, and on its ensuing possession, Mahonilai Fakatou dived up the middle for a one-yard touchdown run on the first play of the fourth quarter to put his squad up 7-0.

However, Leilehua (10-2-1) answered six minutes later as Kenan Sadanaga connected with Mikal Peyton on a seven-yard strike to even the score at 7-7 midway through the fourth quarter.

Following a Kahuku punt, Leilehua got the ball back at its own 40 yard line with 2:36 to play in the game. However, the Mules could not muster any points, and the teams headed to overtime to settle things.

With the win, top-seeded Kahuku (11-1) advances to Friday’s tournament championship game against Interscholastic League of Honolulu champion and second-seeded Punahou. The Red Raiders will vie for their fourth HHSAA title. Kahuku last won the championship in 2006, and finished second to Kamehameha in the 2009 title game.