Star-Bulletin Sports

Saturday, November 10, 2001


Kahuku's Benjamin Chase pulls in a pass as he is being
dragged down by Aiea's Daniel Saunoa. Kahuku won easily.

Pula scores 5
touchdowns as
Kahuku crushes Aiea

The Red Raiders' tailback opened
the game with a kickoff return score
and added 4 on the ground

By Jerry Campany

Aiea came into yesterday's OIA Co-Championship games with as much chance to win the title as any of the three other teams still alive.

Until Kahuku's Mulivai Pula touched the football.

Pula took the opening kickoff 93 yards for a touchdown then scored four on the ground en route to rushing for 147 yards on 13 carries -- all in the first half -- to help Kahuku beat Aiea 48-0 and win a share of the title last night at Aloha Stadium.

But Kahuku coach Siuaki Livai doesn't look at it as sharing.

"Its too bad we have co-champions," Livai said. "These three teams (Aiea, Castle and Kailua), we played them all. Our game was the championship game, no argument."

In what was supposed to be a battle between two of the state's best quarterbacks, Pula stole the show. Asked if there was any answer to Kahuku's talented tailback, Aiea coach Wendell Say said he hasn't found it.

"That opening kickoff broke our backs," Say said. "He is hard to handle and the talent that surrounds him makes him more dangerous."

Kahuku's quarterback, Inoke Funaki, didn't have to throw a pass until the second quarter after his team had the game well in hand 20-0. He simply handed the ball to Pula 13 times for 147 yards in the first half.

Kahuku's Jared Fotu fumbled away the ball as he was
pulled down by Aiea's Eric Chuck at the goal line. The
Red Raiders won 48-0.

"This was one of our best games running," Livai said. "I didn't want to get physical until now. When we get physical, people get hurt. We want to mix it up though, want to keep it balanced."

The story was different on the other side of the field though, as Aiea quarterback Lole Laolagi had to throw because his team was trying to keep up with Pula and was honor-bound to ride the horse that got it to the championship in the first place.

But just as Pula's speed broke Aiea, the speed of Kahuku's defense broke Laolagi.

Laolagi, who came into the game at the top of the single-season passing touchdowns list, was sacked as many times as he got a pass off in the first half. And when he did get a pass downfield, it wasn't pretty. Laolagi completed only one pass in the first half -- for a 6-yard loss -- and threw two picks. He suffered through a 5-for-17 night with four interceptions and no touchdowns.

The Red Raiders sacked Laolagi six times, with Jonathan Mapu getting him twice.

Kahuku's defense so rattled Laolagi and Na Alii that it sent them into halftime down 41 points on the scoreboard and 352 yards behind on the stat sheet. The Red Raiders gained 340 yards in the first half while holding Aiea to minus-12. They improved on that in the second half to outgain Aiea 481 to minus-15. Aiea did not earn a first down -- except for two handed to them on penalties -- until 8:09 in the second quarter.

Kahuku plays Maui Interscholastic League champion Lahainaluna next week in the state tournament quarterfinals. Aiea faces Interscholastic League of Honolulu champion St. Louis. Both games will be at Aloha Stadium.

At Aloha Stadium

Aiea 0 0 0 0 -- 0

Kahuku 14 27 0 7 -- 48

Kah -- Mulivai Pula 93 kick return (Soloman Lee kick)

Kah -- Pula 42 run (Lee kick)

Kah -- Pula 6 run (Lee kick failed)

Kah -- Inoke Funaki 15 run (Pula run)

Kah -- Pula 5 run (Savannah Sabido kick)

Kah -- Pula 3 run (Sabido kick failed)

Kah -- Kimo Leung-Chio 56 run (Lee kick)

RUSHING -- Aiea: Lole Laolagi 11-(-45), Faasalele Neemia 6-20, Kalani Kekawa 2-(-2), Reuben Medeiros 1-(-19). Kahuku: Pula 13-147, Funaki 5-58, Earvin Atuaia 2-13, Travis Kaka 2-10, Leung-Chio 5-85, Ferron Fonoimoana 2-12, Hans Fonoimoana 2-21, Tyler Oto 5-3, Jared Tufaga 5-22, Archia Gorai 1-1, Kekoa Kamakeaina 1-1, Benson Chang 1-10, Sosefa Lauaki 1-5.

PASSING -- Aiea: Laolagi 5-17-4-31. Kahuku: Funaki 5-7-0-72, Oto 0-1-0-0, F. Fonoimoana 1-2-0-21.

RECEIVING Aiea: Medeiros 3-4, Bryan Tucker-Salas 1-15, Chris Antonio 1-12. Kahuku: Funaki 1-21, Benjamin Chase 1-11, James Kammerer 2-28, F. Fonoimoana 1-27, Oto 1-6.

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