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Star-Bulletin Sports


Saturday, November 17, 2001


[ PREP FOOTBALL ]


GEORGE F. LEE / GLEE@STARBULLETIN.COM
Kahuku player Loga Fonoimoana gets close to the goal line
with Lahainaluna's Sione Kauvaka and CJ Casco in tow.



Kahuku advances
through the air

The Red Raiders use the passing
game to dispatch Lahainaluna

Crusaders peaking at right time
Menehune pound out win over Knights


By Jason Kaneshiro
jkaneshiro@starbulletin.com

Kahuku carved out its storied football tradition by grinding out yardage on the ground. But last night, the Red Raider offense took flight to advance to the semifinals of the Chevron State Football Championships.

The defending state champion Red Raiders passed for 361 yards in their 57-14 quarterfinal win over Lahainaluna at Aloha Stadium.

The Lunas, champions of the Maui Interscholastic League, contained Kahuku's vaunted running game early in the contest, but the Red Raiders responded with their best passing day of the season.

"At this point in the season, we like to take advantage of what is given to us," Kahuku coach Siuaki Livai said. "We came out trying to run a little bit, and they adjusted real well. So we just had to spread it out and make it a wide-open game."

Kahuku quarterback Inoke Funaki completed 11 of 15 passes for 307 yards and five touchdowns. James Kammerer caught three touchdown passes, tying a state tournament record.

"I just didn't realize how good this boy was at QB," Lahainaluna coach Robert Watson said. "He makes a difference in the whole game."

Kahuku running back Mulivai Pula was held to 83 yards on 10 carries, but scored two touchdowns. And his presence in the backfield opened the field for the Kahuku passing game.

"I'm sure they saw Mulivai score all his touchdowns," Kammerer said. "So they were concentrating on the run, leaving nine guys in the box, and that really opened everything up for us as receivers."

Kammerer finished with five catches for a game-high 136 yards and two touchdown receptions.

Lahainaluna, which had seven starters playing both offense and defense, traded blows with the Red Raiders for much of the first half as the teams scored on four consecutive possessions. But Kahuku connected on three haymakers in the second quarter to knock the Lunas through the ropes.

Funaki completed 10 of 12 passes for 265 yards and three touchdowns in the first half. As a team, Kahuku outgained Lahainaluna 335 yards to 130.

The Red Raiders wasted little time in taking the early lead. Kahuku took the opening kickoff and marched 61 yards in eight plays capped by Funaki's 18-yard touchdown pass to Kammerer.

Lahainaluna tied the game with 58 seconds left in the first quarter on Laulile Latu's punishing 9-yard touchdown run. The score was set up by Ikaika Neizman's 30-yard punt return to the Kahuku 15.

The Lunas defense appeared to knock the Red Raiders on their heels on Kahuku's next possession, dropping Pula and Funaki for losses. But on third-and-17, Funaki found Kaka running alone down the right side for a 62-yard scoring pass.

Lahainaluna responded immediately with quarterback Kainoa Casco hitting Neizman for a 70-yard connection. Casco scored two plays later on a 5-yard quarterback keeper around the right side. Neizman's extra point tied the game at 14 at the 9:52 mark of the second quarter.

"We came out flat and not really focused," Kahuku receiver Ferron Fonoimoana said. "I guess everybody just took them lightly, but they came out to play."

But the contingent from West Maui would have little more to cheer about. Funaki completed all three of his passes on Kahuku's next drive, the last a 35-yard touchdown completion to Kammerer. After forcing a punt, the Red Raiders extended their lead with a 90-yard drive capped by a 15-yard scoring toss from Fonoimoana to Kaka on a halfback option pass.

After Kahuku recovered the free kick, the Lunas averted another score with an interception by Casco in the end zone, snapping Funaki's streak of eight consecutive completions.

But the Red Raiders forced the Lunas to punt and took over at their 46 with 11 seconds left in the half.

Kahuku then used the hook-and-lateral to extend its lead to 36-14 at halftime. Funaki completed a 14-yard pass to Kammerer, who then flipped the ball to Pula. The Red Raider running back raced across the field the remaining 40 yards for a touchdown, aided by a block by Fonoimoana.

"We expected them to be tough. We got fatigued at the end," Neizman said. "Running, I thought we could stop them. It was just the pass."

Kahuku maintained its momentum in the third quarter. Pula scored on a 7-yard run to end the Red Raiders' first drive of the half.

Funaki and Kammerer connected for another touchdown completion in the fourth quarter.

"We have a tough opponent (Waimea) next week," Fonoimoana said.

At Aloha Stadium

Lahainaluna (8-2) 7 7 0 0 -- 14

Kahuku (11-0) 7 29 7 14 -- 57

Kah -- James Kammerer 18 pass from Inoke Funaki (Solomon Lee)

Lah -- Laulile Latu 9 run (Ikaika Neizman kick)

Kah -- Travis Kaka 62 pass from Funaki (Lee kick)

Lah -- Kainoa Casco 5 run (Neizman kick)

Kah -- Kammerer 35 pass from Funaki (Lee kick)

Kah -- Kaka 15 pass from Ferron Fonoimoana (Lee kick)

Kah -- Pula 54 pass from Funaki, with lateral (Pula run)

Kah -- Pula 7 run (Savannah Sabido kick)

Kah -- Kammerer 30 pass from Funaki (Sabido kick)

Kah -- Kekoa Kamakeaina 9 run (Lee kick)

RUSHING -- Kahuku: M. Pula 10-83, Atuaia 2-44, Bartron 2-21, Oto 2-19, Perez 2-12, Kamakeaina 2-10, S. Pula 1-8, Leung-Choi 5-8, Tui 2-6, H. Fonoimoana 1-3, Kaka 1-3, Ah Quin 1-1, Kotobalavu 1-(-1), Funaki 3-(-4). Lahainaluna: Casco 16-37, Latu 8-35, Poci 8-23, A. Ancog- 1-5, Neizman 2-0, Nakihei 2-(-2).

PASSING -- Kahuku: Funaki 11-15-1-307, L. Fonoimoana 2-3-0-54. Lahainaluna: Casco 1-6-0-70, Nakihei 0-1-0-0.

RECEIVING -- Kahuku: Kammerer 5-136, Kaka 5-114, L. Fonoimoana 2-46, M. Pula 1-40, Chase 1-25 Lahainaluna: Neizman 1-70.



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