[ HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL ]
GEORGE F. LEE / GLEE@STARBULLETIN.COM|
Kahuku's Darren Magalogo stiff-armed Farrington's Presley Tagaloa during a state tournament semifinal game last night at Aloha Stadium.
The Red Raiders win 35-7
and will face Saint Louis in
the state championship
Slow starts and strong finishes have been the prevailing theme for the Kahuku football team this season, but the Red Raiders always steer clear of pressing the panic button.
"Maybe the more we warm up, the better we play," said Kahuku defensive tackle Makana Nicodemus, after the Red Raiders' workman-like 35-7 win over Farrington in a Division I semifinal matchup of the First Hawaiian Bank HHSAA State Football championships last night at Aloha Stadium. "We always tell each other that the score is zero to zero at the half."
State Division I football
Semifinals -- Yesterday
>> Kahuku 35, Farrington 7
>> Saint Louis 48, Baldwin 6
Championship -- Friday
>> Kahuku vs. Saint Louis, at Aloha Stadium, 8 p.m.
Nicodemus finished with eight tackles, five of them for losses, and the Red Raiders (13-0) broke open a tight game with a pair of third-quarter scores in a span of 1:29 to advance to Friday's championship game against Saint Louis. It will mark Kahuku's first title game appearance since 2001 and its third in four years.
"They played a heckuva game," Farrington coach Randall Okimoto said. "The ball bounced their way, but that's the way it goes. Their pass rush especially affected us."
Behind the play of Nicodemus and Max Fairclough (nine tackles), Kahuku limited the Governors' offense to 127 total yards and six first downs, while yielding only 2.7 yards a play. Offensively, the Red Raiders struggled to get untracked, although they would finish the night with 512 total yards, including 277 on the ground. Kahuku fumbled ten times, losing four.
"If our first two drives are good, we can usually keep it up for the whole game," Carvalho said. "When we make mistakes in the beginning, we don't get down, but we get frustrated. Our coaches always calm us down at the half."
The Red Raiders led just 15-7 at the break before relying heavily on play-action passes in the second half.
"Our coaches could see the (line)backers coming down and nobody was picking up our tight end," said Carvalho, who was 10-for-17 for 195 yards and a touchdown. "They (coaches) pulled me aside at halftime and told me that we were going to go with play-action (in the second half). They told me to be patient -- that it would show up. I was rushing my throws in the first half."
Leading 15-7 with 5:06 left in the third, and the ball on its own 38, Kahuku needed two plays to open up a 22-7 advantage. Carvalho faked to his running back and found Spencer Hafoka for a 42-yard completion and then collaborated with Tevita Finau on a 30-yard scoring pass on the following play.
"That (sequence) was a key," Okimoto said. "They're very good at picking their spots (in the passing game). We were prepared for them, but they did a helluva job."
Following a three-and-out series by the Farrington defense, Kahuku delivered the knockout punch moments later as Toriano Taulogo fielded a punt on the short side of the field and sprinted up the sideline for a 48-yard score that made it 28-7 with 3:05 left in the third quarter.
Farrington (7-5-1) managed a 7-0 lead on a 6-yard scoring toss from Alvin Faumui to Bell with 8:30 to play in the first quarter. Ropeti Gafa added the point-after kick.
"That score was good -- it woke us up and we started playing better," Nicodemus said.
Kahuku tied the score on its next possession, marching from its own 35 to the Farrington 3, before Dustin Huddy ran it in from off tackle with 5:05 to play before the break. The Red Raiders took the lead for good with 5:19 left to play before the half when Darren Magalogo broke an inside handoff to the outside for a 19-yard score on first down. Carvalho connected with Finau for the conversion. An interception by Kahuku's Afa Garrigan at the Farrington 33 (and a return of 14 yards) had set up the score.
Hafoka (six catches, 133 yards) added a 31-yard score on a pass from Kurtney Silva in the fourth quarter as a closing gesture.
Kahuku 35, Farrington 7
At Aloha Stadium
Farr-- Matt Bell 5 pass from Alvin Faumui (Ropeti Gafa kick)
Kahu -- Dustin Huddy 3 run (Michael Tuia kick)
Kahu -- Darre Magalogo 19 run (Huddy run)
Kahu -- Tevita Finau 30 pass from Waika Carvalho (Tuia kick)
Kahu -- Torian Taulogo 48 punt return (Tuia kick)
Kahu -- Spencer Hafoka 31 pass from Kurtney Silva (kick failed)
RUSHING -- Kahuku: Huddy 13-85, Cy Naki 7-58, Paea Vaimoui 4-56, Magalogo 5-47, Afa Garrigan 1-29, Hyrum Moors 6-12, Kamuela Alisa 1-0, Carvalho 6-(-1), Silva 2-(-4), MJ Ngatikaura 1-(-5). Farrington: Bell 17-60, Jostin Waialae 3-10, Ame Vaimasanuu 1-(-1), Eti Atonio 10-(-22).
PASSING -- Kahuku: Carvalho 10-17-1-195, Silva 2-4-0-40, Redmond Tutor 0-1-0-0. Farrington: Atonio 6-16-2-75, Faumui 1-4-0-5.
RECEIVING -- Kahuku: Hafoka 6-133, Finau 3-86, Frank Bracewell 2-7, Naki 1-9. Farrington: Bell 4-22, Faumui 2-32, Harrison Harris 1-26.