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Kahuku keeps Red crown
The Red Raiders defeat the Mililani
As the OIA Red runner-up, Mililani travels to Maui next week to face Maui Interscholastic League representative Lahainaluna at War Memorial Stadium in a first-round game.
Kahuku's offense was bolstered last night by the return of running back Micah Strickland and quarterback Bronson Ponciano-Ahue, who both missed last week's semifinal win over Leilehua.
Strickland rushed for 53 yards and two touchdowns, while Ponciano-Ahue passed for a score.
Mililani threatened to break Kahuku's grip on the championship in the first quarter as quarterback Maka Kahoano threw for two touchdowns.
The first was a 6-yarder to Aaron Pooloa on fourth down, the second a 40-yard strike to Kekoa Perbera. But the Kahuku defenses stiffened to limit the Trojans to 17 total yards the remainder of the first half.
"That's a really good defense," Mililani coach James Millwood said. "We had a hard time with their speed and we had to deal with bad field position in the whole second and third quarters.
"The offense just didn't get it done tonight."
An interception by Tomasi Fuller sparked the Kahuku rally in the second quarter. The Red Raiders took over at the Mililani 11 and Strickland capitalized two plays later with a 9-yard touchdown run.
The Red Raiders' next possession started at the Mililani 15 after a short punt and Strickland gave Kahuku its first lead of the night with a 5-yard run around the left side.
Ponciano-Ahue then put Kahuku in command by hitting Spencer Hafoka down the right sideline for a 52-yard touchdown pass. Ponciano-Ahue then ran in the 2-point conversion to give the Red Raiders a 28-13 halftime lead.
Kahuku fullback Viliami Tilini stretched the Red Raiders' lead with a 1-yard dive in the third quarter.
"We're not a team of quitters; we're winners to the end," Millwood said. "I think we learned a lot by playing the top team in the state."
Kealakehe (8-4) opens tournament play Friday against the winner of tonight's OIA third-place game between Castle and Leilehua. Hilo finished its season 9-2.
No. 1 Kahuku 36, No. 2 Mililani 13At Aloha Stadium
Kahuku (10-1) 6 22 8 0 -- 36 Mililani (10-1) 13 0 0 0 -- 13
Mil--Aaron Pooloa 6 pass from Maka Kahoano (Jordan Torres kick).
Kah--Hyrum Moors 4 run (run failed).
Mil--Kekoa Perbera 40 pass from Kahoano (kick failed).
Kah--Micah Strickland 9 run (run failed).
Kah--Strickland 5 run (Kamuela Alisa pass from Bronson Ponciano-Ahue).
Kah--Spencer Hafoka 52 pass from Ponciano-Ahue (Ponciano-Ahue run).
Kah--Viliami Tilini 1 run (Ponciano-Ahue run).
RUSHING--Kahuku: Strickland 11-53, Moors 12-68, Tilini 4-36, Ponciano-Ahue 4-9, Malosi Teo 7-14, Simi Alo 1-54, Lehi Aumua 1-2. Mililani: Perbera 9-21, Jay Greene 3-1, Jordan Torres 9-32, Jordan Apduhan 2-4, Kahoano 5-(-18), Team 1-(-18).
PASSING--Kahuku: Ponciano-Ahue 6-19-1-110. Mililani: Kahoano 9-21-1-183, Jon Santos 0-1-0-0.
RECEIVING--Kahuku: Hafoka 3-87, Devin Unga 1-9, Moors 1-5, Stanley Kava 1-9. Mililani: Perbera 1-40, Pooloa 1-6, Nick Rogers 5-127, Jason Alexander 1-3, Santos 1-7.
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