[ HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL ]
GEORGE F. LEE / GLEE@STARBULLETIN.COM
Waipahu's Krypton Taito fought to break away from Campbell's Carlos Velasco yesterday.
Campbell converts for
OIA White title
It all came down to conversion success ... and failure.
Campbell gambled successfully on a late-game 2-pointer and then stopped one to beat Waipahu 29-27 for the Oahu Interscholastic Association White Conference football championship at Aloha Stadium.
With 3:11 to play, the Sabers broke a 21-all tie when Kaneala Stanton capped a 16-play drive with a 1-yard TD run. Quarterback Shaye Asoau, lining up as a holder for a would-be extra-point kick by Isaac Laupola, took the snap and quickly sprinted around left end into the end zone for what turned out to be the winning points.
"On the sidelines, the coaches asked me and Isaac if we had the confidence to do it," Asoau said. "They basically said, 'It's your call.' They (Waipahu) were trying to block the kick and left only one guy outside. We took advantage of that."
The Marauders' hopes took another big hit when Laupola intercepted quarterback Austen Benito's pass. But the Waipahu defense made a miraculous play with 1:22 left as Shannon Saili dove to knock the ball out of Stanton's hands and Marauders defensive back Jeff Baron scooped it up and ran 78 yards for a touchdown to make it 29-27.
Benito, an option quarterback, tried to go off left tackle for the 2-point conversion, but was stuffed by the Campbell line, clinching the Sabers' first OIA football title.
"He (Benito) was supposed to follow right behind me, but there was nothing there," said Marauders running back Krypton Taito, who rushed for 65 yards on 16 carries. "Campbell had plenty guys on that (left) side."
After Waipahu's onside kick went out of bounds, the Sabers (8-2) successfully ran out the clock.
"That big play on defense, just to give us a chance, that's the way our kids play," Waipahu coach Sean Saturnio said after the loss.
"Being able to persevere, that's what they're all about. I'm so extremely proud of them. There's a lot of life left in these boys."
The Marauders (7-3), who won the White regular-season title by virtue of a come-from-behind 28-27 win over Campbell, join the Sabers in the Division II state tournament starting next week.
On Friday at Radford, Waipahu takes on the winner of today's Big Island playoff between Hawaii Prep and Konawaena. Campbell has a first-round bye before playing the Kauai vs. Pac-Three winner in the semifinals Nov. 26 at Radford.
"The first chapter is done; now it's on to chapter two," Sabers coach Tumoana Kenessey said. "I'm so happy for our kids and I'm so proud of the staff. They were all on edge, but they lit the fire."
Campbell took an early 13-0 lead, thanks to an 80-yard TD bomb on the first play from scrimmage from Asoau to Kepaninaokamali Basham, followed by an extended drive that resulted in Asoau's 1-yard TD run.
But Waipahu showed its customary resilience, scoring three second-quarter TDs for a 21-13 lead. After Benito's 18-yard scoring toss to Ben Ameperosa, the Marauders got fumble recoveries from Matt Namu and Sean Felise en route to the next two TDs -- Ryan Winfree's 3-yard catch from Benito and Taito's 1-yard run.
In a complete reversal of the first game between the two teams, Campbell controlled the ball and the clock in the second half and it spelled the Marauders' demise.
Trickery played a part. Laupola took a reverse and -- with Waipahu thinking run -- passed one right on the money to a wide-open James Bannister in the end zone. Asoau foreshadowed things to come when he ran home the 2-pointer for the 21-all tie.
"It was our turn to come back and shine," Laupola said. "We'll celebrate this victory and work on preparing for our next opponent. The season ain't over. We got states."
Waipahu's Taito is also looking ahead.
"We played our hearts out," he said. "It was a good game. We'll go to states fired up. We didn't get this one, but we'll get states."
Campbell's Jordan Doane sacked Benito twice, and Waipahu lineman Nu'u Frazer turned in a strong two-way game. Frazer broke through with a flourish to drop Asoau for no gain at the Marauders 1 just before Stanton's go-ahead TD on third down. On the other side of the ball, Frazer was a major concern for the Campbell staff.
Before the Sabers stuffed Benito on the 2-point try, Kenessey told his nose guard to make sure to cut Frazer down.
"That allowed the linebackers to fill in the gap and they were able to wrap him (Benito) up," Kenessey said.
BACK TO TOP
Campbell 29, Waipahu 27
At Aloha Stadium
Cam--Kepaninaokamali Basham 80 pass from Shaye Asoau (Asoau kick).
Cam--Asoau 1 run (kick failed).
Waip--Ben Ameperosa 18 pass from Austen Benito (Benito kick).
Waip--Ryan Winfree 3 pass from Benito (Benito kick).
Waip--Krypton Taito 1 run (Benito kick).
Cam--James Bannister 23 pass from Isaac Laupola (Asoau run).
Cam--Kaneala Stanton 1 run (Asoau run).
Waip--Jeff Baron 78 interception return (run failed).
RUSHING--Campbell: Quinton Richards 12-72, Stanton 8-69, Isiah Smith 6-45, Anthony Shimizu 5-37, Laupola 1-26, Jessie Lee 5-12, Jacob Kaku 2-8, Asoau 5-(-1). Waipahu: Winfree 2-65, Krypton Taito 16-65, Benito 11-34.
PASSING--Campbell: Asoau 7-9-0-132, Laupola 1-1-0-23. Waipahu: Benito 10-15-1-113.
RECEIVING--Campbell: Basham 1-80, Bannister 1-23, Stanton 3-17, David Kim 1-15, Kaku 1-11, Laupola 1-9. Waipahu: Ameperosa 3-51, Winfree 3-37, Stan Abasial 2-20, Anthony Vith 2-5.