[ HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL ]
Campbell tops Iolani
for D-II title
The list of state and Prep Bowl champions throughout the years doesn't include Campbell.
The Sabers rushed past Iolani 28-7 last night to capture the First Hawaiian Bank State Football Championships Division II title at Aloha Stadium.
It was the second straight D-II final in which an Oahu Interscholastic Association team got the best of an Interscholastic League of Honolulu squad. A year ago, Aiea prevailed over Damien 9-7 in the inaugural D-II title game.
"Now the state knows that it was wrong to put us in Division II," said Campbell defensive back and wide receiver Isaac Laupola, who plans to play for the University of Hawaii next year. "They put us in the wrong league, the OIA White, instead of the Red and Division I where we belong. It's all good now. I'm just so happy that we don't have to come back to practice, except for next week's all-star game."
The Sabers (10-2) did it with running, via their Wing-T misdirections, and defense. Simply put, Iolani (9-3) couldn't stop Campbell's ground game, while the Sabers' defense didn't give any breathing room to quarterback Kiran Kepo'o and the Raiders' run-and-shoot offense.
"Everybody was executing the way they're supposed to and that's just about it," said Sabers running back Isiah Smith, who ran for a game-high 122 yards on 14 carries. "They (the Raiders) weren't focused. They looked confused and didn't know where to go.
"This was a great win, especially for the seniors. But we'll come back and take it again next year."
The Sabers are likely to move up to D-I next season because of their strong OIA White finish.
Last night, they took a 21-0 halftime lead on short touchdown runs by Smith, Anthony Shimizu and quarterback Shaye Asoau. Laupola's interception and 42-yard return set up one of those scores.
Overall, nine Sabers runners rushed for 352 yards on 61 carries, while Campbell's defense held the Raiders to 2 rushing yards and 212 yards of total offense.
Campbell dominated in other areas, too, including time of possession and turnovers. The Sabers also sacked Kepo'o six times, with four by junior Thomas Lopes and two by Kaneala Stanton, who also rushed for 113 yards on offense.
"They beat us on the line of scrimmage," Iolani coach Wendell Look said. "They didn't make mistakes, and their offense, with their misdirections, caused some confusion on our reads.
"But our team came a long way. Nobody thought we'd contend for anything. We went to the state championship game and we were one game away from winning the (overall) ILH championship. We've achieved a lot."
Iolani broke through for its only score after halftime as Kepo'o threw a bomb to Kekai Kealoha for a 45-yard gain to set up Michael Hirokawa's 11-yard TD run.
That 21-7 deficit held up until the fourth quarter for Iolani, but Kepo'o kept getting harassed by the Sabers defense and the Raiders didn't get close to the end zone again.
Shimizu's second TD run in the fourth quarter capped the scoring.
"Everybody at the school is going to be really excited," Campbell defensive lineman Kealii Basham said. "They'll probably have an assembly to celebrate. This is our first football (state) championship. We never won anything before, and now, in my senior year, we finally got something to bring back (to the school)."
Sabers assistant Mark Andrus subbed in as head coach for Tumoana Kenessey, who was forced to sit out the game after being ejected in the semifinals against Kauai.
"I'm 1-0 and I told Tumoana that I'll probably retire undefeated," Andrus said. "I don't really want to be a head coach. He's the guy who got us here, and he wasn't with us for what, about 3 hours? But did you see the effort by our players, the way they were breaking tackles and firing off the line of scrimmage?"
Iolani junior linebacker Jon Takamura, like Campbell's Smith, will be back again next year.
"This loss was heart-wrenching," said Takamura, in obvious emotional pain after his seven-tackle, one-sack performance. "We're taught to take positives out of everything. They caught us off guard and we gave up some easy early scores early, but we kept fighting. We'll work harder next year than we did this year and come out with the same intensity that we came out with this year."
Campbell 28, Iolani 7
At Aloha Stadium
Cam--Shaye Asoau 1 run (Asoau kick).
Cam--Anthony Shimizu 3 run (Asoau kick).
Cam--Isiah Smith 4 run (Asoau kick).
Iol--Michael Hirokawa 11 run (Kody Adams kick).
Cam--Shimizu 3 run (Asoau kick).
RUSHING--Campbell: Smith 14-122, Kaneala Stanton 10-113, Shimizu 9-60, Quinton Richards 10-55, Gregg Frink 4-15, Victor Cachuela 1-13, Isaac Laupola 1-(-3), Jesse Lee 5-(-5), Asoau 7-(-18). Iolani: Hirokawa 8-29, Travis Nishioka 1-4, Kekai Kealoha 1-3, Kiran Kepo'o 8-(-34).
PASSING--Campbell: Asoau 3-7-0-25. Iolani: Kepo'o 14-34-1-210.
RECEIVING--Campbell: Isaac Laupola 2-17, Shimizu 1-8. Iolani: Travis Nishioka 3-55, Kekai Kealoha 3-53, Blayne Yama 4-43, Micah Kalama 3-43, Hirokawa 1-16.