Menehunes bury Mustangs in mess
Stanford Leti wasn't about to let Moanalua lose two games in a row, even if it meant slipping and sliding his way all over the Kalaheo defense.
Despite poor field conditions due to heavy rain showers over the past few days, the senior quarterback rushed for 123 yards and three touchdowns as the Menehunes scored the first 27 points of the game before cruising to a 27-7 victory over Kalaheo last night at Moanalua.
The win moved the Menehunes (5-1, 4-1) within a half-game of Radford, which stunned Moanalua 35-13 last week, for the OIA White division lead.
"After our loss last week, (Kalaheo) took us lightly, so we had to play them tough," Leti said. "This was a new game and we had to play it like a championship game."
The poor conditions seemed to really hamper the visitors, as Kalaheo (1-4, 1-3) turned the ball over on five of its six first-half possessions. Mustangs quarterback Cody vonAppen, son of former University of Hawaii head football coach Fred vonAppen, was intercepted on his first two pass attempts of the game and finished with only 17 passing yards as neither team could find much success throwing the ball.
"It's hard to be efficient out there," Menehunes coach Arnold Martinez said. "When (Stanford) would drop back to throw, the ball nearly fell out of his hand every time, so we had to stick with the run."
While Leti was limited to 18 passing yards, his feet didn't seem to be bothered by the mud at all as he scored on touchdown runs of 38, 1 and 35 yards to help Moanalua build a 27-0 lead.
"You know the saying, mind over matter, that's how it was for me," Leti said. "I wasn't paying attention to the field at all, I just thought of it like any other field and did what I could to score and help us win."
Moanalua was also helped by poor special teams play from Kalaheo, which fumbled on back-to-back punt attempts late in the first half, the first setting up a 5-yard touchdown run by Quinton Tang and the latter Leti's third touchdown.
"If it ain't for the O-line, we wouldn't be scoring," Leti said.
After forcing the Menehunes into a missed field goal on their opening drive of the second half, the Mustangs put together their lone scoring drive of the game as Matthew Soueira capped a 16-play, 80-yard drive that featured all running plays with a 1-yard touchdown plunge to cut the lead to 27-7. Soueira would finish with 108 yards on 26 carries, but the Mustangs wouldn't find the end zone the rest of the game despite controlling the ball for nearly 18 minutes in the second half.
"I think our defense just got so tired at the end; they were out there forever," Martinez said. "Playing in this type of stuff is even more tiring."
Leti went nearly the entire game without attempting a pass, but on a third-down play midway through the final quarter, he hit John Estores over the middle for an 18-yard completion. It would be his only throw of the game.
"He's actually a great passer," Martinez said. "That kid is just born to play football. He's so athletic, and he is just able to make plays when he needs to."
Waialua 14, Kalani 0
The Bulldogs scored twice in the fourth quarter to shut out the Falcons.
Edwin Rubio scored first with a 5-yard run and Caleb Fore scored later with an 1-yard run. Lanakila Vierra kicked both of the extra points as Waialua doubled its win total from last year.
Campbell 41, Waipahu 15
Bronson Llecos ran for 90 yards and a touchdown, and Royce Akiona added 75 rushing yards and a touchdown as the Sabers beat the Marauders.
Waipahu's Gilchrist Fernandez completed eight passes for 147 yards and connected with Josh Brown for a touchdown.