OIA RED WEST
GEORGE F. LEE / GLEE@STARBULLETIN.COM
Joe Abell of Waianae tried to escape the grasp of Leilehua defenders Roman Seui and Aaremy Palomares last night.
Undefeated Waianae controls the clock to take care of Leilehua
The Waianae running game chewed up both time and yardage in sizable chunks last night and the ninth-ranked Seariders spoiled homecoming for No. 7 Leilehua with a 24-0 win at Hugh Yoshida Stadium.
The Seariders offense had two drives more than 8 minutes in length while rushing for 314 yards, and the defense came up with six turnovers as Waianae (3-2 overall) remained undefeated in Oahu Interscholastic Association Red West Conference at 3-0.
Waianae running back Joe Abell paced the Seariders with 116 yards on 18 carries and scored the team's first touchdown, capping a drive that took 8:22 off the clock in the first half.
Waianae's proficiency on the ground also helped contain a dangerous Leilehua offense, and the defense recovered two first-half fumbles and intercepted four passes after halftime to preserve the shutout.
"It was nice that the offense was able to hold onto the ball, especially in (this) kind of wet weather," Waianae coach Dan Matsumoto said. "We had to make sure that our offense stayed on the field, because offensively they're scary."
Leilehua quarterback Bryant Moniz passed for 163 yards, but threw three second-half interceptions. Running back Micah Abreu Laybon ran for 70 yards on 16 carries, and was held under control most of the night.
"(Defensive coordinator Jason Hussey) called a good game," Matsumoto said. "He called a lot of different coverages, which put us in a good position."
After punting on its first possession, Waianae quieted a festive homecoming crowd with a 16-play scoring drive bridging the first and second quarters.
After a Leilehua punt was downed at the Seariders 6, the Waianae ground game kicked in. Abell carried the ball eight times for 59 yards during the drive, and found running room behind the right side of the offensive line for a 15-yard touchdown.
Leilehua (3-2, 2-1) fumbled the ball away on its next possession and Waianae moved to the Mules' 20 and went ahead 10-0 on a field goal by Willie Duseigneur.
"The best way to take care of our offense is keep the offense off the field," Leilehua coach Nolan Tokuda said. "They did a good job of controlling the clock and unfortunately we turned the ball over early.
"We played a good team. They played together and they're physical. They prepared really well for our offense, too."
The Seariders kept rolling after halftime, chewing up the first 8:05 of the third quarter before giving the ball up on downs at the Leilehua 10.
But Waianae stretched its lead again when linebacker Kaipo Punihaole stepped in front of a Moniz throw and raced down the sideline 22 yards for a touchdown.
Leilehua mounted its best scoring opportunity of the night in the fourth quarter, driving to the Waianae 6. But that's as far as the Mules would get, and Waianae needed just two plays to score again.
Rustin Baker broke loose for a 57-yard gain on first down and Justin Kauwalu covered the remaining 37 on the next play to put Waianae up 24-0 with 3:16 left.
A series of skin infections among Leilehua players recently brought into question whether bacteria in the field at Hugh Yoshida Stadium might be responsible.
But Tokuda said after the staff gave the equipment and locker room a thorough cleaning, the infections cleared up and the field was cleared of blame.
"We don't think it was the field," Tokuda said. "We haven't heard anything after that, so that was the trick."
Waianae will try to maintain its place atop the OIA Red West when it hosts Radford next Friday. Leilehua has a bye next week and hosts Kapolei on Sept. 29.
Mililani 34, Kapolei 6
Isiah Lawelawe rushed for 129 yards and three touchdowns to lead the host Trojans over the Hurricanes. Jordan Torres added 119 yards on the ground and an additional score for Mililani, who jumped out to a 28-0 lead.
Aiea 44, Radford 34
Keenan Naeole passed for 163 yards and three touchdown passes as Na Alii overcame the Rams.
Naeole's first hookup went for 10 yards to Lofa Liilii, and he hit Crenston Ioapo after a field goal for a 17-0 lead. Radford closed to within 10 points late in the game on Justin Lord's 1-yard run but ran out of time.
Liilii caught 11 passes for 181 yards for Aiea.
Roosevelt 25, Nanakuli 0
Lowen Kahooilihala passed for 251 yards and two touchdowns as the Rough Riders shut out the Golden Hawks.