HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL
Waipahu hangs on to top spot
After nearly giving away a 14-point lead in the fourth quarter, Waipahu proved just stingy enough to hang on to its place atop the OIA White Conference.
A blocked extra-point attempt with 6:20 left in the game was ultimately the difference in the Marauders' 20-19 win over Roosevelt last night at Waipahu's field.
Paced by the hard running of fullback Keo Palimoo, the Marauders led 20-6 with 10:25 left, only to see the Rough Riders strike twice in a span of just over a minute to close to within a point.
But Marauder linebacker Lele Pefua charged through the middle to block what would have been the tying extra point and Waipahu held on to improve to 2-1 overall and 2-0 in the OIA White.
"I think the fans for both teams, that was probably the best $6 they ever paid," Waipahu coach Sean Saturnio said. "Because you talk about a game of momentum swings. It was like a pendulum."
Roosevelt, which had outscored its first two opponents 87-7, fell to 2-1 in the conference.
"We sputtered a little bit, but the kids are learning," Rough Riders coach Lester Parrilla said. "It's a tough game to lose, but the kids played hard. They came back and showed character and I'm very proud of them for that."
Both teams ran out of double-slot formations and were led by tough runs from their running backs.
Palimoo garnered 122 yards on 22 carries, while quarterback Troy Matautia ran for all three Marauder scores.
Roosevelt running back Ranson Tuitama ran for 74 yards on 17 carries and accounted for touchdowns, both on the ground and through the air.
After covering 18 yards on his first two carries to open the game and with Waipahu anticipating another sweep, Tuitama pulled up and launched a 52-yard strike to Alex Fowler to give Roosevelt the lead less than 2 minutes into the game.
The Rough Riders then had two promising drives stopped by interceptions, both by Waipahu's Kaimi Kaina.
Kaina's second interception set up a nine-play drive, with Palimoo carrying the ball five times for 54 yards and Matautia finishing it with an 11-yard touchdown run around the left side. Palimoo's kick gave Waipahu a 7-6 lead that would hold up into halftime.
The Marauders kept the ball for the first 8:21 of the third quarter, extending the possession when a Waipahu punt hit a Roosevelt player and was recovered by the Marauders.
Waipahu maintained possession for the next 10 plays and extended the lead on Matautia's 2-yard quarterback sneak.
"(Roosevelt) came prepared to play and I'm glad we finally got our act together and in the second half we were able to sustain some longer drives," Saturnio said.
Roosevelt then turned to the passing game, as quarterback Lowen Kahooilihala completed four consecutive throws in relief of starter Shon Fujii and later scrambled for a key first down. Tuitama then scored on a 3-yard run, spinning away from a defender to get into the end zone.
The Rough Riders closed to within a point when Matautia fumbled and Roosevelt lineman Asipa Manu scooped up the loose ball and rumbled 20 yards for a score. But Pefua blocked Fowler's kick to maintain Waipahu's lead.
Kaimuki 26, Kaiser 0
The Bulldogs exploded for three third-quarter touchdowns to down the Cougars. Kaimuki's Justin Paredes ran for two scores.