HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL
Roosevelt rolls over Waipahu
As Ranson Tuitama racked up the yardage, his white Roosevelt jersey became increasingly stained with dirt. The darkness of his uniform at the end of his team's Oahu Interscholastic Association White Division semifinal game with Waipahu said everything about what he and his teammates had accomplished.
The senior rushed 31 times for 184 yards and three touchdowns and Lowen Kahooilihala passed for 149 yards and two more scores as sudden juggernaut Roosevelt steamrolled Waipahu on the Marauders' field, 37-18 last night.
The Rough Riders secured one of the OIA's two Division II state tournament berths and face Kaimuki next week at Aloha Stadium for the league title, the first time they've been in a championship game.
"Ranson, he's just a super kid, and just a tough kid," Roosevelt coach Lester Parrilla said. "He's a secure guy and runs hard, so we know he's going to get positive yardage for us."
Besides a preseason loss to West Lake, last night was the only defeat at home this year for Waipahu -- the defending league champions and second-place team during the regular season. The Marauders' bid to repeat went to the ground much faster than Tuitama did.
"Oh man, we had two weeks to practice and Coach just told us every day, 'No mistakes. Come out strong in the beginning,' and that's what we did," said Tuitama, who did not fumble.
Aside from an interception taken by Waipahu's Gordon Cox, Kahooilihala was nearly flawless early, teaming with Tuitama and kicker Alex Fowler to slap 24 unanswered points on the board, and at halftime the Rough Riders enjoyed a 30-6 lead. Kahooilihala finished 10-for-14, and completed his last five passes.
Roosevelt racked up 260 yards of offense in the first half and dropped 27 on the Marauders in a pivotal second quarter, aided by a recovered onside kick. Tuitama had 137 yards and two touchdowns in the first half, and Roosevelt made Waipahu go three and out on its first two series.
The Marauders managed just 11 offensive plays before halftime, but hit paydirt at last on a trick play with 1:59 left in the second quarter. Quarterback Troy Matautia swung the ball to receiver Iolani Pancho, who on the reversal found Cox wide open for a 64-yard touchdown pass. Part of their slow start could be explained by coach Sean Saturnio holding out Matautia and starting running back Keo Palimoo (107 yards) early for disciplinary reasons, but the coach tipped his hat to Roosevelt.
"We ended up digging ourselves a hole that was a little too deep for us to come out," Saturnio said. "I was proud of our boys, they played resilient to the end."
Similarly, Matautia went deep to Cox for a 21-yard score with 4 seconds left and the game already decided, helping make the score slightly more respectable.
That mattered little to Roosevelt. Tuitama scored on a 1-yarder with 24 seconds left before halftime, thanks to excellent field position from a failed Marauders onside kick, and added a 17-yard touchdown in the third quarter to help his team maintain the momentum.
Kaimuki 21, Pearl City 7
Running back Justin Paderes rumbled for 139 yards on 22 carries to power Kaimuki over Pearl City.
Kaimuki quarterback Kapono Kaiwi-Barrionnebo threw a touchdown and ran for another to put Kaimuki up 14-0 in the first half. Pearl City's Antoin Dewalt ran for 72 yards on 11 carries in the losing effort.