HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL
McQuown leads Waianae to win
Ben McQuown made sure Kapolei wouldn't fit the Cinderella slipper for the second week in a row.
McQuown rushed for 132 yards and a touchdown and sealed Waianae's second straight trip to the OIA Red championship game by converting a fourth-down run with less than a minute to go as the Seariders held off Kapolei 14-13 last night at Aloha Stadium.
The Seariders will try to win their first OIA crown in 10 years Friday at 8 p.m. at Aloha Stadium.
"It has been such a struggle for us all year," Waianae coach Daniel Matsumoto said. "We just need to remain consistent. That's what we've struggled to do."
McQuown, who began the year at quarterback, separated his shoulder during the season and missed Waianae's 28-7 victory over Kapolei less than a month ago.
Back, but not fully healthy, McQuown kept Kapolei's defense guessing, gaining most of his yards on stretch plays where he would bounce outside and get around the Hurricanes' cornerbacks.
"That Kapolei team we beat 28-7 wasn't the same team we played tonight," McQuown said. "(The quarterback change) was a good thing for our offense."
After busting out of the gates to a 14-0 lead, Waianae had to hold on as Kapolei scored 13 unanswered points to pull within one.
Kapolei opened up its playbook late in the third quarter, as Mason Koa threw a 35-yard touchdown pass to senior Chase Alcott, who got behind the Seariders secondary on a post route.
It was Kapolei's first pass attempt of the game longer than 20 yards, as Alcott came down with the long pass just before the defensive back could get in the way. But after a penalty on the extra-point attempt, Kevin Tanaka's kick from 29 yards out bounced off the left upright as Waianae remained ahead 14-13.
"When you get a call like interlocking legs, it hurts," Kapolei coach Darren Hernandez said. "It's an obscure call."
With the Hurricanes backed up to their own 12-yard line, Matsumoto thought Kapolei might try for the 2-point attempt instead.
"We were expecting them to go for 2 from there," Matsumoto said. "It's too bad they missed the kick because it was just slightly off. It had the distance."
Koa, who finished with 158 total yards, led Kapolei's march down the field inside Waianae's 30-yard line with 3 minutes remaining. Two negative runs and a penalty backed Kapolei up and his fourth-down pass attempt sailed out of bounds, giving Waianae the ball back with 2 minutes remaining. The Hurricanes never saw it again.
"Right now we have to lick our wounds, come back, and hopefully make states with a win next week," Hernandez said.
The winner of the third-place game on Saturday will receiver the OIA's third and final state tournament berth.
Kapolei, which became the first Oahu team in more than a decade to win a game at Kahuku last week, has never qualified for the state tournament.