Baravilala, Radford conquer Campbell
He runs, he kicks, he scores.
Tevita Baravilala offered his services when Radford lost its starting kicker, but the sophomore provided his most valuable act on a 97-yard interception return to spark Radford over Campbell 26-14 last night before 1,000 fans at John Velasco Stadium.
The Rams improved to 3-1 overall (2-1 OIA White) and handed the Sabers (3-1, 1-1) their first loss.
Baravilala, younger brother of standout girls basketball and volleyball player Bui Baravilala, came up with his second interception return for a touchdown of the season in the nick of time. Radford had a 13-6 lead and Campbell had driven into the red zone with less than 2 minutes to go in the first half.
He read the pass by Campbell's Damon Fuentes perfectly, stepping in front of Samson Anguay for the pick. Baravilala raced up the left sideline, and at the Campbell 30-yard line, cut back to avoid Derrick Santiago to complete the runback.
"That was the turning point when he took it to the house," Radford coach Fred Salanoa said. "We just wanted to put pressure on (Fuentes) and make him uncomfortable."
Even with a Campbell touchdown just before the half - on a 31-yard strike from Fuentes to speedy Daniel Masifilo - Baravilala's play gave the Rams the cushion needed to work the clock in the second half. Radford ran the ball 19 times in the second half. Sophomore James Jennings finished with 82 yards on 20 attempts out of Radford's variety of shotgun formations.
Doug Brown threw for 152 yards and two scores, but was picked off three times by the Sabers.
Campbell missed starting quarterback Lalo Respicio (seven touchdown passes and 463 yards in two games) due to illness, but Fuentes did throw for 266 yards. The Rams picked off Fuentes five times.
A pick by linebacker Tyler Griffin late in the third quarter set up Radford's final touchdown. The Rams drove 21 yards in six plays, scoring on a fourth-and-goal toss from Brown to tight end Andrew Forester. The 5-yard touchdown gave Radford a 26-14 lead with 2:33 to go in the third.
Campbell drove to the Radford 8-yard line on the ensuing series, but came up empty on a dropped pass in the end zone. The Sabers never threatened again.
"Today we didn't have our starting quarterback, but Damien did a helluva job on short notice," Sabers coach Amosa Amosa said. "We had opportunities and the plays were there, but we had drops and missed passes."
Three of the picks by Radford came on passes aimed for Anguay, but those were underthrown, Amosa said.
"It takes time to get used to playing live," the coach said.
At John Velasco Stadium
Rad—James Jennings 3 run (Tevita Baravilala kick).
Cam—Samson Anguay 41 pass from Damon Fuentes (kick failed).
Rad—Deshawn Robinson 10 pass from Doug Brown (kick blocked).
Rad—Baravilala 97 interception return (kick failed).
Cam—Daniel Masifilo 31 pass from Fuentes (Derrick Santiago pass from Fuentes).
Rad—Andrew Forester 5 pass from Brown (Baravilala kick).
JV—Radford 26, Campbell 20.
RUSHING—Campbell: Brandon Ahuna 9-48, Anguay 3-33, Fuentes 2-(-12), Santiago 1-(-2), team 1-(-25). Radford: Jennings 20-82, Brown 12-16.
PASSING—Campbell: Fuentes 19-43-5-266. Radford: Brown 12-21-3-152.
RECEIVING—Campbell: Anguay 2-61, Jonah Hamada 1-21, Masifilo 2-35, Arthur Aiwohi 5-80, Santiago 5-32, Jumar Gonzales 1-23, Ahuna 3-14. Radford: Forester 3-28, Shawn Putman-Curry 3-30, Pouesi Togiailua 1-9, Brad Osborne 2-14, Jennings 1-33, Robinson 2-38.