Punahou gets by Farrington


POSTED: Saturday, November 29, 2008

An all-out performance by the Farrington Governors could have derailed the top-seeded Punahou Buffanblu.

Punahou responded with a peak performance. Cayman Shutter passed for 412 yards and three touchdowns, and Dalton Hilliard caught 13 passes for 139 yards as the Buffanblu rallied for a 35-28 win over the Govs last night before 10,083 at Aloha Stadium. Hilliard also had a key interception to snuff out a crucial Farrington drive in the third quarter.

“;The coaches said I'd help out on defense. We have great DBs who always help,”; said Hilliard, whose primary position is running back. “;At practice, I don't always know what I'm doing.”;

The win vaulted Punahou (11-1) into the final of the First Hawaiian Bank State Football Championships. The Buffanblu will play defending champion Leilehua on Friday.

“;Our guys played an outstanding game against a great team,”; Punahou coach Kale Ane said. “;We had to put eight in the box to stop their run.”;

Farrington (9-4) seemed to have momentum in the second half.

“;It was a battle all night. We made some mistakes and they capitalized on them,”; Govs coach Randall Okimoto said. “;Give them credit.”;

Clutch plays by the Buffanblu were big down the stretch.

Leading 29-22, Punahou running back/linebacker Manti Te'o lost control of a low toss on a sweep and Farrington linebacker Justin Vele returned the ball 25 yards to the Punahou 41 with 31 seconds left.

However, two plays later, Robby Toma picked off a pass by Dayton Kealoha and returned it 74 yards for a touchdown with 15 seconds to play for a 35-22 lead to finally secure the win.

“;(Kealoha) looked away, but the only open guy was in my zone, so I kind of baited him,”; Toma said.

Farrington's Anu Isumu ran back the ensuing kickoff 97 yards to the end zone to close the scoring.

“;We've got nothing but respect for Farrington,”; Shutter said. “;They fought us hard to the very end.”;

Toma also had nine receptions for 124 yards and another score.

Shortly after a 72-yard punt by James Smith pinned Punahou at its 1-yard line, the Governors struck. Throwing on first down three times, they marched 35 yards to paydirt. Kealoha's 2-yard toss to Sila Tonga across the middle of the end zone gave Farrington a 7-0 lead with 3:02 to go in the first quarter. That capped a six-play, 35-yard drive.

Using a mix of pistol (with an unbalanced line), ace and shotgun formations, Punahou's offense got into gear in the second quarter. Shutter connected on four completions in a row and Hilliard burst in from the 1-yard line to tie the game at 7-all with 9:30 to go in the second.

Farrington answered with a 34-yard field goal by Apelu So'oalo—his eighth of the season—for a 10-7 lead with 7:29 left in the second.

Punahou went three and out on its next series, but followed that with a quick six-play, 75-yard drive. Shutter found Hilliard for a key 30-yard gain before Te'o hauled in a 16-yard scoring strike from Shutter. That gave the Buffanblu a 14-10 lead with 2:22 remaining in the first half.

Farrington opened the second half with a five-play, 74-yard drive. A 32-yard bomb from Kealoha to Drake Miller was key, and So'oalo rumbled in for a 3-yard score. The Govs led 16-14 with 10:24 to go in the third.

The Buffanblu went ahead 21-16 on a 10-yard pass from Shutter to Toma on an out route with 1:27 to go in the third.

Farrington got a break moments later when Kealoha's bomb downfield was underthrown, but Miller came back, pulled it in and raced in for a 63-yard touchdown. The Govs led 22-21 with 8:39 to go in the game.

The slugfest was well under way. Punahou went 66 yards in seven plays, using a remarkable pass-and-run play from Shutter to Hilliard for a 40-yard touchdown. The 2-point conversion, again from Shutter to Hilliard, gave Punahou a 29-22 lead with 5:33 left.

At Aloha Stadium

Farrington (9-3)7361228
Punahou (11-1)01471435

Far—Sila Tonga 2 pass from Dayton Kealoha (Apelu So'oalo kick)
Pun—Dalton Hilliard 1 run (Robert Izuta kick)
Far—FG So'oalo 34
Pun—Manti Te'o 16 pass from Cayman Shutter (Izuta kick)
Far—So'oalo 3 run (kick failed)
Pun—Robby Toma 10 pass from Shutter (Izuta kick)
Far—Miller 63 pass from Kealoha (pass failed)
Pun—Hilliard 40 pass from Shutter (Hilliard pass from Shutter)
Pun—Toma 74 interception return (kick failed)
Far—Ani Isumu 97 kickoff return (no PAT)

RUSHINGFarrington: So'oalo 23-100, Siaosi Feleunga 4-28, Harry Tuimaseve 4-12. Punahou: Hilliard 9-37, Te'o 10-34, Alaka'i Aglipay 2-6, Shutter 2-(-17).

PASSINGFarrington: Kealoha 10-22-2-235. Punahou: Shutter 34-55-2-412.

RECEIVINGFarrington: Miller 4-139, Isumu 4-86, So'oalo 1-8, Tonga 1-2. Punahou: Hilliard 13-139, Toma 9-124, Kimo Makaula 4-64, Mark Silverstein 4-47, Te'o 2-27, Aglipay 1-6, Galen Arakawa 1-5.