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StarBulletin.com

Complete Prep Football Coverage


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POSTED: Saturday, October 03, 2009

One fumble, one field goal and Farrington fell short against Kahuku.

Again.

Cameron Mercado's 32-yard field goal with 6:41 left was enough to lift No. 1 Kahuku to a 16-14 win over fourth-ranked Farrington last night before a raucous, near-capacity crowd of about 3,500 at Ticky Vasconcellos Stadium.

Kahuku improved to 5-0 in Oahu Interscholastic Association Red East play (7-0 overall) and clinched the division's top seed for the playoffs with one regular-season game remaining.

Farrington (5-1, 4-1) has also clinched a playoff berth despite the loss on homecoming night.

“;Give Kahuku credit. They cashed in on their opportunities,”; Farrington coach Randall Okimoto said.

Mercado's up-and-down night included his first missed extra-point try of the season, as well as a miss on a 48-yard field-goal try in the second half with the Red Raiders down 14-13.

He drilled the go-ahead field goal with plenty of room to spare.

“;My kicking coach (Ken Sasaoka) told me, ‘Just be calm and relaxed.' I took a couple of deep breaths. I couldn't do it without my whole team,”; said Mercado, a senior transfer from Florida.

His earlier miss from 48 was wide left.

“;I turned my whole body for the last one,”; he added.

Kahuku has now won 13 of the last 14 meetings with Farrington, including the last eight. The past three meetings have been very close, with Kahuku winning 13-6 and 22-19, the latter coming on a field goal in the second overtime of the league final last year.

After Mercado's kick, Farrington had two more possessions, but didn't get past its 39-yard line. The Govs' final drive ended when running back Siaosi Feleunga was stopped on fourth and 1 at their 28-yard line by Kahuku linebacker Ben Mamea.

Kahuku took over with 43 seconds remaining and ran out the clock.

It was a major turnaround in the second half for Kahuku, which trailed 14-0 at halftime and had just 39 first-half yards. The Red Raiders did not get farther than Farrington's 46-yard line before intermission.

“;We're fortunate to get out of it. Farrington's defense had our number and we couldn't stop (Harry) Tuimaseve,”; Kahuku coach Reggie Torres said.

Tuimaseve finished with 95 yards on 26 carries, but his fumble early in the second half deep in Farrington territory gave Kahuku a golden opportunity to score for the first time. Linebacker Keanu Yoshida's hit on Tuimaseve on the first play of the third quarter forced a fumble that was recovered by defensive back George Kaka at the Farrington 18-yard line.

Kahuku's drive stalled and Mercado boomed a 40-yard field goal, but a roughing-the-kicker penalty on the Govs gave the Red Raiders first down. Kahuku capitalized with a touchdown on Evan Moe's 15-yard play-action strike to Kaipo Pearl, and Kahuku trailed 14-7 with 9:47 left in the third.

“;We held them to a field goal after the fumble, then we had the penalty. That was a big one,”; Okimoto said. “;We had three other personal fouls by our defense after that. You can't do that, especially against a team with a good kicker.”;

After a Farrington three and out, Kahuku needed only three plays to score again. A pass interference call against the Governors set up a 35-yard touchdown run on an option pitch from Moe to Tyrone Brown. Mercado's PAT kick bounced off the left upright and missed, leaving Farrington clinging to a 14-13 lead with 5:18 left in the third.

“;Our guys executed their assignments in the second half,”; Torres said.

The Governors managed 57 yards in offense after halftime against a swarming Red Raiders defense.

The game was an all-out battle in the trenches from the start. Kahuku eschewed its shotgun spread formations until the second half, preferring to slug it out between the tackles. Farrington, however, won the battle in the first half.

Farrington drove 61 yards in eight plays with its first series, closing out an all-ground attack with a 1-yard plunge over the goal line by Feleunga. The Govs led 7-0 with 7:55 to go in the first quarter.

Kahuku's normally prolific rushing attack mustered just 39 yards before halftime. With Farrington taking no chances — zero turnovers in the first half — Kahuku did not cross midfield until there were 6 minutes left in the second quarter, and that drive ended with an interception by Governors defensive back Vaughn Tomas.

That turnover with 4:47 left in the half resulted in a 13-play, 70-yard march by Farrington. The Govs converted three third downs along the way, all by ground. Feleunga's 22-yard jaunt on a third-down draw gave Farrington first down at the Kahuku 8-yard line.

Three plays later, Tuimaseve lined up in a wishbone formation behind 280-pound Keith Chargualaf-Tuilapea and rumbled through right tackle for a 1-yard touchdown. Farrington led 14-0 with 20 seconds left in the half.

Castle 39, Kailua 21

Jaymason Lee passed for 328 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Knights over the Surfriders on homecoming night.

Shayden Kehano caught three of Lee's touchdown strikes on four receptions and 189 yards receiving.

The Knights (3-2 OIA Red East) improved their seeding heading into the OIA playoffs. Kailua (2-4) played its final league game and must now wait and see on a playoff berth.

Moanalua 42, Waialua 6

Michael Egami caught a pair of touchdown passes from Adam Francisco and Na Menehune swamped the Bulldogs.

Francisco hit Egami from 35 yards out for the first score and from 30 yards for the second. Tahje Canyon scored on a 49-yard run to give Moanalua a 21-0 lead in the first quarter. Canyon scored on another run in the second quarter.

Radford 17, Kaiser 12

Phil Hogan led the Rams' rushing attack as Radford rolled past the Cougars in an OIA White division match-up.

Hogan proved to be the difference in a close game and finished the night with 128 yards and two touchdowns.

The Rams trailed until the third quarter, when they grabbed a 10-3 lead after Hogan's first touchdown and never looked back.

Kapolei 41, No. 2 Mililani 24

Donnie King returned a punt 93 yards and the Hurricanes scored an upset of the second-ranked Trojans.

Kainoa Pakele scored on a 90-yard punt return of his own, and Shaydon Akuna ran for a touchdown and returned an interception for another score.

Zachary Payomo of Mililani rushed a total of 47 yards.

No. 7 Leilehua 47, Nanakuli 7

Andrew Manley threw for three touchdowns in the first quarter as the Mules ran over the Golden Hawks.

Manley went 11-for-12 for 201 yards and four touchdowns before taking an early seat for the night. Kamana Akagi was on the receiving end of five of Manley's completions, gaining 115 yards and Darrien Shealy had two catches for 32 yards, both touchdowns.