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Hard-fought win for Kahuku


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POSTED: Sunday, October 04, 2009
                       
This story has been corrected. See below.

It's a measure of maturity, as well as a fact of life, that a young athlete can overcome failure.

At Kahuku, where a perfect record (7-0, 5-0 OIA Red East) on the football field seems magnificent enough, Cameron Mercado is smiling again.

In addition to booming five kickoffs into the end zone for touchbacks, Mercado's 32-yard field goal was the difference, the points that pushed the state's No. 1-ranked team over fourth-ranked Farrington (5-1, 4-1) for a hard-earned 16-14 win on Friday. But it was a slightly different Mercado who has emerged lately. The cocky kid from Florida—the one boasting in preseason to any media about his 60-yard range—made it a priority to credit his teammates.

That's life as a big-game place-kicker. Just a week before, he missed two field-goal tries. Before that, another attempt was blocked.

               

     

 

                                       

             

             

               

               

               

             

             

               

               

               

             

         

       

FOOTBALL FRIDAY

               

No. 1 Kahuku 16
No. 4 Farrington 14

       

       

So much for perfection. No special teams player can really assume it happens, but when Mercado's misses began to dull his focus, coach Reggie Torres had a good chat with his tall senior.

“;We had a good talk. We reminded him that kickers have to have a short memory,”; Torres said.

That's why special teams, unlike offense and defense, are so painful—and so rewarding—to be part of. One block missed, and the entire scheme falters. Protection is only as good as the weakest link of the chain.

In a game between unbeaten co-leaders in the OIA Red East, the team with the fewest mistakes and weak links prospered. Kahuku didn't wilt after falling behind 14-0 in the first half.

Defensive linemen Hauoli Jamora (6-3, 235), Kona Schwenke (6-3, 215) and Veteson Sauni (6-0, 250) shored things up against Farrington's offensive line, aka “;The Bamboolas.”;

“;That's the biggest front we've played so far,”; Sauni said.

“;At halftime, coach said just play like it's 0-0, that this is when we gotta show heart,”; Schwenke said.

“;We had to take on the double team and squeeze it down,”; Jamora said.

The momentum changed when linebacker Keanu Yoshida knocked the ball loose from Farrington running back Harry Tuimaseve on the first play from scrimmage in the second half. George Kaka recovered, Kahuku drove 18 yards to score its first touchdown, and the Big Red Machine was humming again.

When Mercado missed a potential game-tying extra-point try with 5:18 left in the third quarter, the Red Raiders lost some of that momentum. Down 14-13, Mercado had plenty of distance on a 48-yard field-goal try, but was wide left.

Kahuku's defense was stealth, however, forcing a third straight three and out by the Governors. Kahuku drove to the Farrington 16-yard line, and on third and 3, ran a dive to the right, giving Mercado a better angle for a 32-yard field goal try.

Governor fans were optimistic. Kahuku fans were silent. Mercado drilled the kick with 20-plus yards to spare, and the Red Raiders defense shut down Farrington for the final 6:41.

For Mercado, it was both psychology and technique, a spirit of resilience and humility. Both his misses had gone left.

“;I turned my whole body (to the right) for the last one,”; he explained.

Running back Tyrone Brown, who went 35 yards for a touchdown run, put it simply.

“;We just won on heart and everyone executed,”; he said.

               

     

 

BY THE NUMBERS

        10

        Consecutive wins by Kahuku over Farrington after Friday's victory at Roosevelt. The Red Raiders have outscored the Governors 275-60 over the stretch, with shutouts from 2004 to 2006. Farrington last beat Kahuku in the 2002 OIA playoffs, Randall Okimoto's first year as head coach of the Governors.
       

4
        Wins over ILH Division I teams by 'Iolani since the format was adopted in 2004, the only Division II team in the league to do so. The Raiders beat Punahou and Kamehameha this year, Saint Louis in 2004 and again last year. 'Iolani, the only undefeated team left in the ILH, will take on Saint Louis on Friday at Aloha Stadium.

       

 

       

PLAYMAKERS

        Rushing

        'Iolani, which employs the run-and-shoot, handed the ball to Ammon Baldomero 23 times and got 106 yards and three touchdowns in a win over Damien.
       

Passing
        Andrew Manley of Leilehua played sparingly in the Mules' blowout of Nanakuli, but went 11-for-12 for 201 yards and four touchdowns to earn the time off. Manley has completed 62 percent of his passes in league play this year.

       

Receiving
        Castle's Shaydon Kehano torched Kailua for 189 yards and three touchdowns, adding to his OIA Red East-leading marks in receptions (24), yards (530) and touchdown catches (10).

       

 

       

               

     

     

       

       

       

     

     

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

     

     

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

     

     

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

     

     

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

     

     

       

     

     

       

       

       

     

     

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

     

     

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

     

     

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

     

     

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

     

     

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

     

     

       

     

     

       

       

       

     

     

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

     

     

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

     

     

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

     

     

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

     

     

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

     

     

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

     

     

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

     

     

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

     

     

       

     

     

       

       

       

     

     

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

     

     

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

     

     

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

     

     

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

     

     

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

     

     

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

     

     

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

     

     

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

     

     

       

     

     

       

       

       

     

     

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

     

     

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

     

     

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

     

     

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

     

     

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

     

     

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

     

     

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

     

     

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

     

     

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

     

     

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

     

 

FOOTBALL STANDINGS
        ILH DIVISION I

       

 LeagueOverall
 WLPFPAWLPFPA
Kamehameha3196366118641
Saint Louis221288052239143 
Punahou22969024119204 

       

ILH DIVISION II

       

 LeagueOverall
 WLPFPAWLPFPA
'Iolani501633871242120
Pac-Five229711952252184
Damien14611771687225
Word of Life04501510550193

       

OIA RED EAST

       

 ConferenceOverall
 WLPFPAWLPFPA
Kahuku50186267025954
Farrington41111555113169 
Castle321479952226127 
Kaimuki2365952591178
Kailua2410413235126175
McKinley144420325111277
Roosevelt149113825121175

       

OIA RED WEST

       

 ConferenceOverall
 WLPFPAWLPFPA
Mililani41141736117385
Waianae411738843208149
Leilehua411559252199130
Kapolei4215511353223137
Waipahu147611134145118
Campbell146810425103137
Nanakuli05262130740281

       

OIA WHITE

       

 ConferenceOverall
 WLPFPAWLPFPA
Moanalua60199746120290 
Aiea51172896119692
Radford4215311143173134
Kalaheo4318113053215137
Kaiser3314217034161150
Pearl City3312610934133146
Waialua2410916525123187
Anuenue1511117025137183
Kalani07512560851270

 





               

     

 

CORRECTION

        » The Kahuku football team has beaten Farrington 10 straight times. That streak was reported as nine in “;By the Numbers.”;