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Can-do Campbell gets it done


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POSTED: Saturday, December 05, 2009

Ever tried to juggle a single ball? Pretty easy, right? Not much to think about.

Now throw another 10 in the air and see what happens. Total carnage.

Kamehameha's offense started the year with a never-ending dose of Ryan Ho. Quarterback T.C. Campbell hadn't emerged as a passing threat, receivers weren't making many plays and the one-dimensional Warriors lost their first Interscholastic League of Honolulu game.

But with each week, Kamehameha coach David Stant added a new wrinkle. Backup running back Jason Muraoka started to get more involved, receivers Blaise Cuban and Charley Bollig IV were making plays, and by the time November rolled around, Kamehameha's offense was about much more than Ho.

Last night's state championship game saw the final product in perfect form. A pistol offense with weapons on the outside and a 1-2 punch of Campbell and Ho running the ball a variety of ways had Kahuku on its heels from the very first play.

The end result was the most points the Red Raiders allowed all season as Kamehameha claimed a 34-21 victory to win its second Division I state football championship.

“;It still feels like a dream. I hope I don't wake up tomorrow and find out it was only a dream,”; Stant said. “;I hope I'm reading about it in the newspaper.”;

Ho, Kamehameha's most durable and legitimate threat, got his with 121 yards and two touchdowns.

But the real stalwart behind Kamehameha's rise to the top this season has been the maturation of Campbell, who began the year in a three-way battle for the starting quarterback job and ended it holding a state title.

“;Every practice we just focused on the little things and the little details,”; Campbell said. “;We stayed after practice for extra work and our air attack came together.”;

He finished 15-for-26 for 183 yards and three touchdowns, accomplishing what coach Stant had his doubts about earlier in the year.

“;At the beginning of the season I thought T.C. couldn't take us to the state championship,”; Stant said. “;We told him what we expected out of him and he took the initiative after practice to work on his mechanics that we expected out of him and it allowed him to fit the balls in tight areas like he has been able to do.”;

Campbell's legs made the play of the game late in the third quarter after Kahuku had roared back from a 20-0 halftime deficit to pull within six. The Warriors were the ones on their heels and faced a long third down in their own territory in a suddenly tight game. Campbell took the snap and Kahuku defensive ends Hauoli Jamora and Kona Schwenke immediately collapsed the pocket, forcing Campbell to roll outside, where he found 25 yards of open space in front of him.

“;The play was called to throw it over the middle, but it was covered,”; Campbell said. “;Good thing the O-line held and I found a pocket and I barely got away from Hauoli on that. I got lucky.”;