Prep Beat

By Star-Bulletin Staff

Livai holds out hope
Kahuku can hit the Beach

Kahuku coach Siuaki Livai said he hadn't changed his mind about taking his team to Long Beach, Calif., in the near future, but said for the trip to become a reality the Oahu Interscholastic Association must give its blessing first.

Livai said he and Poly coach Raul Lara even spoke about the game over last night's postgame handshake.

"Tonight after the game I thought maybe he would want me as an opponent again," Livai said. "But he said, 'Coach, we're waiting for your answer, we're waiting for your league.' I said, 'Give me 'til next week, I need to ask these guys, please give me a chance to go up there and redeem myself.' "

Livai said that despite last night's 42-16 loss, he would not shy away from the challenge of playing a team of Poly's caliber.

Early turnovers hurt Red Raiders: Poly won the turnover battle 5-3, but two Kahuku second-quarter fumbles helped the Jackrabbits increase their lead from 14-0 to 28-0. William Alo and Junior Lemau'u made the recoveries, leading to the two quick strikes.

Another Alo fumble recovery early in the third quarter led to another Jackrabbits score for a 42-2 lead.

Poly's Byron Velega had two first-half interceptions. The second one, at the Jackrabbits' 1-yard line, came one play before Kahuku's safety when Sione Olevao tackled Jeremiah Toloumu in the end zone.

Kahuku's Kyle Juliano recovered two Long Beach Poly fumbles, one in each half. The Red Raiders' Walker Vave made a second-half interception.

Touchdown, almost: One play before his 24-yard, fourth-quarter TD run, Kahuku backup quarterback Waika Carvalho fired a pass to starting quarterback Spencer Hafoka at the front right corner of the end zone.

Hafoka bobbled the ball and appeared to have possession and his feet inbounds before falling out of bounds. But the referees ruled it an incomplete pass, and Kahuku fans erupted in the loudest boos of the night after watching the big-screen replay.

Scouting report: The De La Salle coaching staff spent most of the opening game behind the south end zone for a first-hand look at Poly, the Spartans' opponent in three weeks.

De La Salle faces Poly on Oct. 12 in Berkeley, Calif., in a rematch of their game a year ago that generated national interest. The Spartans defeated the Jackrabbits 29-15 in Long Beach last season.

New look: St. Louis broke out new uniforms for its game against the nation's top-ranked team. The Crusaders wore navy tops with red trim that resembled the Houston Texans' uniforms.

Vili in the house: St. Louis was greeted to the field by the drums of Vili Fehoko and his sons. Fehoko, whose Polynesian drum routine is a popular part of the University of Hawaii's pregame festivities, is a Kahuku graduate. His sons are members of the St. Louis freshman football team.

Biswanger special: If St. Louis had planned anything special on special teams, Tony Biswanger made sure the Crusaders didn't get a chance to use it.

The De La Salle kicker boomed each of his six kickoffs well into the end zone for touchbacks, negating any chance for the Crusaders to break a big play on a return.

He was perfect on his conversion attempts and hit a 42-yard field goal in the third quarter. His only punt of the game, which came with 3:44 left in the contest, went out of bounds at the St. Louis 3.

Hey cuz: Poly running back Jeremiah Toloumu is a cousin of former Kahuku lineman Toniu Fonoti, who went on to star at Nebraska and is now a starting guard for the San Diego Chargers. Toloumu rushed six times for 25 yards.

Not so fast: St. Louis defensive lineman Wilson Afoa drove through the De La Salle front to make two tackles for losses on Spartan running backs in the first half. He stopped the Spartans' Jackie Bates for a loss of 2 yards and dropped one of the nation's most highly feared runners, Maurice Drew, for a 3-yard loss.

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