Leilehua's Christian Mendez hauled in a pass over Aiea's Kaeo Reid during the first half of last night's game at Leilehua.

Aiea escapes slop
with a win

Na Alii’s defense and special teams
lead the way to a 14-13 victory
over Leilehua

A bogged-down Aiea offense could barely function in the mud last night, but that didn't matter.

Na Alii came up big on defense and special teams to secure a 14-13 victory over Leilehua in an Oahu Interscholastic Association football game at sloppy Hugh Yoshida Stadium.

On a field more brown and squishy than green and firm, Aiea (3-2, 1-2) stopped a long Mules drive with 1:11 left in the game on Alex Mauga's interception of a Guy Cantrell pass. Na Alii took over and easily ran out the clock.

"Man, it was messy," Aiea coach Wendell Say said. "We couldn't get a handle on the ball, couldn't get our footing ,and our offense couldn't establish anything. But on defense, the kids played big when they had to.

"We needed it (the win). Leilehua is a good team; they're definitely contenders."

The Mules (2-3, 1-2), playing without starting quarterback Bryant Moniz and many other starters, moved the ball liberally despite the wet conditions. Christian Mendez, a 6-foot-4, 190-pound converted basketball player, caught 10 passes from Cantrell for 128 yards.

Mendez spoke to his teammates after the game.

"A team that isn't prepared is prepared to lose," he said. "There's no way in hell we should have lost that game."

Neither team scored in the second half.

Leilehua's Joe Iosefa slid into the end zone after missing a pass during the first half of last night's muddy matchup with Aiea at Leilehua.

Despite minus-2 net yards of total offense in the first half (19 net yards for the whole game), Na Alii managed to take a 14-13 lead at the intermission.

The Mules had two solid second-half chances, but failed to add to their total.

"We practice in this weather, so we can't use weather as an excuse," said Leilehua coach Nolan Tokuda. "Any close game like this, you just gotta finish and we didn't finish it."

With 36 seconds left in the third quarter, Leilehua marched deep into Aiea territory but failed to nudge ahead when Na Alii blocked Daniel Phelps' 31-yard field-goal attempt.

Then, late in the game, the Mules marched from their own 5 and got as far as the Aiea 28 before Mauga's game-saving interception.

Na Alii also nearly scored in the fourth when Adrian Labuda returned a punt 37 yards to the Leilehua 5, but Aiea fumbled it away two plays later. It was Labuda's second long return of the night. He scored on a 52-yarder in the second quarter and Mark Atta kicked the extra point for what turned out to be the winning margin.

"We're all on the same field. They slip. I slip. I just got better footing," Labuda said. "We do a cutback drill in practice and that helped a lot. Even though the field is muddy, you just gotta go all out."

In the first quarter, Aiea's first touchdown came courtesy of a Leilehua fumble recovered by Kaeo Reid at the Mules' 9. Aleni Loa went up the middle on the next play for a 9-yard score and a 7-0 lead.

The Mules got it right back, driving 76 yards for a 7-7 tie late in the opening period. Cantrell's pass to the right flat was nearly picked off by a Na Alii cornerback and barely made it into the hands of Joe Iosefa, who raced down the right sideline for a 41-yard score.

Aiea got a boost from its special teams early in the second quarter when Labuda took a one-hop Leilehua punt and followed his wall of blockers down the right sideline for his 52-yard touchdown and a 14-7 lead.

The Mules went to the air and cut the gap to one point with 4:04 left in the half. Mendez made a spectacular jumping catch with a defender draped all over him for a 24-yard gain to set up Cantrell's 29-yard touchdown pass to Martin Iosefo. Phelps, the place-kicker, was denied by a wall of penetrating Na Alii on his extra-point attempt, preserving Aiea's lead and the victory.


Farrington 23, McKinley 0


No. 7 Kapolei 56, Pearl City 21

At Kapolei H.S. Field
Pearl City (0-6, 0-4) 7 0 8 6 - 21
Kapolei (5-1, 4-0) 14 28 7 7 - 56

PC-Daniel Soliven 45 pass from Andrew Blue (Sean Hasegawa kick).
Kapo-Radford Raquedan 73 run (Ama Gaea kick).
Kapo-Nate Dixon 10 run (Gaea kick).
Kapo-Jon Santiago 49 pass from Brad Padayao (Gaea kick).
Kapo-Padayao 36 run (Gaea kick).
Kapo-Jameson Chee 47 interception return (Gaea kick).
Kapo-Padayao 1 run (Gaea kick).
Kapo-Mason Koa 40 run (Gaea kick).
PC-Blue 5 run (Alfred Paclib pass from Blue).
Kapo-Aaron Santiago 9 run (Gaea kick).
PC-Blue 33 pass from Joshua Tokunaga.

RUSHING-Pearl City: Blue 9-53, Chevis Asato-Ganiron 7-42, Micah Dela Cruz 6-27, Paclib 3-(-5), Tokunaga 6-(-10), Team 1-(-16). Kapolei: Raquedan 3-107, Koa 5-71, Padayao 3-39, Cameron Martin 1-14, Dixon 1-10, A. Santiago 1-9, Gaea 1-7, Tony Talo 2-6, Joey Rodriguez 1-1, Joshua Alison 1-1.
PASSING-Pearl City: Tokunaga 7-13-1-102, Blue 3-8-1-65. Kapolei: Padayao 6-11-0-132, Koa 0-1-0-0.
RECEIVING-Pearl City: Paclib 3-47, Soliven 2-48, Asato-Ganiron 2-13, Blue 1-33, Devin Yoshinaka 1-17, Stayson Isobe 1-9. Kapolei: J. Santiago 2-96, A. Santiago 1-18, Sean Sasser 1-10, Dixon 1-7, Raquedan 1-1.
Junior varsity-Pearl City 21, Kapolei 14

Aiea 14, Leilehua 13

At Hugh Yoshida Stadium
Aiea (3-2, 1-2) 7 7 0 0 - 14
Leilehua (2-3, 1-2) 7 6 0 0 - 13

Aiea-Aleni Loa 9 run (Mark Atta kick).
Lei-Joe Iosefa 41 pass from Guy Cantrell (Daniel Phelps kick).
Aiea-Adrian Labuda 52 punt return (Atta kick).
Lei-Martin Iosefo 29 pass from Cantrell (kick failed).

RUSHING-Aiea: Loa 6-21, Lofa Liilii 1-0, Crenston Ioapo 3-(-1), Kali Kuia 2-(-2), Landon Dela Cruz 4-(-3), Team 2-(-20). Leilehua: Guy Cantrell 11-25, Paul Hernandez 8-15, Tino Pablico 4-14, Aric Edra 7-14, Daniel Phelps 1-4, Team 1-(-10).
PASSING-Aiea: Kuia 5-11-0-24. Leilehua: Cantrell 18-39-1-257.
RECEIVING-Aiea: Lahaina Olsen-Kuroda 4-28, Liilii 1-(-4). Leilehua: Christian Mendez 10-128, Iosefa 3-66, Iosefo 3-39, Dustin Pauu 1-17, Hernandez 1-7.
Junior varsity-Leilehua 42, Aiea 0


Kalaheo 41, Kalani 22
Campbell 28, Kaiser 10


Konawaena 28, Honokaa 7


Kauai 7, Waimea 0


No. 6 Baldwin 29, No. 10 Lahainaluna 13
Maui 7, Kamehameha-Maui 6

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