Mules not finished yet


POSTED: Saturday, November 29, 2008

Andrew Manley added the most improbable chapter yet to his storied state-tournament career.

The highly touted junior quarterback led Leilehua on a game-tying drive in the final minutes of regulation, and then found Cheves Aberilla-Ramento for the eventual game-winning touchdown in overtime as the Mules stunned second-seeded Kahuku 17-10 last night at Aloha Stadium to advance to the Division I title game of the First Hawaiian Bank Football State Championships.

A year after leading the Mules to a state title barely a month after being called up from the junior varsity squad, Manley rescued Leilehua from an eight-point deficit in the final minutes, hooking up with Rico Newman on fourth down for a 14-yard touchdown with 1:37 remaining. Then, in another do-or-die moment, Manley calmly found Edieson Dumlao on a post route for the 2-point conversion to send the game into overtime.

“;We had to score you know,”; Manley said. “;Whatever it took, whatever we did, we had to end up in the end zone. I was running for my life trying to let receivers get open and make plays.”;

The Mules got the ball first in overtime and Manley hit Aberilla-Ramento for an 18-yard touchdown on the second play to give Leilehua its first lead.

“;We went to two backs and shotgun (in overtime) and after the first play I realized Cheves was one-on-one and I told Coach I can hit him,”; Manley said.

Kahuku had a chance to answer and moved the ball inside the 10. But on fourth and goal, backup quarterback Sage Kaka's pass was deflected by Marcus Breakfield, sending the Mules into a frenzy and leaving the Red Raiders stunned.

“;No matter how tough it gets out there, these kids lean on each other,”; Leilehua coach Nolan Tokuda said. “;Even in the darkest of times, they find a way to get it done.”;

Meanwhile, it was bitter heartbreak for a Kahuku team searching for its sixth state championship in the last nine years.

“;Our defense did a great job, but we made mistakes (on offense),”; Kahuku coach Reggie Torres said. “;We have to keep our heads up. We've got a young team. Hat's off to Leilehua.”;

Manley finished 26-for-48 for 291 yards and the two scores. Newman added 240 all-purpose yards and Dumlao shook off a shoulder injury suffered early in the game to catch seven balls for 76 yards in the second half.

Leilehua missed its senior receiver in the first half as Kahuku's defense dominated. Manley was sacked four times and intercepted once, and the Mules lost three fumbles that led to all 10 Kahuku points. Leilehua's only score came on a safety when Kahuku starting quarterback Allan Kubota was called for intentional grounding in the end zone.

“;They are very athletic and very fast on defense,”; Tokuda said. “;They have a good coaching staff on that side that is going to scheme it up and do all kinds of stunts and blitzes.

“;We felt that if we could just block for 2.8 seconds, with our four-wide sets, we could get our athletes in space and let them make plays for us.”;

Dumlao, who had his shoulder pop out after hitting the turf in the first quarter, sat out the rest of the half. But after seeing his team stumble into the locker room down 10-2, he decided nothing was going to let him miss the rest of the game.

“;At halftime I saw my team all down and I started swinging my arm around and it got loose,”; Dumlao said. “;I told Coach I was ready to go.”;

Added Tokuda: “;He separated his shoulder, but he said he was going to play no matter what. I said, 'Are you sure?' He said his arm actually has to fall off his body to not be in the game, but as long as there's something attached to it, he's going to play.”;

At Aloha Stadium

Leilehua (11-2)2008717
Kahuku (10-2)3700010

Kah—FG St. John Lessary 21
Lei—Safety, Brad Iaulualo sacked Allan Kubota in end zone
Kah—Irwin Ah-Hoy 5 fumble return (Lessary kick)
Lei—Rico Newman 14 pass from Andrew Manley (Edieson Dumlao pass from Manley)
Lei—Cheves Aberilla-Ramento 18 pass from Manley (Maika Kunioka kick)

RUSHINGLeilehua: Austin Schmidt 1-3, Newman 5-(-2), Manley 10-(-22). Kahuku: Alapeti Magalei 17-63, Viliami Pasi 12-38, Fonoivasa Mataafa 3-15, AJ Atuaia 1-1, Blaze Kubota 1-(-1), Sage Kaka 1-(-4), A. Kubota 5-(-30).

PASSINGLeilehua: Manley 26-48-1-291, Newman 1-1-0-55. Kahuku: S. Kaka 5-13-0-83, A, Kubota 1-4-1-50.

RECEIVINGLeilehua: Newman 7-76, Dumlao 7-74, Aberilla-Ramento 3-93, Kaipo Ke-a 3-41, Matt Reyes 3-26, Kamana Akagi 2-11, Anthony Demello 1-15, Fred Padrones 1-10. Kahuku: Aulola Tonga 4-77, Jray Galeai 1-38, Siatima Tapusoa 1-18.