Photos by Andrew Lee (http://www.twitter.com/HISportsPics
)By Wes Nakama
Aofaga Wily rushed for 151 yards -- including 101 in the first half -- and two touchdowns Saturday night to help Kahuku defeat Moanalua, 31-15, in the O'ahu Interscholastic Association regular season finale for both teams.
The Red Raiders improved to 7-0 overall, finished atop the OIA Red Conference Eastern Division standings at 6-0 and will receive a first-round bye in the upcoming league playoffs. Na Menehune fell to 4-4, 4-2 and will be the East's No. 3 seed, playing host West No. 6 seed Waipahu (2-6, 2-4) most likely on Friday.
Kahuku began Saturday's game like it picked up where it left off the week before in a dominant 31-6 victory over previously unbeaten Farrington, marching 64 yards in just eight plays capped by Wily's 22-yard ramble for a score.
Jake Samsel's extra point made it 7-0.
Later in the first quarter, the Red Raiders capitalized on a short, high punt that ricocheted off a Moanalua player and was recovered by Jayven Mohetau near midfield. Six plays later, Wily scored from three yards out and Samsel's PAT made it 14-0.
Na Menehune got its own break early in the second quarter when Chaz Winham recovered a fumble at the Kahuku 11-yard line, but got pushed back to the 20 and missed a 37-yard field goal attempt. The Red Raiders then traversed 80 yards in just seven plays, culminating in Lasi Livai's 1-yard quarterback sneak as the lead stretched to 21-0 with 7:01 still remaining in the half.
Rashaan Falemalu then recovered a fumble at the Moanalua 29 four plays after the ensuing kickoff, and Kahuku again cashed in as Livai tossed a 17-yard touchdown throw to Kawe Johnson in the back right corner of the end zone.
Samsel's extra point made it 28-0 with 2:27 before intermission.
"Sometimes coming off a bye can hurt you, and in the first half it seemed like we took a lot of time to get warmed up," Na Menehune coach Arnold Martinez said. "We lost the ball a couple times, blew some coverages, and against Kahuku you cannot afford to make mistakes like that. They are a big, solid, fast team."
Moanalua got the break it needed early in the third quarter as Zarin Augustiro recovered a fumble at the Kahuku 21, and after a 10-yard penalty, Micah Kaneshiro threw an 11-yard TD pass to Jon-Michael Sharsh. Landon Ogawa's PAT cut it to 28-7 with 9:17 remaining in the quarter.
Samsel split the uprights on a 30-yard field goal four minutes into the fourth quarter to make it 31-7, but Na Menehune cut it to 31-15 with 2:48 left after a 66-yard touchdown pass play from Kaneshiro to Sharsh -- in which Sharsh spun around to snare a deflected pass in mid-air -- and a two-point conversion pass involving the same combination.
Moanalua's Cody Wright then recovered the ensuing onside kick at the Red Raiders' 42, but Na Menehune came up a yard short on fourth-and-8 and Kahuku proceeded to run out the clock.
"We made some adjustments at halftime and played them tough after that," Martinez said. "We had a great second half, and I'm proud of our guys' effort."
Fullback PJ Liua added 78 yards on 11 carries for the Red Raiders.
Kaneshiro finished with 16 completions in 25 attempts for 180 yards, with two interceptions. Sharsh racked up 117 of those yards on seven catches.KAHUKU (7-0, 6-0) 14 14 0 3 -- 31
MOANALUA (4-4, 4-2) 0 0 7 8 -- 15
Kah -- Aofaga Wily 22 run (Jake Samsel kick)
Kah -- Wily 3 run (Samsel kick)
Kah -- Lasi Livai 1 run (Samsel kick)
Kah -- Kawe Johnson 17 pass from Livai (Samsel kick)
Moa -- Jon-Michael Sharsh 11 pass from Micah Kaneshiro (Landon Ogawa kick)
Kah -- FG Samsel 30
Moa -- Sharsh 66 pass from Kaneshiro (Ishmil Scott pass from Kaneshiro)
RUSHING -- Kahuku: Livai 7-13, Wily 27-151, PJ Liua 11-78, Quayd Ah You 1-(minus-1), Pupi Siilata 2-3. Moanalua: Richard Parham 7-15, Scott 7-3, Kaneshiro 5-(minus-34).
PASSING -- Kahuku: Livai 5-12-0--74. Moanalua: Kaneshiro 16-25-2--180, Donald Lambert 0-1-0--0.
RECEIVING -- Kahuku: Soli Afalava 1-7, McKay Lewis 1-7, Johnson 3-60. Moanalua: Lambert 5-33, Sheldon Pagba 2-13, Sharsh 7-117, Chjad Aragon 1-14, Scott 1-3.
Photo courtesy Alan Kang