(Fri) November 30, 2007
HHSAA DIVISION II FOOTBALL: Raiders Come Back to Win D II Title
By Scott Alonso, Special to Sportshigh.com
Raiders won their second state title against the Lahainaluna Lunas,
28-21, in the First Hawaiian Bank/HHSAA Football Division II
championship. Iolani scored 14 unanswered points in the second half
Friday night at Aloha Stadium to propel them to victory. The Raiders
were the ILH Division II champions and the No. 2 seed in the Division
II bracket. Iolani won the state title back in 2005 and placed second
Iolani was led by junior quarterback Kela
Marciel who completed 17 passes out of 28 attempts, with three
touchdowns and one interception. Senior receiver Reid Furukawa had a
game high 134 yards off three catches. Senior receivers Lionel Fujioka
and Ronnie Hirokawa each had five catches and a touchdown.
For the Lunas, junior quarterback Jake Manning rushed eight times for
66 yards and a touchdown. He also was 4-for-8 passing for 43 yards with
a touchdown and interception.
The Raiders started off the
contest in good shape, driving into Luna territory. However, the Lunas
forced a fourth down for Raider Marciel. From the Luna 39 yard line,
Marciel attempted to hit his receiver in the end zone but was picked
off by Matthew Lawless.
The Lunas drove right away into
Raider territory off of three straight running plays. Junior
quarterback Jake Manning on third and 10 from the Raider 35 sprinted on
a keeper to give Lahainaluna an early 6-0 lead.
series for the Raiders stalled and they went three and out. The Lunas
took advantage and had great starting field position off a 32 yard
return by senior Lake Casco. Three plays after his return, on third and
one, Manning conducted a play action pass and hit his twin brother
Jayson Manning for a 24 yard score. A two-point conversion was
successful off Simione Vehikite’s run to extend the Lahainaluna lead
14-0 with 5:42 remaining in the first half.
not go down without a fight. Three plays after the Manning-to-Manning
touchdown, Marciel hit Furukawa for a 46 yard touchdown at the 4:20
mark in the first quarter.
On the following offensive set
for the Lunas, they only managed six plays and one first down, giving
the ball back to the Raiders. Facing a third and 13 from his own 25,
Marciel launched it for Furukawa who grabbed it at midfield, broke two
tackles, and raced down to the four yard line. Three plays later, out
of the shotgun formation, Marciel nailed Fujioka for a two yard score.
That brought the Raiders back into the ball game tied with the Lunas at
Special teams came up big again for the Lunas
when Casco returned another punt back into Raider territory. This time
he raced 43 yards that set up a Williams rushing touchdown five plays
later to give Lahainaluna the lead at 21-14 with only 34 seconds left
in the half.
Both teams battled each other defensively in
the third quarter. However the scoring draught would not last long. The
Raiders came down the field as the third quarter was winding down. Deep
in Luna territory, Iolani faced 3 and 10 on the Luna 12. Marciel, under
immense pressure in the red zone, was being brought down by Luna
defenders, fired it to Hirokawa on the left side. Hirokawa broke a
tackle and raced into the pylon for six points and the Raiders tied the
game again, this time at 21.
The Raiders saw that the tie
would not last long. Iolani went 80 yards in the fourth quarter to
score their second touchdown of the second half. Marciel, at the Luna
28, rolled to his left and found senior receiver Aaron Fong for a 17
yard play. Two plays later senior running back Justin Yamamoto pounded
it into the end zone to give Iolani their first lead of the game, 28-21
with only 5:21 left in the contest.
The Lunas stormed back
into Raider territory looking to tie things back up. They converted on
a fourth down play off a 21 yard rushing play by Vehikite. However, the
Raiders withstood the Luna rushing attack and ended any hope of a Luna
score when Jarom Baldomero intercepted Manning’s pass with under two
minutes to play.
The Raiders improved to a .500 record,
6-6, while the Lunas fell to 9-2. Lahainaluna was the No. 1 seed in the
Division II bracket and had an impressive victory in the semifinals of
the tournament against No. 4 Kaimuki (52-20). This was the first
appearance for the Lunas in the state title contest.