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(Fri) November 28, 2008

HHSAA Division I FOOTBALL: Leilehua Stuns Kahuku in OT, Advances to DI Final

By Kyle Galdeira

Leilehua overcame a 10-2 deficit late in the fourth quarter, and turned the tables on Kahuku as the Mules claimed a 17-10 overtime victory over the Red Raiders this evening in the semifinal round of the 10th Annual Hawaii High School Athletic Association/First Hawaiian Bank Division I Football State Championships at Aloha Stadium.

With the victory, Leilehua advances to the Division I championship game on Dec. 5 against the winner of the second semifinal contest between top-seeded Punahou and OIA runner-up Farrington.

Leilehua (11-2) put together a 10-play, 77-yard drive culminated by a 14-yard touchdown pass from Andrew Manley to Rico Newman followed by the crucial two-point conversion on a pass from Manley to Edieson Dumlao that knotted the score at 10-10 with 1:37 remaining in the game.

Manley then connected with Cheves Aberilla Ramento on an 18-yard pass to the back corner of the end zone in the first overtime period to put the Mules up 17-10 after Maika Kunioka’s extra point was true.

Kahuku (10-2) failed to score on its overtime possession, and the Oahu Interscholastic Association champion was eliminated from the tourney despite a strong defensive effort that netted five quarterback sacks and four turnovers.

After Leilehua punted on its opening drive, Kahuku took the ball at its own 20 yard line and rode an Allan Kubota pass for 50 yards to Auloa Tonga into Mules territory. Red Raiders kicker St. John Lessary III capped the squad’s opening drive on a 21-yard field goal with 7:38 remaining in the opening period to give Kahuku a 3-0 advantage.

The Mules defense forced a safety as Kubota was charged with an intentional grounding penalty in his own end zone with 5:36 to play in the first quarter, and Leilehua pulled to within a point of the Red Raiders’ 3-2 advantage.

Kahuku pushed its lead to 10-2 with 5:22 to play in the first half when Irwin Ah-Hoy recovered a Kaipo Ke-a fumble on the Mules five yard line, and scampered for a touchdown. 

Newman took a lateral from Manly, and unleashed a 54-yard pass to Dumlao to give the Mules a golden opportunity in the red zone early in the third quarter. However, the Red Raiders defense prevented Leilehua from scoring as Veteson Sauni batted down Manley’s pass on a fourth-and-goal play from the two yard line to end the threat.

Manley finished the contest with 291 yards and two touchdowns, and the junior gunslinger completed 26 of his 48 passes. Newman and Dumlao each finished with seven receptions, and recorded 76 and 74 yards through the air, respectively.

Alapeti Magalei paced the Kahuku offensive attack with 63 rushing yards on 17 carries in defeat.