Sponsored by:

Comment, blog & share photos

Log in | Become a member
The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, November 2, 2001

Na Ali'i too much for Wai'anae

By Stacy Kaneshiro
Advertiser Staff Writer

On a wet night when its passing game was not as devastating as it was all season, 'Aiea's defense and special teams came up big to knock off Wai'anae, 21-10, last night in an O'ahu Interscholastic Association first-round football playoff game at Aloha Stadium.

The seventh-ranked Na Ali'i (10-0) advances to Thursday's co-championship against top-ranked Kahuku. They also secured their first state tournament berth.

The Seariders (6-4) will not make the state tournament for the first time since its inception three years ago.

Quarterback Lole Laolagi passed for 117 yards and touchdown passes of 24 and 30 yards to Reuben Medeiros.

But it was Chris Antonio's stunning 88-yard kickoff return following a 28-yard field goal by Wai'anae's Kalani Hoopii (closing the Seariders to 14-10) that gave 'Aiea a cushion.

Then the defense stepped to the forefront, containing the athletic Kekoa Reyes, Wai'anae's starting quarterback, to 14 net offensive yards. He had 11 yards passing and three more rushing.

'Aiea's pressure defense sacked him six times and dropped him for lost yardage on two running plays. Defensive end Leon Lautolo had three sacks and linebacker Warren Tauanuu had two. Defensive back Gustav Danielson also had a sack on a blitz.

"Our defense did a heck of a job," Aiea coach Wendell Say said. "I was kind of worried in the first quarter when (defensive lineman) Andrew Mauga went down (with a knee injury). But the other kids picked it up. Our defense never let down."

It was the first time 'Aiea beat Waianae since 1971 (33-16). The Seariders still hold a 19-5 edge in the series.

"We prepared hard," Tauanuu said. "Aiea has never beaten Wai'anae. This is a blessing. I'm so happy to be a part of history."

Tauanuu did not play last week's game against Roosevelt for disciplinary reasons, but he was ready last night.

"Warren was hungry," Say said. "Not playing last week fueled the fire."

Aiea took a 7-0 lead on Medeiros' 24-yard TD reception, but the Seariders tied the game later in the first quarter on Reyes' two-yard run.

Aiea regained the lead on Laolagi's 30-yard TD pass to give Aiea a 14-7 lead into the half.

WAI'ANAE 7 0 3 0 — 10
'AIEA    7 7 7 0 — 21
'Aiea—Reuben Medeiros 24 pass from Lole Laolagi (Jeffrey Veal kick)
Wain—Kekoa Reyes 2 run (Kalani Hoopii kick)
'Aiea—Medeiros 30 pass from Laolagi (Veal kick)
Wain—FG Hoopii 28
'Aiea—Chris Antonio 88 kickoff return (Veal kick)

RUSHING—Wai'anae: Reyes 19-3, Kawena Rosario 8-28, Chad Rodrigues 6-15, Sautia Lave 3-12, Team 1-(minus 21). 'Aiea: Laolagi 12-7, Junior Neemia 11-61, Kalani Kekawa 4-14, Jordan Moniz 1-(minus 1).

PASSING—Wai'anae: Reyes 4-18-1—11. 'Aiea: Laolagi 11-20-2—117.

RECEIVING—Waianae: Rosario 2-8, Lave 1-1, Kalani Viernes 1-2. Aiea: Bryan Tucker-Salas 2-4, Medeiros 3-63, Antonio 5-31, Jeremy Yuen 1-19.