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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Saturday, December 4, 2004

Kamehameha is state's best

 •  Warriors' secondary passes test in final
 •  Campbell captures Division II crown
 •  High school football gallery

By Stacy Kaneshiro
Advertiser Staff Writer

A big-time defensive effort and a dominating offensive line helped Kamehameha rally from a 7-0 halftime deficit to a 28-7 win last night in the First Hawaiian Bank State Football Division I Championship.

Kamehameha running back Jayson Rego rumbles through the Leilehua defense on a first-quarter run. Rego scored the go-ahead touchdown on a 79-yard run as Kamehameha won, 28-7.

Eugene Tanner • The Honolulu Advertiser

"This is great," said Kamehameha senior running back Jayson Rego, who had 212 yards rushing and the go-ahead score. "I can't describe how I feel right now. It's the greatest feeling in the world. I mean, state champs. I can't believe it right now."

An Aloha Stadium of 17,757 — the second largest in the six-year history of the tournament — watched the top-ranked Warriors (10-1-1) win their first major football crown since the 1976 O'ahu Prep Bowl. The second-ranked Mules ended at 11-3.

"I take my hat off to Kamehameha," Leilehua first-year coach Nolan Tokuda said. "They played really well offensively and defensively. They executed a little bit better tonight. They deserved this championship."

Quarterback Pono Kam, who started last week but was lifted for Parker Bode, came in for Bode this time and fired three second-half touchdown passes.

Leilehua defensive back Charles Sanchez (21) looks like an intended receiver on this pass for Kamehameha tight end Kamuela Kapanui.

Eugene Tanner • The Honolulu Advertiser

A 4-yard touchdown pass to Jacob Ho came after a shanked punt gave the Warriors the ball at the Mules' 30. Kepa Gaison's PAT made it 7-all.

Ikaika Hardie had a 3-yard TD reception and Aaron Nichols had a 25-yarder. They did this all without their top receiver, Waika Spencer, who was out with a knee injury he sustained in last week's semifinals.

Kam completed just 5 of 9 for 59 yards, while Bryant Moniz was 15 of 36 for 231 yards. He was sacked four times, twice by end Kapono Rawlins-Crivello.

Maybe it was the jitters for the two teams in the final for the first time. Each turned over the ball three times.

An interception by linebacker B. J. Fruean — the second interception off Bode (Guyes Galdeira had the other) — inside Leilehua territory set up an eight-play, 63-yard drive capped by a 1-yard TD plunge by fullback Sione Faleofa. Ryan Bibilone's PAT gave the Mules a 7-0 lead with 10:46 left in the second quarter.

But it was an 79-yard TD run by Rego, who carried 39 times, that ignited the Warriors and gave them the lead for the first time.

"This is a great second-half team," Warriors' center Tyler Williams said.

While the Warriors were able to wear down the Mules in the second half, the defense kept the game close. They intercepted Moniz, Leilehua's sophomore quarterback, four times. Cornerback Michael Holt, who had to cover 6-foot-1 receiver Chustin Senas, had two picks, while the other corner, Travis Uale had one, as did Drew Ueno.

"Our defense came through for us tonight," Williams said.

The Warriors got two turnovers, but failed to convert any into scores after Leilehua's TD. A fumble return by lineman Mika Kane to the Leilehua 5, was wasted when the Warriors reached the 1 on third-and-goal, only to have Bode fumble before crossing the plane. The Mules recovered in the end zone for a touchback. But the Mules lost the ball on an interception by Uale. But the Warriors ended up punting from their 37.

The Mules took a 7-0 lead into the second half, but the Warriors gained momentum with two third-quarter touchdowns.

The Warriors tied the game at 7 midway through the third quarter. That set up Kam's pass to Ho.

Later, after an interception by Holt at the Kamehameha 2, the Warriors took the lead on Rego's run. Rego broke through the line and got a big block from receiver Hardie at the Kamehameha 40, to make it 14-7.

An interception by Ueno, set up Kam's 3-yard TD pass to Hardie to make it 21-7 with 7:26 left in the game.

A fumble recovery by Andrew Taeoalii at the Leilehua 32 led to Kam's third TD pass of the game, a 25-yarder to Nichols on a fade to the left side, increasing Kamehameha's lead to 28-7.

Nichols had three catches for 55 yards and Hardie five for 31.

"This feels great," defensive tackle Kane said. "It's not just the feeling of winning, but of unity. We played together."

Reach Stacy Kaneshiro at skaneshiro@honoluluadvertiser.com or 525-8042.


Leilehua (11-3-1) 0 7 0 0— 7

Kamehameha (10-1-1) 0 0 14 14—28

LEI—Sione Faleofa 1 run (Ryan Bibilone kick)

KS—Jacob Ho 4 pass from Pono Kam (Kepa Gaison kick)

KS—Jason Rego 79 run (Gaison kick)

KS—Ikaika Hardie 3 pass from Kam (Gaison kick)

KS—Aaron Nichols 25 pass from Kam (Gaison kick)

RUSHING—Leilehua: Justin Lawelawe 11-39, Faleofa 1-1, Bryant Moniz 5-(minus 44).

Kamehameha: Rego 39-212, Hardie 4-33, Parker Bode 1-0, Tyson Fujimoto 5-(minus 4).

PASSING—Leilehua: Moniz 15-36-4—231. Kamehameha: Kam 5-9-0—59, Bode 4-8-2—31.

RECEIVING—Leilehua: Chustin Senas 7-119, Lawelawe 3-54, Anthony Palomares 3-42, Dwight Villanueva 2-16. Kamehameha: Hardie 5-31, Nichols 3-55, Ho 1-4.