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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Saturday, November 20, 2004

Mules, Lunas advance in state football playoffs

 •  QB's sneak lifts No. 7 Lahainaluna over No. 3 Mililani, 41-34

Leilehua scores three TDs off Kealakehe miscues in 28-7 victory

By Wes Nakama
Advertiser Staff Writer

KAILUA, KONA — Leilehua converted a blocked punt, fumble recovery and interception into touchdowns last night to rally past Kealakehe, 28-7, in the first round of the First Hawaiian Bank Division I State Football Championships.

Division I semifinals

At Aloha Stadium

Friday (times to be announced)

Leilehua vs. Kahuku

Lahainaluna vs. Kamehameha

Division II semifinals

Friday, at Moanalua

HPA vs. Iolani, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, at Kamehameha

Kaua'i vs. Campbell, 7:30 p.m.

The visiting Mules, ranked No. 6 in The Advertiser's statewide Top 10 poll of coaches and media, improved to 10-2 and will face No. 1 Kahuku (9-1) in next week's semifinals. Leilehua lost to the Red Raiders, 12-6, in the O'ahu Interscholastic Association semifinals two weeks ago.

Kealakehe, like Leilehua making its first state tournament appearance, ended its season at 8-5 before a capacity home crowd of about 3,000.

"Everybody wants to play Kahuku again," said Mules sophomore quarterback Bryant Moniz, who completed 20 of 36 passes without an interception for 188 yards and two touchdowns against Kealakehe. "We have one week to prepare, and hopefully we can step up."

Moniz, who suffered badly bruised ribs in last week's 14-10 victory over Castle, and Leilehua's defense stepped it up in a big way last night despite an early deficit.

After the Waveriders jumped to a 7-0 first-quarter lead, the Mules scored 28 unanswered points by taking advantage of several Kealakehe miscues. They sealed the game with 1:42 remaining on Justin Lawelawe's 38-yard touchdown run, one play after Kennedy Orteza's interception.

"That's what really helped us tonight — field position, special teams and big plays," Leilehua coach Nolan Tokuda said.

The Waveriders took a 7-0 lead with 2:57 remaining in the first quarter after Eddie Lee's 13-yard touchdown pass to tight end Bo Montgomery. The drive was set up when Kealakehe's Mikah Pada recovered a mishandled punt catch at the Mules' 27-yard line.

Leilehua tied it with 6:22 left in the half on Moniz's 4-yard TD pass to fullback Mene Coffin. The Mules then took a 14-7 halftime lead on Justin Lawelawe's 6-yard touchdown run with 1:35 remaining. That scoring drive was set up by Mason Edra's blocked punt that was recovered at the Kealakehe 42.

Moniz completed 11 of 22 passes in the first half for 116 yards.

Jinho Tohara, the Waveriders' 5-foot-7, 155-pound all-purpose back, returned the opening kickoff 41 yards and later had a 57-yard kick return.

The Mules' defense held Kealakehe to 37 total yards in the first half, including just 29 rushing yards on 16 carries.

A turnover helped Leilehua extend the lead to 21-7 with 7:56 left in the third quarter. Lee was about to be sacked and fumbled the ball, with Leilehua's Dontae Scott recovering at the Waveriders' 20.

On the next play, Moniz hit Chustin Senas on a sideline pattern as Senas crossed the pylon. Ryan Bibilone's extra point made it 21-7.

Tohara finished with 115 tough yards rushing on 28 carries and 230 all-purpose yards. The Mules kicked away from him in the second half.

"He's dangerous," Tokuda said. "He could have really hurt us, so we were lucky to contain him a bit."

LEILEHUA (8-3) 0 14 7 7 — 28

KEALAKEHE (8-5) 7 0 0 0 — 7

Kea — Bo Montgomery 13 pass from Eddie Lee (Bryant Sawada kick)

Lei — Mene Coffin 4 pass from Bryant Moniz (Ryan Bibilone kick)

Lei — Justin Lawelawe 6 run (Bibilone kick)

Lei — Chustin Senas 20 pass from Moniz (Bibilone kick)

Lei — Lawelawe 38 run (Bibilone kick)

RUSHING — Lei: Lawelawe 14-87, Guy Cantrell 6-29; Kea: Jinho Tohara 28-115, Max Papali'i 4-20, Jamie Au Hoon 1-2, Shaun Santiago 2-(minus-3), Malkum Cochero-Wimbish 2-(minus-3), Tai Papali'i 1-(minus-3).

PASSING — Lei: Moniz 20-36-0—188, Anthony Palomares 0-1-0—0; Kea: Lee 2-8-1—18, Tohara 0-2-0—0.

RECEIVING — Lei: Palomares 7-81, Lawelawe 5-36, Cantrell 3-19, Senas 1-20, Tianeva Tyrell-Edra 1-13, BJ Fruean 1-8, Dwight Villanueva 1-7, Coffin 1-4; Kea: Montgomery 1-13, Cochero-Wimbish 1-5.

Reach Wes Nakama at wnakama@honoluluadvertiser.com or 535-2456.

QB's sneak lifts No. 7 Lahainaluna over No. 3 Mililani, 41-34

By Stacy Kaneshiro
Advertiser Staff Writer

WAILUKU, Maui — Preston Medeiros' improvisation that led to the game-winning touchdown lifted Lahainaluna over Mililani, 41-34, in a thrilling end to a first-round game of the First Hawaiian Bank State Football Championships last night War Memorial Stadium.

The Lunas (9-1-1), ranked seventh in The Advertiser Top 10, will play No. 2 Kamehameha Friday in one semifinal at Aloha Stadium. The third-ranked Trojans (10-2) end their season with back-to-back losses.

With the game tied at 34 after the Trojans scored on a Maka Kahoano 2-yard run with 1:52 left in the game, the Lunas marched down field as the seconds ticked off. On third-and-goal at the Mililani 1, the Lunas appeared to be setting up a 21-yard field goal attempt by Colby Wykoff. Holder Medeiros slipped up to the center, took the snap, and snuck in from 1-yard, setting off a wild celebration in the Lunas sidelines and bleachers. Wykoff's PAT made it 34-17.

"It's just a special play we have in our playbook," Medeiros said of the play. "Actually, I made that call on my own."

Much to the surprise of his coach, Robert Watson

"Was a surprise to us, but it was a good one," Watson said.

The Lunas then survived a razzle-dazzle kickoff return, but the play ended at about the Mililani 45 as time ran out.

"The boys played their hearts out," linebacker Aaron Po'oloa said of his Trojan teammates.

The Lunas took the Trojans by storm in the first half, rolling up 231 yards in offense with their wing-T offense. But it was a back-breaking sack-fumble just before the half that put the Trojans in a deeper hole. Fine Latu drilled quarterback Kahoano and Glen Kuresa returned the fumble 42 yards for a touchdown to give Lahainaluna a 21-6 lead.

"We had a hard time with that power sweep," Mililani coach James Millwood said.

What hurt the Trojan was losing Po'oloa, who sustained an MCL injury in the second quarter. (Also, receiver Jon Santos had a concussion in the second quarter and did not return)

"He was the one who was calling the stunts and stuff," Millwood said of Po'oloa. "So that kind of hurt us."

"I felt helpless on the sidelines," Po'oloa said.

But the Trojans stormed back with three Nick Rogers TDs in the second half. He caught a 14-yard TD pass and later recovered a fumble after a pass reception to Jordan Torres, and took it 21 yards for a TD that pulled Mililani to 21-19. Rogers then caught a 16-yard TD pass from Kahoano to give the Trojans their first lead at 27-21.

But the Lunas came back with a 9-yard TD run by Wayne Phillips early in the fourth quarter, and regained the lead on an 8-yard TD run by Kuresa to make it 34-27. But the Trojans tied the game with 1:52 left, converting two fourth-down plays in the process, with Kahoano scoring from the 2 on fourth-and-goal. The big play of the drive was a 35-yard pass from Kahoano to Kekoa Perbera on fourth-and-13 at the Lunas' 42.

But the Lunas took over with 1:52 left from their 35, moving methodically on run plays the Trojans had a hard time stopping all night. On third-and-goal at the 4, Paul Maielua was stopped at the 1, and the Lunas began scrambling for their field goal unit. That's when Medeiros slid up to the center and followed him into the end zone with 9 seconds left.

"We told the kids at the beginning of the game that it might come down to who has the ball last," Watson said.

It was an intense game throughout. At one point, the officials gathered the teams together after an apparent flare up. From that point, the players pretty much displayed sportsmanship with pats after nice runs or good tackles.

"It was a good game," Kuresa said. "Those guys came out to play."

MILILANI 0 6 13 15—34

LAHAINALUNA 6 15 0 20—41

Lah—Rylan Ancog 7 pass from Preston Medeiros (kick blocked)

Lah—Wayne Phillips 4 run (Medeiros run)

Mili—Jordan Apduhan 17 run (kick failed)

Lah—Glen Kuresa 42 fumble return (Colby Wykoff kick)

Mili—Nick Rogers 14 pass from Maka Kahoano (Jordan Torres kick)

Mili—Rogers 21 fumble recovery after Torres 21 pass from Kahoano (run failed)

Mili—Rogers 16 pass from Kahoano (Tercy pass from Kahoano)

Lah—Phillips 9 run (kick failed)

Lah—Kuresa 8 run (Wykoff kick)

Mili—Kahoano 2 run (Torres kick)

Lah—Medeiros 1 run (Wykoff kick)

RUSHING—Mililani: Kahoano 10-16, Kekoa Perbera 13-59, Torres 6-19, Joseph Greene 1-3, Jordan Apduhan 8-64, Jason Alexander 2-8. Lahainaluna: Medeiros 7-14, Phillips 16-144, Maielua 12-64, Tony Tafea 1-1, Carson Chihara 2-3, Team 1-(minus 19), Kuresa 3-33.

PASSING—Mililani: Kahoano 9-15-1—158. Lahainaluna: Medeiros 7-12-0—162, Phillips 0-1-1—0.

RECEIVING—Mililani: Rogers 3-56, Perbera 3-51, Torres 1-24, Josh Moracco 2-27. Lahainaluna: Stanley Malamala 2-60, Ancog 4-90, Phillips 1-12.

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