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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, August 26, 2006

Kahuku knocks off Kailua

 •  Mililani turns back Iolani, 26-23
 •  Kaimuki turns back 'Anuenue, 26-6
 •  Crowd remembers youths

By Stacy Kaneshiro
Advertiser Staff Writer

Kailua quarterback Zachary Akamine, right, gets rid of the ball as Kahuku's Alema Tachibana closes in.

REBECCA BREYER | The Honolulu Advertiser

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KAHUKU — They looked like they were in preseason form. Unfortunately, this was the O'ahu Interscholastic Association Red East season opener.

Kahuku overcame a sluggish first quarter to rally past Kailua, 29-16, last night at Carleton Weimer Field.

The Red Raiders (1-1 overall, 1-0 East) fell behind 10-0 before getting on the scoreboard to hold off the Surfriders (0-2, 0-1). A number of defensive starters did not play the first quarter for Kahuku for disciplinary reasons, plus the Red Raiders were without all-state defensive tackle Kaniela Tuipulotu, who sprained his ankle in last week's 20-18 loss to Punahou. He did not suit up for yesterday's game.

With the new early start for school, all public school teams had fewer workouts than in past years when they could hold two-a-day practices during the summer. While some schools have been starting classes early, this was new to these two schools. Both showed they could've used the extra practices. Fortunately, they can work out the kinks next week when they go back to nonconference play.

"This is our first experience with the new school schedule and we're definitely far behind in comparison when you had those extra 20 practices," Kailua coach Gary Rosolowich said. "You're going to have those kinds of things, especially when you have a young team."

Kailua saw its 10-0 lead melt in the humidity. Its ensuing kickoff after Tim Mahingay's 23-yard field goal with 11:01 left in the half went out of bounds so Kahuku took over from its 35 and used just five plays to score with quarterback Richard Torres scooting 27 yards on an option keeper to the right. Kaika Sasaoka's PAT made it 10-7.

A fumble on Kailua's first play from scrimmage after the kickoff was recovered by Gary Nagy at the Kailua 33. Five plays later, it was Torres again tormenting the Surfriders on the option, scoring on a 2-yard keeper to the left to make it 14-10 with 6:03 left in the half.

"I love that play," said Richard Torres, the coach's son, who last played QB two years ago in JV.

It got worse for Kailua on its next possession, when a heavy rush forced quarterback Zachary Akamine to intentionally ground a pass while in the end zone for a safety, making it 16-10 with 4:23 left.

Kahuku had its moments, too. Early in the game, Torres, who also starts at cornerback, returned an interception 89 yards for an apparent touchdown, only to have the whole play nullified by a personal foul penalty that also gave Kailua the ball back. The infraction gave Kailua first-and-goal from the Kahuku 7. An encroachment penalty against Kahuku made it first-and-goal from the 3. Two plays later, Akamine rolled right and hit Shaun Forges for a 1-yard pass to give Kailua a 7-0 lead with 6:34 left in the first quarter.

The penalty was a helmet-to-helmet hit on the quarterback, Kahuku coach Reggie Torres said.

"Those things are correctable," Reggie Torres said of Kahuku's mistakes, including turnovers.

"We're way behind where we want to be (because of the early school schedule). Kailua's same as us, so that's no excuse for us."

Still, Kahuku's defense did not lose a beat as the game went along. Malone Fiso caused a fumble that linebacker Sifa Heimuli picked up and rushed 2 yards for a touchdown with 4:00 left in the third quarter to make it 23-10.

"I was in the right spot in the right time," Heimuli said. "It's about the whole defense."

KAILUA (0-2, 0-1) 7 3 0 6—16

KAHUKU (1-1, 1-0) 0 16 13 0—29

Kail—Shaun Forges 1 pass from Zachary Akamine (Timothy Maghinay kick)

Kail—FG Maghinay 23

Kah—Richard Torres 27 run (Kaika Sasaoka kick)

Kah—Torres 2 run (Sasaoka kick)

Kah—Safety, intentional grounding in end zone

Kah—Sifa Heimuli 2 fumble return (Sasaoka kick)

Kah—Kaliki Unga 5 run (pass failed)

Kail—Darren Sugimoto 30 pass from Akamine (run failed)

RUSHING—Kailua: Akamine 10-21, Kaleo Wong 10-27, Keelen Gonda 5-44, Team 2-(minus 16), William Kekauoha 1-0, Gerald Ho 1-(minus 13). Kahuku: Torres 12-62, Lehi Aumua 9-91, Neal Lokotui 6-14, Pita Tanuvasa 2-13, Junior Mataafa 6-20, Team 4-(minus 4), Unga 4-12.

PASSING—Kailua: Akamine 9-34-1—90, Ho 2-3-0—54. Team 0-1-0—0. Kahuku: Torres 1-3-0—3, William Huihui 0-1-0—0, Nalu Carvalho 1-1-0—3.

RECEIVING—Kailua: Sugimoto 4-96, Forges 1-1, Kekauoha 2-29, Gonda 1-(minus 7), Ho 3-25. Kahuku: Anthony Siilata 1-3, Onosai Wong 1-3.

Reach Stacy Kaneshiro at skaneshiro@honoluluadvertiser.com.