Leilehua captures OIA Red, 12-3
|Photo gallery: OIA Red Final|
|Video: Leilehua vs. Waianae in OIA Division I playoff|
By Stacy Kaneshiro
Advertiser Staff Writer
By Stacy Kaneshiro
Sophomore quarterback Andrew Manley threw two second-half touchdown passes to rally No. 5 Leilehua past No. 3 Wai'anae, 12-3, last night to win its first O'ahu Interscholastic Association football title since 1984.
An Aloha Stadium crowd of 8,770 watched the Mules' defense stymie the Seariders for the second time this season. The Mules beat the Seariders, 8-0, during the regular season.
The Mules (8-4) will draw an opening-round bye in the state tournament and move to the Nov. 24 semifinals at Aloha Stadium against the winner of Baldwin against the OIA's third-place team that will be determined tonight.
The Seariders (8-3) will travel to the Big Island to play Big Island Interscholastic Federation champion Kealakehe next Saturday. The Waveriders won the Division I title with a 50-13 win against Waiakea last night.
"We played as one team, one brotherhood," Leilehua senior linebacker Robert Siavii said. "We didn't think of this as the OIA championship. It was just another regular-season game."
Although the Mules made it to the state title game in 2004, they were the OIA's third-place team that season. But this is their first league crown since.
"Feels good," Manley said. "I'm speechless."
The unflappable Manley, called up from the JV two weeks ago because of injuries to quarterbacks Kaipo DeRego and Kaipo Kea, completed 18 of 28 passes for 129 yards. His first TD pass was on a nice fade to Edieson Dumlao on a 4-yard pass to the right side of the end zone with 2:34 left in the third quarter.
"I told coach, 'I got'em, I got'em,' " Dumlao said. "Feels good."
The second came on a 2-yard pass to Allan Macam with 2:44 left.
But it was the Mules' defense that did it again, holding the Seariders to just three points in eight quarters this year.
"They basically played the same way they did the last time," Wai'anae coach Dan Matsumoto said. "They played tough defense."
The Mules, who never got deeper than the Wai'anae 48 in the first half, got a big break in the third quarter. The Seariders started from their 20, but after Kalua Ellis stopped Preston Cummings for no gain, a holding penalty backed Wai'anae to its 13. After an incomplete pass followed by a false start penalty, the Seariders faced third-and-22 from their 8, when it appeared quarterback B.J. Jelf wasn't ready for a snap and was forced to bury the ball at the 1.
"It's hard to tell," Matsumoto said of the play. "Maybe it was the crowd (noise so the center could not hear the cadence)."
Wai'anae punted to its 37, where Manley moved the team down to set up the TD pass to Dumlao.
"We work on the fade in practice," Manley said. "I thank the coaches and players for all the support."
The Seariders finished with 116 yards in offense.
Reach Stacy Kaneshiro at email@example.com.