Manley leads Mules to win
By Stacy Kaneshiro
Advertiser Staff Writer
By Stacy Kaneshiro
WAILUKU, Maui — Picking up where he left off in last year's storybook season, quarterback Andrew Manley showed he was more than a passing fancy in leading No. 5 Leilehua over No. 6 Baldwin, 34-15, last night the opening round of the First Hawaiian Bank State Football Tournament at War Memorial Stadium.
On a still and humid night, Manley escaped two near sacks to throw two of his four TD passes and then ran for one himself to send the Mules (10-2) into Friday's semifinal against No. 2 Kahuku (10-1) at Aloha Stadium. Kickoff between the O'ahu Interscholastic Association's West and East champions is 4 p.m.
"You take away those two runs and it's a different story," Leilehua coach Nolan Tokuda said of Manley's determination to not go down. "We don't jump on them early, it's a different story. That's a well-coached Baldwin team."
Manley completed 24 of 32 passes for 225 yards with TD passes of 21 and 14 yards to Rico Newman, 17 yards to Kamana Akagi and 20 yards to Edieson Dumlao. The 6-foot-3, 215-pound junior also rushed for 25 yards, including runs of 15 and 14 yards and a two-yard TD run midway through the fourth quarter.
The Mules stormed to a 21-0 first-quarter lead. They took the opening kickoff and drove to the Bears' 21, when on second-and-9, Manley squirmed out of the arms of linebacker Tevita Malafu and hit Newman on the 21-yard TD pass with 8:46 left in the first quarter to give the Mules a 7-0 lead.
The Bears were forced to punt on their first series and shanked it for five yards to the Bears' 17, where Manley once again deftly avoided another sack and connected with Akagi on a 17-yard TD pass to make it 14-0 36 seconds later.
"I have no idea," Manley said of avoiding the sacks. "The speed of the game, whatever happens out there, happens. I happened to avoid the tackle."
"He's big," Baldwin coach A.J. Roloos said. "We don't grab him below the waist, he's going to shake 'em off."
Moreover, when the Bears dropped eight in the secondary, that provided Manley the space he needed to reel off yards on the ground on his 15- and 14-yard runs.
"Everybody drops back for the pass," Manley said. "Nobody drops back (looking to me) for the run. When the receivers run deep, that opens up the run."
His third TD pass of the game, a 14-yarder to Newman, who took the throw out of the backfield, made it 21-0 with 3:53 left in the first quarter.
The Bears finally scored to start the second quarter, when Ikaika Wilhelm-Ioane hit Ro Wilson on a slant from the right side for a seven-yard TD pass to pull the Bears to 21-7 with 9:19 left in the half.
But Manley's fourth TD pass of the game, a 20-yarder to Dumlao with 5:57 left in the half made it 28-7. It was a nice leaping catch by Dumlao, who was well-covered by Kawika Grace on the play.
A series before their TD, the Bears had a 34-yard field goal by CeeJay Santos nullified by a false start; he missed his next try from 39. He kicked an MIL record 51-yarder earlier this season.
The Bears kept it close in the second half, but they couldn't capitalize on Manley's only interception of the game by Wyatt Burns.
But the Mules cashed in on a muffed punt by the Bears later in the fourth quarter that Leilehua recovered at the Baldwin 14. That's when Manley capped the drive with his two-yard run off left tackle after he faked a dive to the fullback up the middle. But Maika Kunioka's PAT was blocked, keeping it 34-7 with 6:38 left in the game.
The Bears pulled to 34-15 with 1:11 left in the game on running back Hajima Alabanza's 3-yard TD run. Wilhelm-Ioane hit Sheldon Leong for the two-point conversion.
Leong, a sophomore, was a highlight for the Bears, catching nine passes for 142 yards.
Wilhelm-Ioane was 24 of 50 for 286 yards for the Bears.
It was a different finish for the Bears, who lost dramatic semifinals games the past two seasons. This one didn't sting as much.
"You gotta hand it to them," Bears defensive back Mikie Webb said. "They played a good game."
"The kids didn't give up," Roloos said. "They kids played through it. We had some bad breaks in the second half. You just have to go with it."
LEILEHUA (10-2) 21 7 0 6—34
BALDWIN (8-2) 0 7 0 8—15
Lei — Rico Newman 21 pass from Andrew Manley (Maiki Kunioka kick)
Lei — Kamana Akagi 17 pass from Manley (Kunioka kick)
Lei — Newman 14 pass from Manley (Kunioka kick)
Bald — Ro Wilson 7 pass form Ikaika Wilhelm-Ioane (CeeJay Santos kick)
Lei — Edieson Dumlao 20 pass from Manley (Kunioka kick)
Lei — Manley 2 run (kick blocked)
Bald — Hajima Alabanza 3 run (Sheldon Leong pass from Wilhelm-Ioane)
RUSHING — Leilehua: Manley 9-25, Newman 7-15, Carlos Marshall 1-(minus 7), Austin Scmidt 1-2, Cheves Aberilla Ramento 1-13, Kaipo Ke-a 2-0, Marcus Rocha 1-0, Team 3-(minus 7). Baldwin: Wilhelm-Ioane 9-11, Alabanza 6-46, Kainalu Garso 2-3, Mikie Webb 2-(minus 2), Jonah Pagaduan 1-(minus 1), Kamani Akani 1-(minus 4).
PASSING — Leilehua: Manley 24-32-1—225. Baldwin: Wilhelm-Ioane 24-50-1—286, Webb 0-1-0—0.
RECEIVING — Leilehua: Newman 10-82, Dumlao 4-66, Akagi 3-35, Schmidt 1-12, Fred Padrones 1-8, Aberilla Ramento 2-8, Sione Sami 1-10, Matt Reyes 2-4. Baldwin: Jordan Tim Sing 1-3, Kyle Feiteira 1-31, Sheldon Leong 9-142, Wilson 2-13, Chauncey Well 2-24, Webb 5-43, Brennan Canencia-Black 3-32, Garso 1-(minus 2).
Reach Stacy Kaneshiro at firstname.lastname@example.org.