Island-hopping Rams turn back Lunas, 33-27
By Stanley Lee
By Stanley Lee
WAILUKU, Maui — Sticking to its business-like travel approach, Radford High School continued to win on the Neighbor Islands.
Mosiah Manuma scored three touchdowns and threw for 179 yards to help the Rams (10-3) hold off second-seeded Lahainaluna, 33-27, in last night's semifinals of the First Hawaiian Bank Division II State Football Championships at War Memorial Stadium.
Radford, the O'ahu Interscholastic Association White runner-up, won last week at third-seeded Kaua'i, 17-7. The Rams, the only team in both the Division I and Division II tournaments to have traveled off island twice, advance to face top-seeded and defending Division II champion 'Iolani (10-3) in the championship game on Friday at Aloha Stadium.
"It's always fun on road trips but we have to stay focused as much as we could," Manuma said. "Coach Fred (Salanoa) told us to take it as a business trip and stay focused, and we came up here to play a game."
The Lunas (7-3), last year's Division II state runner-up, made a late rally to make the final minutes interesting.
Jake Manning's 31-yard pass to Ty Carter cut the Rams' lead to 33-20 with 3:47 remaining. The seven-play drive took less than four minutes off the clock, and the Lunas then forced Radford to punt two minutes later.
The Lunas got the ball back with 1:37 left, and scored on Manning's 8-yard pass to Imihana Ampong with 40 seconds left. Ivan Delaney's kick made it 33-27.
"We just had broken plays and didn't do our assignments," Manuma said. "We got close, but we're happy we held them."
On the ensuing kickoff, Radford's Andrew Forester leaped up to recover the Lunas' onside kick attempt at the Rams' 40-yard line. Radford then ran out the clock to head down the road it envisioned during training camp.
"We have a special group of players here at Radford," coach Fred Salanoa said. "Going into halftime up, we were two quarters away from playing in what we called in the beginning of the season, and that was playing in the state championship game on December 5. I cannot brag enough about these players and the way they traveled. These kids wanted it and they came out and showed it."
Down 21-7 at halftime, the Lunas started strong and quick in the third quarter. On their fourth drive, Manning broke up the middle for a 57-yard TD run. Delaney's kick cut the deficit to 21-14 with 10:27 left.
Radford closed out the third quarter with a pair of short TDs. Pouesi Togiailua's 1-yard run made it 27-14 with 3:53 left, and Manuma scored on a 1-yard run with 1:09 remaining to make it 33-14.
Lahainaluna's Miko Tesoro returned a fumble recovery 30 yards for a touchdown with 5:34 left in the first quarter. Delaney's kick tied it 7-7.
The Rams took the lead for good on Shawn Putnam-Curry's 31-yard reception to make it 14-7 with 10:11 left in the second quarter. Putnam-Curry hauled in another touchdown with 3:25 left before halftime, making a 19-yard catch from Manuma as he was falling out of the right side of the end zone.
"I could've played better," Putnam-Curry said. "It was pretty much a team effort, it was the whole team."
RADFORD (10-3) 7 14 12 0-33
LAHAINALUNA (7-3) 7 0 7 13-27
Rad-Shawn Putnam-Curry 8 run (Cody Spraker kick)
Lah-Miko Tesoro 30 fumble return (Ivan Delaney kick)
Rad-Mosiah Manuma 31 pass to Putnam-Curry (Spraker kick)
Rad-Manuma 19 pass to Putnam-Curry (Spraker kick)
Lah-Jake Manning 57 run (Delaney kick)
Rad-Pouesi Togiailua 1 run (kick blocked)
Rad-Manuma 1 run (kick failed)
Lah-Manning 31 pass to Ty Carter (run failed)
Lah-Manning 8 pass to Imihana Ampong (Delaney kick)
Rushing-Radford: Phil Hogan 20-93, Manuma 10-108, Putnam-Curry 2-13, Tama Fiaseu 3-9, Togiailua 1-1. Lahainaluna: Bryson Williams 5-7, Jostin Carbajal 1-1, Ampong 3-5, Manning 9-116, Rekzar Sapla 1-22, George Chihara 1-5.
Passing-Radford: Manuma 13-22-0-179, Doug Brown 1-1-0-4, Togiailua 1-1-0-15. Lahainaluna: Manning 7-12-0-74, TJ Rickard 1-1-0-66.
Receiving-Radford: Putnam-Curry 9-140, Brad Osborne 3-22, Andrew Forester 1-17, Manuma 1-15, Christopher Nichols 1-4. Lahainaluna: Ampong 3-24, Williams 2-17, Chihara 1-2, Carter 2-97.
Reach Stanley Lee at firstname.lastname@example.org.