Wai'anae stops Waipahu, 35-20
By Wes Nakama
Advertiser Staff Writer
WAIPAHU — Holding off a mad Marauder rush, Wai'anae rallied past Waipahu, 35-20, last night in O'ahu Interscholastic Association football action.
A spirited near-capacity homecoming crowd of about 4,800 at Masa Yonamine Stadium watched the Seariders, ranked No. 8 in The Advertiser's statewide Top 10 poll of coaches and media, improve to 4-3 overall and 4-1 in the OIA's wild, wild Western Division heading into Friday's showdown at Mililani (6-1, 4-1).
Waipahu fell to 3-4, 1-4, and needs to defeat Leilehua (5-2, 4-1) Friday and hope Nanakuli (0-5, 0-7) upsets Campbell (1-4, 2-5) in order to keep its playoff hopes alive.
The Marauders tried their best to control their own destiny last night, rushing for a whopping 335 yards, including 207 on 29 carries by workhorse fullback Victor Moananu.
They led 14-7 late in the second quarter, but Wai'anae tied it with 1:06 remaining before halftime after Puletua Wilson's perfectly executed screen pass play to Keoni Napierala-Rose for a 66-yard touchdown.
"The coaches made the right call at the right time," said Wilson, who completed 5 of 9 passes for 162 yards and two TDs. "In the second half, the O-line stuck to their blocks and came out firing."
The Seariders took a 20-14 lead midway through the third quarter on a 15-yard touchdown run by Wilson's twin brother, James, and went up, 28-14, with 1:56 left in the quarter after Henry Medeiros' 15-yard TD run and Napierala-Rose's two-point conversion run.
Waianae then made it 35-14 with 6:55 remaining in the game after Napierala-Rose's 1-yard touchdown run. Waipahu closed it to 35-20 after Moananu's 8-yard scoring scamper with 2:28 left, but the extra point attempt failed and the Seariders recovered the ensuing kickoff.
"We felt we were evenly matched with them, so we knew it would come down to who made the least penalties and mistakes," Marauders coach Sean Saturnio said. "And that's basically what it came down to."
WAI'ANAE (4-3, 4-1) 0 14 14 7—35
WAIPAHU (3-4, 1-4) 7 7 0 6—20
Waip — Mark Bumanglag 9 run (Neil Guiang kick)
Wai — Terrence Akao 24 pass from Puletua Wilson (Akao kick)
Waip — Victor Moananu 33 run (Guiang kick)
Wai — Keoni Napierala-Rose 66 pass from P. Wilson (Akao kick)
Wai — James Wilson 15 run (Akao kick)
Wai — Henry Medeiros 28 run (Napierala run)
Wai — Napierala-Rose 1 run (Akao kick)
Waip — Moananu 8 run (kick failed)
RUSHING — Wai'anae: Napierala-Rose 12-38; P. Wilson 6-54; J. Wilson 8-42; Medeiros 3-38; Kanekapila Hussey 1-7; Bryson Panui 1-0. Waipahu: Bumanglag 13-103; Devin Kaneshiro 2-11; Moananu 29-207; Jonathan Casamina 3-18; Christian Kaipua 2-0; Micah Beate 3-(minus-5); Joshua Lacar 1-1.
PASSING — Wai'anae: P. Wilson 5-9-0—162. Waipahu: Bumanglag 2-5-1—13; Moananu 1-1-0—15.
RECEIVING — Wai'anae: Akao 1-24; Napierala-Rose 3-113; Kalin Sandobal 1-25. Waipahu: Jonah Bryant-Carvalho 1-3; Brysen Kaseli 1-10; Asalemo Fruean 1-15.
JV SCORE: WAI'ANAE 35, WAIPAHU 7
Read his blog on high school sports at http://preptalk.honadvblogs.com.