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Lihue, KAUAI — Justin Uahinui threw for 167 yards and three first-quarter touchdowns to lead Team Black to a 34-21 win over Team White in the Life Champion Senior Bowl Saturday afternoon.
The third annual all-star game showcased 132 high school seniors from across the state — and even a few from Samoa and Guam — in front of a crowd of about 700 spectators at Vidinha Stadium.
Uahinui, a Farrington quarterback, threw scoring strikes to three different receivers to cap three of the Black team's first five possessions, including its first two drives.
"Well, first and foremost I give all the glory to God," said Uahinui, who completed 5 of 13 pass attempts without an interception. "Today was just a great experience. The offensive line was great, our defense was solid, the coaching staff made all the right calls. It was a great experience being on this team."
The first four minutes of the game, which featured 15-minute quarters, were fast and furious, with the teams each exchanging two quick touchdowns.
After Uahinui hit Moanalua's Ryan Ramones along the right sideline for a 63-yard scoring strike, team White answered with a 64-yard TD pass from Jaren Ulu (Waianae) to Chyson Morgan (Nanakuli).
One play later, Uahinui connected with Ronson Young (Saint Louis), who was in the right slot and went untouched on the 84-yard score. However, Challen Faamatau (Farrington) returned the ensuing kickoff 87 yards to the Black 6-yard line and two plays later, Pearl City's Kekainalu Simon hooked up with PAC-5's Travis Kaloa for a 6-yard TD to tie it at 14.
Late in the first quarter, Uahinui capped a 11-play, 54-yard drive with his third TD pass, this one a 16-yard fade to Saint Louis' Chandler Washington-Villanueva, to put team Black ahead for good.
"On the play before we lost a bunch of yards," said Uahinui, who was named Marcus Mariota Most Valuable Player of the game. "It was third down and we needed to convert. I looked and (Washington-Villanueva) was wide open."
Maui's Kainoa Davis, the Tyson Alualu Defensive Player of the Game, intercepted a pair of passes in the third quarter for team Black and the offense recycled the second into a touchdown on Jaymin Sarono's (Kapolei) 1-yard scamper off right tackle with 5:08 to play.
"It is a big change in momentum when the offense can score after the defense gets a turnover and get good field position," said Davis, who credited the adjustments made by the Black team's defensive coaching staff.
"We made a few adjustments with the coverages so we could go on the right track," Davis said. "The safeties staying on top and communicating more; that was a big part of this game."
Team Black made good on another takeaway later in the third when Waianae's Jaylen Gonzales picked off team White's Ryan Johnson (PAC-5) and returned it 42 yards. On the very next play, Kapaa's Kurt Napoleon hit Mililani's Andrew Valladares for a 45-yard touchdown pass to stretch the Black lead to 34-14.
Farrington's TJ Tautolo closed out the scoring with a 10-yard TD run to cap a 13-play, 62-yard drive with 11:49 left in the game.
Faamatau finished with a workman-like 24 carries for 146 yards for the White. He was named the Shawn Lauvao Offensive Player of the Game.
"He was the man for us, because we lost a quarterback when Jaren Ulu re-injured his shoulder and so Challen was carrying us," White co-head coach Reggie Torres said. "We were more successful running the ball, if you look at the stats, than the quarterbacks. I mean, no offense to the quarterbacks, but Challen made a big difference for us. He was giving us opportunities to maybe catch up."
Team Black finished with 355 yards of total offense, including 314 through the air. It managed 13 first downs for the game, but was 0 of 13 on third downs.
Team White posted 335 yards of total offense, but turned it over six times, including four interceptions.
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