Hawaiian Electric Game of the Week
No. 10 Leilehua needs OT to hold off Kailua


Fri, Aug 10, 2018 @ Kailua [ 7:30 pm ]

Final/OT 1 2 3 4 OT
LEI (8-3-0) 0 7 7 0 6 20
KAIL (2-8-0) 0 0 6 8 0 14
Pass: M. Nichols (LEI) 116 yd 2 TD  Rush: C. Akagi (LEI) 89 yd 1 TD  Rec: J. Evans (LEI) 49 yd 1 TD

KAILUA — The little things made the difference in Leilehua's 20-14 white-knuckle, overtime win against Kailua Friday night at Alex Kane Stadium.

The No. 10 Mules (1-1 overall, 1-0 OIA Division I) scored the game-winning TD on Max Nichols' 9-yard pass to Jayzon Ramos. The Surfriders (0-2, 0-1) threw four consecutive incomplete passes in their OT series that followed the Leilehua score.

The bits and pieces that aided Leilehua?

- An encroachment penalty led to a first down that the Mules would score their game-winning TD.
- A blocked PAT that eventually negated Kailua's 2-point conversion that only tied the game, instead of putting the Mules behind.
- A catch at the back of the end zone by Kailua for an apparent TD was ruled out of bounds.

In OT, the Mules went first and faced fourth-and-5 at the Kailua 14. Leilehua set up for a 31-yard field goal attempt by Akoni Tom-Makue. But Kailua was called for encroachment, making it fourth-and-inches at the 10. Nichols started in shotgun but moved up to the center and quarterback-sneaked to the 9 for a first down to set up the winning TD.

"We were going to call a run play," Nichols said of the TD pass. "Then we saw that we had one of the best receivers on the team out there, so we said we're going to take a shot."

Mules QB Max Nichols hit Jayzon Ramos for the game-winning score in the first overtime period. Greg Yamamoto | SL    Purchase image

The penalty was a back-breaker for Kailua, which had 11 penalties for 90 yards in the game, five of them for encroachment.

"We have some plays in the playbook but not a fourth-and-5 in overtime," Leilehua coach Mark Kurisu said. "We had some unfortunate calls and (Kailua), too. It just so happens theirs was at the end of the game. But our hats go off to them and their coaching staff. They always do a great job. We enjoy playing them."

Trailing, 14-6, the Surfriders tied the game with one minute, 51 seconds left when Raynen Ho-Mook found tight end John Sniffen open on the left side of the end zone for the 2-point conversion that followed Ho-Mook's 36-yard TD pass to Kamryn Kahoonei.

Leilehua took over at its 32 after the ensuing kickoff but only killed 58 seconds before punting to Kailua, which took over at its 40 with 38 seconds left. The Surfriders ended up punting and Leilehua took over at its 32 with seven seconds left, but Nichols' pass was intercepted by Raine Kupahu on the last play of regulation.

After a scoreless first period, the Mules broke the deadlock with 4:41 left in the half on Nichols' 21-yard pass to Jeremy Evans, who caught a pass over the middle and dragged a Kailua defender from the 5 into the end zone. Tom-Makue's PAT gave Leilehua a 7-0 lead that they took into the half.

Late in the second period, the Mules had Nichols' 3-yard TD pass to Kalei Akagi nullified by an illegal procedure penalty on second down. They eventually had to settle for a 26-yard field goal by Tom-Makue, but a low snap aborted the play and Kailua took over from it 15 with 16 seconds left and the half ended without a play being taken.

Kailua finally got on the board late in the third quarter. A 12-play drive that included two fourth-down conversions ended with running back Lahaina Kane scoring from the 1 with 21 seconds left. But Leilehua's Jaeden Chow blocked the PAT to keep the Mules ahead by 1.

Leilehua wasted little time responding. On the first play from scrimmage following the ensuing kickoff, Cody Akagi scored on a 74-yard run with two seconds left in the third period to increase the Mules' lead to 14-6 after Tom-Makue's PAT.

With about four minutes left in the fourth period, Ho-Mook hit Kaniala Williams in stride for an apparent 16-yard TD pass, but the catch was nullified as Williams was ruled out of bounds. Kailua lost the ball on the next play from an interception.

It wasn't the prettiest game statistically. Nichols completed a third of his passes for 116 yards and two TDs, but he also had two interceptions. Leilehua went for a fake field goal early in the game, but holder Kalei Akagi's pass was intercepted. Kailua Ho-Mook was 10 of 24 for 60 passing yards and a TD with two interceptions.

Leilehua hosts Castle next Saturday and Kailua will host Iolani Friday in a Division I interleague contest.

Reach Stacy Kaneshiro at [email protected].




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