Football
Mokiao-Atimalala powers Sabers over O'Connor


  



Thu, Sep 5, 2019 @ Campbell [ 6:00 pm ]


Final 1 2 3 4 T
OCON (0-1-0) 0 6 8 2135
CAMP (6-6-0) 7 21 6 1347
Blaine Hipa 215 yd 4 TD
Dylan Simonton 374 yd 4 TD
Jonan Aina-Chaves 115 yd 1 TD
Dylan Simonton 29 yd 1 TD
Damian Ortiz 90 yd 1 TD

EWA BEACH — The University of Utah became the second collegiate team to extend Campbell junior Titus Mokiao-Atimalala a scholarship offer earlier this week.

Expect more schools to follow suit after Thursday night.

Mokiao-Atimalala caught eight passes for 150 yards and three touchdowns and scored twice on interception returns to help the Sabers hold off visiting Sandra Day O'Connor from Phoenix, 47-35.

The 6-foot-1, 170-pound junior scored on receptions of 62, 34 and 18 yards to help Oahu teams remain unbeaten against out-of-state opponents this year. He also forced a fumble and added a third interception defensively on the final play of the first half.

Campbell's Titus Mokiao-Atimalala (left) comes down with an interception before halftime. Michael Lasquero | SL    Purchase image

For Mokiao-Atimalala, it was just another day in the office.

"I was just doing my job, putting on for my team, doing what I got to do. I just have to stay ready," said Mokiao-Atimalala, who leads the state with 11 TD receptions.

Mokiao-Atimalala's herculean performance also helped the Sabers (2-3 overall, 1-2 OIA Open) get back in the win column after suffering back-to-back losses to Saint Louis and Kahuku.

"I feel like it should put confidence in our team knowing we can win and stuff like that," said Mokiao-Atimalala. "From here on out we just have to win out. I'm going to do whatever I got to do so that we win from here on out out."

Campbell led 7-0 after the first quarter thanks to Blaine Hipa's 5-yard TD pass to Zavier Ceruti.

The second quarter is when Mokiao-Atimalala started to go off.

After the Eagles (1-2) turned it over on downs inside Campbell territory, Hipa lobbed a pass down the left sideline that gave Mokiao-Atimalala time to beat his defender and run in untouched to the end zone for a 62-yard score.

Three plays later after the ensuing kickoff, heavy pressure saw O'Connor quarterback Dylan Simonton heave a pass over the middle that Mokiao-Atimalala plucked out of the sky before taking it to the house.

"The quarterback just threw it up. I was in the area, I was dropping in my zone. I saw them running two seam, I was over the top. I made the play and cut it back to the opposite side," Mokiao-Atimalala said of the play.

O'Connor got on the board midway in the second quarter on Simonton's 4-yard pass to Daymian Stewart, but Mokiao-Atimalala showcased his ability to be clutch just before the end of the half. On fourth down, the junior receiver ran laterally across the line of scrimmage before taking a short pass down the right sideline for a 34-yard TD to give Campbell a 28-6 lead at the break.

O'Connor QB Dylan Simonton passed for four touchdowns and rushed for another to lead the Eagles in the loss.

After Groff hauled in a 17-yard TD pass with 10:06 to go in the fourth quarter to make it a 34-21 game, Mokiao-Atimalala caught his final TD pass of the game from 18 yards to make the score 40-21.

Ortiz's 4-yard receiving TD made it a 40-28 game with 4:47 remaining and things got even more interesting when Joseph McDonald picked off a Hipa pass that went off a Campbell receiver to give the Eagles possession at the Sabers' 36 with 3:45 left in regulation, but the Sabers held strong.

After a RJ Tadeo sack on Simonton pushed the Eagles back, heavy pressure forced Simonton to his right before he threw across his body on a deep pass intended for Ortiz. Mokiao-Atimalala, the lone deep man in coverage, was able to get in front of the pass before taking it down the right sideline in front of the O'Connor bench for a 80-yard pick-six.

Mokiao-Atimalala's fifth TD of the game also momentarily gave him more points scored than the entire O'Connor team until Simonton hit Groff on a 6-yard scoring strike for the final points of the night.



Reach Michael Lasquero at [email protected].


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