Buffanblu bounce back with road win over Sabers


Sat, Sep 28, 2019 @ Campbell [ 6:30 pm ]

Final 1 2 3 4 T
PUN(10-2-0) 10 7 7 731
CAMP(6-6-0) 0 7 7 721

EWA BEACH — Vincent Terrell rushed 24 times for a season-high 200 yards and two touchdowns to help No. 3 Punahou to a 31-21 win over No. 5 Campbell in an Open Division football game Saturday night.

The Buffanblu bounced back from last week's 25-19 loss to top-ranked Saint Louis to improve to 7-1 overall and 5-1 in the Interscholastic League of Honolulu standings. They never trailed the Sabers, who fell to 4-4 on the season.

"It's always great to bounce back," said Punahou coach Kale Ane, whose team held a 10-point halftime lead on the Crusaders.

"It's tough when you lose like we did against Saint Louis. We put everything into it and to be so close was really tough, so I was very proud of the kids," Ane said. "They bounced back, they tried their best to put it behind them and they came out here to play a tough Campbell team and did a good job."

Both teams struggled with turnovers — they combined for five of them — but it was Campbell's first two (of three overall) that proved to be the difference.

The Sabers' first two possessions ended with lost fumbles, which Punahou recycled into 10 points.

After Alakai Gilman recovered a Jonan "Bubbah" Aina-Chaves fumble near midfield, the Buffanblu offense got into the red zone but stalled at the Campbell 17-yard line and settled for a 35-yard field goal by Quinn Maretzki to open the scoring with 3:53 left in the opening quarter.

Campbell's next drive penetrated the Punahou 30, but Peter Manuma failed to hold on to the ball on a run to the left side and Tevarua Tafiti came up with it before going 70 yards on the scoop-and-score.

"I don't know what happened, the ball just got in my hands," said Tafiti, a 6-foot-2, 203-pound junior rover. "The (running back) was just juggling it and just tossed it and I just grabbed it. The ball popped up and I got it and I just ran fast."

Maretzki added the extra point to give the Buffanblu a 10-0 lead with 1:13 remaining in the first.

The teams alternated scores the rest of the way. Campbell got within three points of Punahou three times, but each time the visitors answered.

Terrell's first touchdown came on a 7-yard run with 4:46 left in the second quarter and stretched the Buffanblu lead to 17-7. He eventually put the game away with his second trip to the end zone on a 20-yard, tackle-breaking run with just 27 seconds left in the game.

Terrell, who also had 104 yards in kickoff returns and a 12-yard punt return, was visibly limping while making his way through the post-game handshake line. He finished with 316 all-purpose yards. The 5-foot-8, 160-pound Terrell averaged 8.3 yards per attempt on his 24 carries, also a season-high mark.

"Vince is banged up, but he didn't want to be taken out," Ane said of the senior running back.

Ane also praised the play of the offensive line, made up of left tackle Michael Yamada, left guard Alema Moeava, center Akamu Moeava, right guard Trent Nomura and right tackle Solatoa Moeai.

"The line did a good job for him — any time he does a good job the line's always going to be a part of it — and they all gutted it out and Campbell is a really good team. We're very fortunate to have won the game tonight," And said

The unit also got the job done in pass protection as they did not allow a sack on freshman quarterback John-Keawe Sagapolutele, who completed 13 of 23 passes for 147 yards and a pick. His 11-yard pass to Rayden Kiaaina-Caires to give his team a 24-14 lead late in the third quarter was Punahou's only touchdown through the air.

Kiaaina-Caires finished with a season-high seven catches for 68 yards.

Sagapolutele's TD pass came two attempts after he was intercepted by Campbell's two-way standout, Titus Mokiao-Atimalala. In between those throws, the Buffanblu defense turned in a three-and-out, highlighted by Hiram deFries-Saronitman's sack of Blaine Hipa on 3rd-and-11 for a 5-yard loss.

DeFries-Saronitman, a 6-foot, 230-pound defensive lineman and linebacker, said it was imperative to put pressure on Hipa, the Sabers sophomore quarterback.

"We knew from the start that the two wide receivers (Titus and Tamatoa Mokiao-Atimalala) are strong, so throughout the week D-line, we focused a lot on pass rush because we knew that if we gave him enough time to throw the ball, they'll make big plays so we were just working on our pass-rush craft and our blitzes," said deFries-Saronitman, who also registered a sack in the first half.

Campbell got on the board with 6:14 left in the first half, when Hipa found a wide-open Tamatoa Mokiao-Atimalala over the middle for a 15-yard TD pass.

The scoring play occurred on third-and-13 and the scoring drive — which spanned 80 yards in 14 plays and took 7:10 off the clock — was extended by three penalties against Punahou. Two of the drive-extending infractions occurred on fourth downs — including a roughing-the-punter penalty.

"I think we gotta play smart. We had too much penalties that cost us too many points already," Tafiti said. "I think during practice we gotta be more focused and stop clowning around."

Of Campbell's 26 total first downs, eight of them were via Buffanblu penalties.

Punahou drew a total of 16 flags for 151 penalty yards.

"We played a super sloppy game, but we have a lot to work on still. I think we just need to work on our details a little bit more, our assignments and watch more film," deFries-Saronitman said. "We need to just finish. I mean, we just gotta stay sharp on our assignment, we gotta finish plays, overall just don't give up throughout the whole game."

Campbell finished with 393 yards of total offense to Punahou's 353.

Hipa threw for 285 yards — his highest single-game total since 311 against Farrington on Aug. 15 — on 20-of-29 passing with one interception. His 40-yard TD pass to Zavier Ceruti drew the Sabers to within 24-21 with 4:09 left in the fourth quarter. The score came one play after a Buffanblu fumble that was recovered by the Sabers' Ivan Soriano.

Aina-Chaves carried 26 times for 121 yards, his fourth consecutive game he went over the century mark. His 2-yard TD run capped Campbell's 11-play, 81-yard drive and ate up the first six-plus minutes of the second half clock.

Titus Mokiao-Atimalala had eight receptions for 150 yards and finished with 186 all-purpose yards, but was held out of the end zone for the first time this season. The 6-foot-1, 170-pound junior leads the state with 15 receiving TDs and 927 receiving yards.

"They were very tested," Ane said of his defense. "Campbell is a very good team, their receivers are just like everybody says, great players — double-moves, great hands — the quarterback got the ball to them."

Tamatoa Mokiao-Atimala had five catches for 66 yards despite an apparent ankle injury in the second quarter and Ceruti added four grabs for 73 yards.

"We had some really good coverage, but they made great plays so it negates the coverage, but it was a tough game," Ane said. "They ran the ball well and it was a big test for our defense, so I'm glad we were able to come away with the win."

Punahou led at halftime, 17-7. It had a chance to build upon that lead going into the break, but Maretzki missed a 32-yard field goal (wide right) on the final play of the first half.

Maretzki also missed a 36-yard field goal (wide left) early in the fourth quarter.

The Buffanblu will return to Aloha Stadium for their final two games. They play No. 4 Kahuku next Saturday and will take on No. 2 Mililani on Oct. 11.

Campbell, which saw its three-game winning streak snapped, will have a much-needed bye next weekend after having played eight games in as many weeks. The Sabers close out the regular season at Kamehameha on Sept. 12.

Reach Kalani Takase at [email protected].




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