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Prep Football Preview Special
Prep Football Preview
Game of the Week
Michael Lasquero | ScoringLiveOctober 5, 2019, 9:35pm
Sat, Oct 5, 2019 @ Aloha Stadium [ 5:00 pm ]
HALAWA — Leilehua's first win at Aloha Stadium in five years came down to the wire.
Selau Aiava recorded an interception in the back right corner of the end zone with 43 seconds remaining in the the game to help seal the 10th-ranked Mules' 28-25 win over No. 9 Iolani Saturday night.
The Mules jumped out to a 28-7 lead at the break before holding off a furious rally by the Raiders (7-2 overall) to earn their fourth straight win as they improved to 7-1 on the season.
While running back Jamil Vereen and receiver Jayzon Ramos both went over the century mark in their respective statistical categories, this game was won by the men in the trenches.
Leilehua RB Jamil Vereen found himself getting past the Iolani defensive line many times thanks to the offensive line.
The Mules racked up 420 yards of total offense while the defense held Iolani to negative yardage on the ground. Leilehua also recorded seven sacks and flushed Iolani quarterback Jonah Chong out of the pocket throughout the night.
“Everything came down to our O-line and D-line,” said Leilehua coach Mark Kurisu. “Those are the guys. If any (credit) goes out to anybody, those are the guys.”
With the line paving the way, Vereen was able to rush for 139 yards while scoring on a 38-yard catch-and-run from Kekoa Turangan when Vereen followed the right side of the O-line untouched into the end zone for the first score of the game.
Ramos provided for the rest of the Mules’ touchdowns with six receptions for 134 yards and three scores. He caught scoring passes of 54, 11 and 16 yards, with his last grab coming on a leaping grab in the back of the end zone with 25 seconds to play in the first half.
Kurisu spoke highly of the duo’s work ethic.
“Guys get results because they work hard,” said Kurisu. “Again, nothing happens to them unless the O-line is taking care of business.”
The Mules' offensive line were the unsung heroes in the team's Saturday night win over Iolani.
“All credit goes to our O-line, 100-percent,” he said. “They gave us the seconds to pass the ball, Kekoa made the throw and the receivers got open.”
While the win had no bearing on Leilehua’s placement in the OIA Division I standings, Iolani’s loss opened the door for Damien (7-2) in the ILH D1 race.
After the Monarchs’ 48-0 win over Aiea earlier in the night, both teams sit at 5-2 in the league standings with one game remaining in the regular season. Should the two teams finish with the same record, the two teams will have a playoff to determine the ILH D1 champion.
Chong threw three TD passes to spark the Raiders’ rally before getting intercepted late in the game.
His first scoring pass came on the first play of the second quarter when he hooked up with Carter Kamana on a 4-yard throw.
The Raiders would not find the end zone until the third quarter when Brody Logan Bantolina got loose on a wheel route for a 19-yard TD.
Wailoa Manuel, who led all Iolani receivers with 10 catches for 118 yards, booted a 25-yard field goal to make it a 28-17 game with 9:36 left in the fourth quarter.
Noah Gaudi made a 28-yard grab on third-and-23 late in the game to extend an Iolani drive and came up with a 22-yard TD reception on the following play for the Raiders’ final TD of the night. Manuel caught the 2-point conversion to make the score 28-25 with 2:34 to play in the game.
Iolani travels to Castle next Friday to close out the season while Damien takes on undefeated Moanalua (8-0) at Aloha Stadium the same night.
The Mules will wrap up the regular season on the road against winless Radford (0-7).
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Menes swept the Hurricanes and will return their home floor for the OIA title game.
After winning their fourth straight ILH title, the Warriors moved up two spots to No. 1.
After knocking off previously-unbeaten Moanalua, Damien checks in at No. 9 this week.
The Chargers snapped a five-game losing streak with a tight win over visiting Waialua.