Kahuku stuns nationally-ranked St. John Bosco with late touchdown


Sat, Sep 16, 2023 @ Kahuku [ 6:00 pm ]

Final 1 2 3 4 T
St. John Bosco (0-1-0) 3 6 7 723
Kahuku (12-2-0) 0 22 0 830

Tuli Tagovailoa-Amosa ran for an 18-yard touchdown with 23 seconds left to help Kahuku rally to a 30-23 win over reigning national champion St. John Bosco (Bellflower, California) in a non-league football game at Carleton E. Weimer Field Saturday night. 

The Red Raiders (5-1) rebounded from a 55-8 loss to Mater Dei, the nation's No. 1-ranked team, just one week prior with a signature win over a perennial national powerhouse. 

The Braves (4-1), who entered the game as the No. 3 team in the country, was handed its first loss since a 17-7 defeat at the hands of Mater Dei on Oct. 7 of last year. 

Kahuku held a 22-9 lead at halftime, but St. John Bosco cut into it with a pair of short touchdown runs by Chauncey Sylvester after the break. Sylvester's 1-yard TD run at the 4:01 mark of the third quarter capped a 14-play, 85-yard drive. His 6-yard TD run with 8:15 remaining tied the score at 22 and Marcus Lee's extra point gave the Braves a slim 23-22 lead. 

However, the Red Raiders marched 70 yards in nine plays on their final possession, capped by Tagovailoa-Amosa's 18-yard scamper into the end zone. 

"It was a tough game, but I'm just thankful," Tagovailoa-Amosa said. "Everyone did their jobs — offense, defense, special teams — everybody played all four quarters. Coaches did their thing, made the right calls and the support was crazy, man."

Vaaiamalae Fonoti's pass to Kekua Aumua Jr. on the ensuing two-point conversion stretched it to a 30-23 Kahuku lead. 

The scoring drive was twice extended on penalties against the Braves. A defensive pass interference call after an incompletion on fourth down gave the Red Raiders a fresh set of downs at their own 45-yard line. Later in the drive, a Bosco player was flagged for a personal foul that set-up first-and-10 from the Braves' 26-yard line. Tagovailoa-Amosa's go-ahead TD run came two plays later. 

The Braves began their last drive at their own 10-yard line. They drove as far as their own 47-yard line, but Sanchez's pass on the final play of the game, intended from Daniel Odom fell incomplete. Initially a flag was thrown on the play, presumably for a hit on a defenseless receiver, but it was picked up after officials deemed it a legal tackle. 

"The thing is tonight we took care of the ball," Kahuku coach Sterling Carvalho said. "Yeah, we had a couple of interceptions, but we (forced) couple of turnovers as well. It's just believing in each other this game, knowing that what we saw last week, we're going to see again this week, so now the lights wasn't too bright. We know the speed, we know the size and these boys just gave it their all. They played with heart and that's all we ask them to do; to play to the best of their ability and with their heart and that's what they showed tonight."

St. John Bosco struck first with a 22-yard field goal off the foot of Marcus Lee to open the scoring midway through the first quarter. 

Kahuku surged ahead with a string of 22 points over a four-plus minute stretch of the second quarter. Kaimana Carvalho scored on a 7-yard run on a reverse play to culminate a 12-play, 51-yard drive. His scamper to the end zone gave Kahuku its first lead, 7-3, a few minutes into the second period. 

Carvalho then pulled down a 12-yard touchdown pass from Tagovailoa-Amosa a few minutes later. Five plays after LeBron Williams forced a St. John Bosco fumble that was recovered by the Red Raiders' Sione Pasi, Tagovailoa-Amosa connected with Carvalho on a third-and-8 for the scoring play. 

Kahuku's Kaimana Carvalho is hoisted up in the end zone by Kamilo Raass after scoring one of his two second-quarter touchdowns. Brian Bautista | SL    Purchase image

"This is a team sport so no matter what we do, we play as a team and never give up on our teammates," Carvalho said. "Trust each other's back and we just finish it."

Aidan Manutai extended the Kahuku lead five plays into the Braves' ensuing possession, when he stepped in front of a Caleb Sanchez pass near midfield and returned it 54 yards for a defensive touchdown. Kahalepuna's PAT made it a 22-3 cushion for the home team. 

Jordan Jones scored St. John Bosco's first touchdown with his 2-yard plunge into the end zone at the 4:35 mark of the second quarter.

The Braves finished with 356 yards of total offense to 222 for Kahuku. 

Tagovailoa-Amosa ran for 71 yards on 15 carries to finish as his team's leading rusher. Fonoti added 15 carries for 45 yards. 

Jones ran for a game-high 88 yards on 15 carries in the loss. 

Madden Soliai recorded 7 1/2 tackles and Fale Atuaia made seven stops to lead the Red Raiders defensively. 

The teams were penalized a combined 28 times for 268 yards. 

Kahuku avenged a 34-7 loss at St. John Bosco on Sept. 17 of last year. 

The Braves will have a bye next week before they visit Santa Margarita on Sept. 29. 

The Red Raiders play at Nanakuli Saturday. 

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