HHSAA Football
Roosevelt rallies past KS-Hawaii to face top seed Waimea


Fri, Nov 10, 2023 @ Roosevelt [ 7:00 pm ]

Final 1 2 3 4 T
KS-Hawaii (11-2-0) 0 0 7 714
Roosevelt (9-4-0) 10 0 3 619

MAKIKI — Special teams provided an early lead and Ioane Kamanao threw the game-winning touchdown to Jahsiah Souza-Armstead to lead Roosevelt past Kamehameha-Hawaii, 19-14, in the First Hawaiian Bank/HHSAA Division II Football State Championships opening round at Ticky Vasconcellos Stadium Friday.

In a rematch of the 2019 opening round, the fourth seed and OIA champion Rough Riders (9-3 overall) advanced past the BIIF champion Warriors (11-2 overall) to the semifinals to face top seed and KIF champion Waimea (2-5 overall) on Saturday, Nov. 18 at Hanapepe Stadium.

"Waimea is a tough team. We seen some tape of them. Well-disciplined, even their coaches, they're great coaches. They've been there. Hopefully we can go up there and play well. They're not number one for nothing, we have a big challenge ahead of us," Roosevelt coach Kui Kahooilihala said of the defending state champions.

Despite struggling in the first half, Kamanao finished with 192 yards on 12-of-26 passing, a pick, and his touchdown pass went to Souza-Armstead, who had two catches for 89 yards.

"We talk about being on the same page, receivers and Ioane. He was a little bit but not frustrated, but coach Ant told him don't rush it, take your time, let the game come to him. Second half, we thought he did a great job, he settled down and played well with the receivers and being on the same page," Kahooilihala said.

Kamanao agreed with coach's assessment.

"The fact that I got comfortable was the fact my boys trusted me. It allowed me to come in the second half and play the game how I wanted to play it in a fun, fast paced," Kamanao said.

Xander Hoopai rushed for 64 yards on 15 carries for both of KS-Hawaii's touchdowns. He scored off a 4-yard run after the Warriors recovered a bad snap on a punt attempt and Lucas Kay-Wong's kick put KS-Hawaii up, 14-13 with 4:22 left in the fourth.

"It did swing the momentum. We were hoping for something like that, we've been conditioning so hard. We're going to take advantage of something that's going to happen. We could see them cramping and getting fatigued, something is going to happen our way and be ready for it and that was our break. We were able to capitalize on that right away," KS-Hawaii coach Kealoha Wengler said.

Kamanao completed passes to Keawe Davis and Dayten Tilton and Zion Kalauawa-Haupu rushed to the 22. On the next play, Kamanao found a wide-open Souza-Armstead, who raced down the Roosevelt sideline for a 78-yard touchdown. The two-point conversion pass failed as the Rough Riders led, 19-14 with 3:10 to go.

"That last touchdown they made, my goodness, a broken coverage, they took advantage of it and it was hard to recover from that. I'm glad the boys never gave up until the end. They kept fighting until the end and that was important for me," Wengler said.

"Originally, it was supposed to go to my slot. But I had to step up in the pocket and I seen the safety fly over and Siah was open so I fed him the ball," Kamanao explained.

KS-Hawaii got the ball back and started on their own 20. Hoopai took direct snaps and converted a third down with a 2-yard run. Adam Perry came back in but passes intended for Kekainalu Fuerte and Andrew Boshard fell incomplete for a fourth-and-7. His pass completion came up a yard short to turn it over on downs.

Drayzon Kaneshiro-Domingo rushed for gains of 11 and 14 yards and Roosevelt took two knees to end the game.

"Hat's off to Roosevelt, they played a fantastic game. On the Big Island, we don't get to see this competition, we don't know how fast they're playing or what teams look like until we get over here. I think what we got to do is meet up with them a few more times during the year, cross games or something. This was great competition, we haven't seen this type of competition for a long time," Wengler said.

Nainoa Aguiar opened the game with a 89-yard kick off return and Journey DePeralta's PAT made it, 7-0.

Kamanao completed a 31-yard pass to Davis and DePeralta completed the six-play, 34-yard drive with a 31-yard field goal for a 10-0 lead.

KS-Hawaii had an opportunity to put points on the board with Kay-Wong's 35-yard field goal, but that was wiped out after an illegal block and the Warriors were forced to punt.

Both defenses had their opportunities to shine in the second quarter. Hoopai forced a fumble recovered by Caleh Carvalho at the Roosevelt 22. The Warriors came away empty-handed after Kay-Wong's 32-yard field goal was short.

Ezekiel Lomu strip sacked Perry and Pono Brede recovered the fumble but Roosevelt's ensuing drive went three-and-out.

Diesel DeMello intercepted Kamanao and KS-Hawaii went on a 11-play, 43-yard drive down to the Roosevelt 27. Chanse Kaaua-Long took some deep shots to the end zone, but Roosevelt preserved the shutout going into halftime.

The Warriors opened the third quarter with an 11-play, 80-yard drive to get on the scoreboard. Hoopai converted a third-and-2 with a 34-yard run and accounted for 55 rushing yards on the drive and scored on a 2-yard run to trail, 10-7.

"We knew we could get back in it. We were shocked, we weren't in that position before. Let's forget that didn't happen and let's play how we normally play, our football. We were able to get back into it, but that gap that was a little bit too far," Wengler said.

DePeralta built a 13-7 lead with a 34-yard field goal with 4:01 in the third.

"We knew what he can do. That kid, he's always ready. He plays with confidence. Anytime we put him out there on the field, he's going to go, no questions asked. He's always up, always ready. That kid has so much confidence, wherever we put him, it doesn't faze him," Kahooilihala said of DePeralta.

Taimane Souza-Fautanu had nine total tackles and ended a promising Warrior drive by forcing and fumble and Tilton recovered it on their own 31.

The Rough Riders held the ball for the rest of the quarter and got down to the Warrior 25 but turned it over on downs after Amar Payne sacked Kamanao.

Tilton intercepted Perry but both teams would trade punts. The wet conditions led to a high snap and Jacobjames Ramos pounced on the ball at the 4 that led to KS-Hawaii's go-ahead score.

DeMello had nine total tackles, 1 1/2 for a loss to go along with his pick. Hoopai added eight tackles on defense, forced a fumble and had 1 1/2 tackle for losses for the Warriors.

Luke Tuasivi added nine total tackles on defense, a sack and broke up a pass for the Rough Riders.

Roosevelt beat KS-Hawaii in the 2019 opening round, 31-7.

The Warriors were seeking their first opening round win since 2014 when it beat Nanakuli, 42-20.

Reach Brandon Ching at [email protected].

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