OIA Football
Kahuku rolls Farrington, 23-0, to win OIA Red crown


   



Fri, Nov 4, 2011 @ Aloha Stadium [ 7:00 pm ]


Final 1 2 3 4 OT
FARR (10-2) 0 0 0 0 - 0
KAH (12-1) 3 0 6 14 - 23
Pass: T. Tamapua (FARR) 98 yd 0 TD  Rush: T. Kubota (KAH) 52 yd 0 TD  Rec: F. Evagelia (FARR) 35 yd 0 TD

HALAWA - For the Kahuku football team, redemption came in the form of a shutout.

A year after it was denied the opportunity to play in the same game, Kahuku got a dominating performance from its defense to upend previously-unbeaten Farrington, 23-0, before a crowd of about 9,500 at Aloha Stadium Friday night.

The Red Raiders held Govs' standout running back Tyler Taumua to just 24 rushing yards to improve to 10-1 and claimed their record 16th Oahu Interscholastic Association championship since 1970. They previously shared the record with Waianae.

Kahuku, ranked second in the ScoringLive/OC16 Power Rankings, avenged a one-point loss to Farrington back on Oct. 1 and will draw a first-round bye in next week's First Hawaiian Bank/Hawaii High School Athletic Association Division I State Tournament.

No. 1 Farrington, which fell to 10-1, also has secured a state berth.

Kahuku head coach Reggie Torres said his team drew inspiration from last year's misfortune. The morning of the day it was to play Mililani in the Red championship final, Kahuku was forced to forfeit due to the use of an ineligible player during previous games.

"We talked about it before the game, in the locker room," Torres said. "We reminded our kids that a year ago, we were told that morning that we weren't going to play. We had the game yanked from us and it was nobody's fault but ours, but we got that game taken away and the fact that we're getting the opportunity this year - and it is an opportunity - enjoy the opportunity that we didn't have (a year ago)."

Defensive back Bronson Beatty led the Kahuku defensive effort with two second-half interceptions. Defensive lineman Toiva Tufaga recorded two of the Red Raiders' three sacks and helped limit Farrington to just 33 rushing yards on 32 attempts.

"Our coaches drew up a brilliant game plan and we just stuck to the game plan, executed and came out on top," said Beatty, whose first pick led to a 1-yard touchdown run by Aofaga Wily that made the score, 16-0, in the third quarter.

"The coaches helped us a lot. We just focused on what we had to do," said Tufaga, whose pair of sacks resulted in a combined negative nine yards. "Every man had their own job and each man had to just finish and as a team, we had to finish strong."

In addition to Beatty's two interceptions, Kahuku also forced two Farrington fumbles. The second, which was recovered by linebacker Benneton Fonua, was recycled for a 1-yard touchdown by Viliami Livai.

"Last time (against Farrington) it was a close game and we knew we made mistakes and we just had to polish it up," said Beatty, a 6-foot-2, 185-pound senior. "Our offense came out and executed, the defense executed and special teams did a great job."

Perhaps more important than the four takeaways, the Red Raider offense did not commit any turnovers.

"In this kind of game, you can't have turnovers, but we do need to improve on the penalties," Torres said, remarking on the 14 penalties his team drew for 152 yards. "In this type of game, it's the little things that make the difference."

The lone score of the first half came on a 22-yard Kekahu Aluli field goal in the first quarter.

Farrington's second lost fumble came on its first second-half drive. Linebacker Rashaan Falemalu sacked Farrington quarterback Travis Tamapua and forced a fumble, which was returned by Fonua to the Govs' 37-yard line. Livai capped a nine-play, 63-yard drive with his 1-yard quarterback sneak, but the extra point was no good and Kahuku led, 9-0, late in the third.

Just before the end of the quarter, Beatty picked off a Tamapua pass and took it back 57 yards to the Farrington 7, but an illegal block brought it back to the Govs' 46. The drive, which was extended on a pass interference penalty against the Govs on a fourth down, culminated with Wily's 1-yard touchdown run. The Red Raiders lined up with two tight ends and three running backs on the play. Wily, the tailback, followed the blocking of fullbacks Simeon Vierra and Sterling Moe to find the end zone.

Wily, who rushed for 227 yards in a semifinal win over Leilehua last week, finished with 49 yards on 15 attempts.

After Farrington went three-and-out, Kahuku added a score with 3:42 to play on an 18-yard pass from Livai to Spencer Nagy. Nagy left his defender in his tracks on a hitch-and-go route along the left sideline and Aluli's extra point closed out the scoring.

Farrington got as far as its own 27 on its last drive, but Beatty's second pick sealed it for Kahuku.

"Before the game, everybody remembered what happened a year ago and that sour taste that's still in our mouths and it was good to come back and get it and take back what's ours," Beatty said.

Farrington, the Red East champion, beat Kahuku in a regular-season meeting, 14-13.

Taumua, the state's top rusher, entered the game averaging over eight yards per carry, but managed just 1.8 yards per rush Friday. The Govs, who average over 380 offensive yards a game - including 275 rushing - managed just 131 yards of total offense.

ScoringLive reporter Stacy Kaneshiro contributed to this report.

See also: 'Goose egg' is golden for Red Raiders' prideful defense


Reach Kalani Takase at [email protected].


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