Posted: August 18, 2012 - 9:47pm
Kahuku's 2nd half surge turns back Punahou, 21-13
Kahuku RB Aofaga Wily runs for one of his three second-half touchdowns against Punahou. Peter Caldwell | SL
KAHUKU-Aofaga Wily opened the season with bang, rushing for 225 yards and three second-half touchdowns to rally Kahuku over Punahou, 21-13, in non-league prep football Saturday night.
Before a statewide OC Sports television audience and about 2,000 fans at Carelton Weimer Athletic Field, Wily had his first 200-yard rushing game since last season's OIA Red semifinals, when he rushed for 227 yards in a 9-7 win against Leilehua. The game was a rematch of last year's Division I state title game that Kahuku won, 30-24.
"They were power plays on the edges," Wily said of his TD runs of 48, 28 and 22 yards. "So I have to read whether to go in or go out, depending on my blockers."
The win completed a sweep of Interscholastic League of Honolulu Division I teams by Oahu Interscholastic Association Red squads over the three-day holiday weekend. Farrington beat Saint Louis Thursday, 39-33, and Leilehua beat Kamehameha, 12-10, Saturday.
Quarterback Larry Tuileta was 16 of 38 for 244 yards with one TD pass, a nine-yarder to Kanawai Noa to put Punahou (1-1) ahead early, 6-0. He was 10 of 18 for 119 yards at the half, but only 6 of 20 for 125 yards in the second half. He was one for his last eight pass attempts of the game.
"We put a little more pressure on him," Torres said of his defense's second-half adjustment against Tuileta. "He was getting outside the pocket. He has a great arm."
Kahuku (1-0) turned over the ball four times in the first half. Quarterback Lasi Livai threw an interception (by Nikolai Bulanow) and lost two fumbles. Wily also lost a fumble after 16-yard gain at the Kahuku 31.
This was Kahuku's only non-league game to tuneup for the regular season, which starts this coming week. Kahuku coach Reggie Torres said the one fewer game helped his players heal. But the Red Raiders appeared early to be looking for their rhythm.
"The bad thing is, we were kind of rusty," he said.
The rust showed when Luke Morris took the opening kickoff 52 yards to the Kahuku 40. Seven plays later, Tuileta hit Noa on a nine-yard pass in the right corner of the end zone. But Charles McDonald missed the PAT, keeping it 6-0.
Kahuku appeared to be on track to tie the game on its ensuing series, but at the Punahou 21, Livai was intercepted by Bulanow in the end zone; he returned the ball to the Punahou 8.
The Buffanblu ended up punting and Kahuku took over at its 43. But Kahuku lost its first fumble at the Punahou 44 to start the second quarter. But the Buffanblu again eventually punted, pinning Kahuku at its 13. But on second down, Wily fumbled after a 16-yard gain and Punahou took over at the Red Raiders' 31. Six plays later, running back Ryan Tuiasoa scored on a three-yard run. McDonald's PAT made it 13-0 with 7:15 left in the half.
Wily said the team might have been too jacked up for the game.
"Coach said we're not supposed to get up too much or you're going to get tired," Wily said.
Kahuku wasted little to in mounting its rally. It took the second-half kickoff to its 45. On second down, Wily took an option pitch from Livai and raced to a 48-yard TD. Jake Samsel's PAT pulled Kahuku to 13-7 58 seconds into the second half.
Kahuku took the lead on its next series with Wily capping an eight-play, 70-yard drive with a 28-yard TD run. Samsel's PAT put Kahuku up, 14-13, with 3:56 left in the third quarter.
The Red Raiders lost another fumble, this time on the snap exchange, at their 42. But once again, Punahou punted the ball back to the Red Raiders, pinning them at their 7 with 43 seconds left in the third quarter. Kahuku needed 14 plays - all runs - to traverse 93 yards before Wily scored on a 22-yard run with 5:27 left in the game to make it 21-13.
In Punahou's final series of the game, it converted a fourth-and-8 at its 27 on a 28-yard pass from Tuileta to Noa. But the drive died when on fourth-and-8 from the Kahuku 43, Tuileta was sacked by LB Matai Paselio on a blitz with 2;58 left.
Kahuku pretty much scrapped the pass in the second half, throwing only once. Wily had 17 of his 28 rushes in the second half for 171 yards.
"We got a little tired, but they played great," Punahou coach Kale Ane said. "They came back strong. We made a couple mistakes, they capitalized on them and did their thing."
Punahou is off next week before opening the ILH season with Kamehameha on Aug. 31 at Aloha Stadium. Kahuku also has a bye before opening OIA Red East play against Kailua on Aug. 31.
August 18, 2012
Aofaga Wily, 48 yard run.
> more video highlights
Kahuku's Kawe Johnson looks for running room against Punahou. Sean Nakamura | SL
Punahou WR Kanawai Noa had a team-high 7 grabs for 100 yards and a score against Kahuku. Peter Caldwell | SL