Posted: October 20, 2012 - 2:35am
Radford rolls Kalaheo to earn spot in OIA White title game
Radford quarterback Cody Lui-Yuen looks for a reciever to throw to against Kalaheo. Johnny Wilson | Special to SL
Special to SL
Although Radford's passing offense struggled, the Rams stepped up in other phases of the game to defeat Kalaheo 63-39 to advance to the OIA White title game.
Ammon Se'ei led Radford's defense with a 14 yard fumble recovery returned for a touchdown and a 56 yard interception returned for a touchdown and Rams' running back Chris Jackson had 11 carries for 171 yards and 3 rushing touchdowns.
Jackson said, "It was all the o-line and without the o-line, I wouldn't be much." Radford coach Fred Salanoa said, "I don't want to be one dimensional, we just take what they give us, fortunately enough our running game worked tonight and Chris Jackson and our offensive line did a heck of a job."
To open the game, Kalaheo's Willie "Trey" Lynch returned the opening kick off 88 yards to the Radford 12. Three plays later, Chase Hanawahine rushed up the middle for a 1 yard touchdown putting the Mustangs up 7-0 with 10:37 in the quarter.
Radford responded with a 9 play, 62 yard drive that resulted in a Cody Lui-Yuen pass to Dre'ell Blackwell for 29 yards to tie the game at 7.
On a fourth down, Kalaheo tried to run a fake punt in their own territory, but the Rams stopped them. The following play, Lui-Yuen passed to Mason Manuma for a 11 yard touchdown.
On Kalaheo's next offensive drive, Radford's Ammon Seei intercepted Mustang quarterback Stephen Lee. The Rams took advantage and Chris Jackson rushed for a 37 yard touchdown, putting Radford up 21-7 in the first quarter.
In the second quarter, 7 plays and 66 yards later, Kalaheo's Willie "Trey" Lynch rushed for an 11 yard touchdown to cut the lead 21-14.
After Radford went 3 and out, Kalaheo's Sua Atanoa blocked the punt and the Mustangs took over on Radford's 34 yard line. They drove all the way to the 4 yard line, but the Rams recovered a fumbled snap near the 4 yard line. Regarding turnovers, Kalaheo coach Darrell Poole said, "That's been our problem for the other three losses."
After a short punt by Radford, Cristian Johnston led the Mustangs rushing attack and scored a 5 yard touchdown on fourth and goal to bring Kalaheo within one point going into halftime, 21-20.
In the third quarter, Kalaheo went go three and out and on Radford's first offensive drive, Jackson rushed for a 47 yard touchdown, putting the Rams up 28-20.
Kalaheo responded with a good kick off return by Lynch and Makena Johnston ran for a 38 yard touchdown, but the two point try was no good.
After a Radford punt, Kalaheo would take over, but fumbled the ball. Radford's Ammon Se'ei scooped up the fumble and returned it for a 14 yard touchdown, making it 35-26.
Later, Kalaheo's Stephen Lee found Makena Johnston for an 80 yard touchdown pass, but the run failed. On the ensuing kickoff, Radford's Zach Tinao-Rabellizsa returned it 88 yards to put the Rams up, 42-32.
In the fourth quarter, it was all Radford.
The Rams defense recovered a fumbled pitch and Chris Jackson converted that turnover into points and rushed for a 59 yard touchdown. After a Mustang three and out, and very short punt, Jordan Murao added a 5 yard touchdown for the Rams, putting the Rams up comfortably 56-32.
Kalaheo's Stephen Lee guided the offense into Radford territory and found Shem Sukumaran for a 29 yard touchdown pass to bring the Mustangs within 17 points.
After a Radford punt, Ammon Se'ei intercepted a Stephen Lee pass and returned it 56 yards for a touchdown for the final score of the evening.
Salanoa said, "Kalaheo's a good team, they have a lot of big time players on their team. Their offensive line and defensive front are huge. We just had to try our best to execute on offense and tackle on defense, which we had a hard time doing tonight, if we did those things then we would have a good opportunity coming out on top."
The Mustangs finished the season at 5-5 overall, but despite the loss, head coach Darrell Poole felt his team will learn from a loss like this and build from it. He said, "Our goal was to get into the playoffs… the kids battled, we met every intermediate goal, and the ultimate goal was to get to the state tournament, but fell short against a good Radford team."
The Rams improved to 9-1 and await the winner of the Nanakuli/Kaiser game on November 2 at Aloha Stadium.