Posted: October 26, 2012 - 10:31am
Wily carries No. 1 Kahuku over No. 5 Leilehua, 14-7
Kahuku running back Aofaga Wily carried the ball 40 times for 190 yards and 2 touchdowns against Leilehua. Sean Nakamura | SL
It took a workhorse to buck the Mules.
Running back Aofaga Wily carried an astonishing 40 times for 190 yards and two touchdowns as Kahuku outlasted Leilehua, 14-7, in an O'ahu Interscholastic Association Red semifinal Friday night at Hawaiian Airlines Field at Aloha Stadium.
The Red Raiders (9-0), first in the ScoringLive/OC 16 Power Rankings, will meet No. 3 Mililani for the Red title next Friday in the matchup that never was in 2010. The Trojans (9-1) will be making their first appearance in the title game, despite being credited with a Red title in 2010, when Kahuku had to forfeit the game before it was played for using an ineligible player earlier in the season.
Both teams clinched Division I state berths. No. 5 Leilehua will play No. 4 Farrington for third place and the final state berth next Saturday at site to be determined.
It was Wily's second consecutive game where he literally carried his team's hopes. He had 32 rushes for 175 yards and the game-winning TD against Waianae in last week's thrilling 14-10 quarterfinal win.
"That's two weeks in a row," Kahuku coach Reggie Torres said. "Aofaga is our man, too. Our offense is predicated around him. For us against Leilehua, the longer we're on the field, the less they're on the field. Our defense was running around crazy. What we had to do was give (our defense) some break."
And it was the back-breaking work for Wily that afford the Red Raiders defense a breather. But he was prepared.
"From Day 1, every game he's expected to (carry the load," Torres said.
Added Wily: "Was exhausting, but I guess we benefited from conditioning on Mondays and just working hard throughout the week."
Wily's second one-yard TD run of the game came on the first play of the fourth quarter that snapped a 7-all game. It capped an 11-play, 67-yard drive that lasted four minute, 37 seconds. But his value was securing the ball against a much-improved Mules' defense, which had been vulnerable to the run before facing the Red Raiders. Wily had only three double-digit runs, one for 18 yards and two for 11 yards. The game was basically a grind in the trenches.
The difference was cashing in on a turnover. Down 7-0, the Red Raiders had just punted and pinned the Mules at their 11. On first down, quarterback Justin Jenks lost the ball while extending the ball out to the running back on an option read. But the ball popped loose and Kahuku lineman Lyman Nauahi recovered at the Leilehua 10. Wily carried the ball three times, scoring from the 1 on third down with 3:01 left in the half. Jake Samsel's PAT tied the game at 7.
"It's a mesh, a read," Leilehua coach Nolan Tokuda said. "We have to fix that. We can't be making those kind of mistakes at this point in time."
Earlier in the second quarter, QB Lasi Livai's errant pitch on an option was recovered by Leilehua's Branson Funakoshi at the Red Raiders' 25. But Kahuku's defense stiffened and the Mules' 32-yard field goal attempt by Beti Alex went wide left.
"We had opportunities in the first half that we should've take advantage of," Tokuds said. "Two of four drives, we only came up with seven, so that cannot happen, especially against a good team like Kahuku."
The Mules struck first, as time expired in the first quarter. Running back Keanu Kahele Ferreira scored from three yards out to culminate an 11-play, 72-yard drive that began with 2:53 left in the quarter.
What hampered the Mules came on their ensuing series that started at their 20. On first down, Jenks dropped back to pass, double-pumped, but was slammed to the turf by linebacker Matai Paselio for a 10-yard loss. Jenks, who was 13 of 26 for 124 yards with no interceptions, needed medical attention and did not return to action. Tokuda, who was in the coaches' press box for the second half, said he did not know what kind of injury his quarterback sustained.
Receiver Keoni Piceno finished the game at QB, but was 2 of 8 for 23 yards with an interception by Kawehena Johnson with 3:26 left in the game at the Kahuku 45. From there, Wily ran seven consecutive plays for 50 yards to burn of the rest of the clock.
It was a costly game for the Mules, as other players sustained varying degrees of injuries in a game that resembled a boxing match of heavyweights.
"(Slot) Conrad Supnet, our starting O-lineman Siaosi Haunga, (linebacker) Samson Zimmerman, I think he broke his hand," Tokuda said of some of the injured. "We have check tomorrow and see what we have to do."
If Justin Jenks isn't able to play next week, brother Josh, who was QB last year, might be pressed into action again, Tokuda said.
October 26, 2012
Keanu Kahele-Ferreira, 3 yard touchdown run.
Aofaga Wily, 1 yard touchdown run.
> more video highlights
Kahuku's Matai Paselio sacks Leilehua quarterback Justin Jenks. Greg Yamamoto | SL
Kahuku's Kawe Johnson intercepts a pass against Leilehua. Greg Yamamoto | SL
Kahuku's Lasi Livai tries to evade the grasp of Leilehua's Leland Wong. Sean Nakamura | SL
Leilehua's Keoni Piceno carries the ball against Kahuku. Sean Nakamura | SL