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(Fri) December 4, 2009

HHSAA Division I FOOTBALL: Kamehameha Knocks Off Kahuku for State Football Crown

By Kyle Galdeira

Kamehameha ended Kahuku’s bid for an undefeated season as the Interscholastic League of Honolulu champion downed the Oahu Interscholastic Association champion 34-21 in the Division I title game of the First Hawaiian Bank/HHSAA Football State Championships tonight at Aloha Stadium.

The championship is Kamehameha’s first since it won the state crown in 2004, and fifth in school history.

Warriors’ running back Ryan Ho led the way with 121 yards on 24 carries and two touchdowns while quarterback T.C. Campbell threw for 183 yards and three scores.

In the midst of what turned out to be a 12-play, 71-yard opening drive, Kamehameha converted a crucial fourth-and-two play deep in Kahuku territory as Ho picked up three yards on a run to the left sideline. On the ensuing play, Campbell connected with Brent Auyong for a 14-yard touchdown strike to give the Warriors an early 7-0 advantage.

Following Bryson Burnett’s blocked punt which gave Kamehameha stellar field position on Kahuku’s 10 yard line, the Warriors converted another third down opportunity as Campbell pitched to Ho on an option run, and the back scampered nine yards for the score. In the first half, the Warriors converted six third downs in nine attempts.

On the Red Raiders’ ensuing possession, a stout Kamehameha defense forced an Evan Moe interception that Wave Ryder returned deep into Kahuku territory. On the next play from scrimmage, Campbell threw an eight-yard touchdown dart to Charley Bollig IV to put the Warriors ahead 20-0 with just under six minutes to play in the first half.

Kamehameha (12-1) dominated the first half statistically, as the defense limited Kahuku to 31 total yards on 18 plays, and did not afford the Red Raiders any first downs. While Campbell threw two first-half interceptions, neither led to any significant output from Kahuku.

The Red Raiders came out of the break firing, and traveled 83 yards on nine plays to notch their first points of the contest. Moe found Punga Vea in the corner of the end zone on a 26-yard strike that narrowed the deficit to 20-7.

Following a Kamehameha punt, Kahuku (12-1) continued to move the ball efficiently. After starting the drive in Warrior territory, fullback Fonoivasa Mattaafa rumbled for a 36-yard touchdown to bring the Red Raiders within a touchdown of taking the lead, 20-14.