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(Fri) November 23, 2012

HHSAA Division I FOOTBALL: Kahuku blows past Punahou, 42-20, to repeat as state champion

By Wes Nakama

Aofaga Wily rushed for 188 yards and three touchdowns, Lasi Livai threw for 111 yards and two more TDs and Kawe Johnson intercepted two passes to help Kahuku blow past Punahou, 42-20, and repeat as First Hawaiian Bank/Hawai'i High School Athletic Association Division I State Champion.

An energized crowd of 17,820 at Aloha Stadium's Hawaiian Airlines Field watched the Red Raiders finish their perfect season at 12-0. The Buffanblu ended up  8-3.

After a scoreless first quarter that seemed to portend a defensive struggle, Kahuku exploded for three touchdowns in the second quarter and took a commanding 21-0 lead into halftime. But Punahou closed it to 21-14 after Ryan Tuiasoa's 8-yard TD run and Kainoa McDonald's extra point with 1:10 remaining in the third quarter before the Red Raiders broke open the game in the fourth with Wily's 53-yard scamper to the end zone, Will Cravens' 6-yard fumble return for a touchdown on the ensuing kickoff and Wily's 25-yard run to paydirt which made it 42-14 with 6:56 left.

Tuiasoa's 3-yard TD run cut it to 42-20 with 2:10 remaining, but Kahuku recovered the ensuing onside kick and sent the reserves in to finish out the game.

Wily got the Red Raiders on the board with a 53-yard run down the left sideline with 9:27 left in the second quarter, and a perfect rainbow pass from Livai to Lasselle Thompson near the right front pylon after a pump fake to Johnson in the flat helped make it 14-0 with 2:27 before halftime. Kahuku stretched the lead to 21-0 after Livai's 11-yard pass to Cravens, who lateraled to Johnson with Johnson then streaking 53 yards down the left sideline for a score just five seconds before intermission.

Tuiasoa got the Buffanblu on the board with a 25-yard touchdown run with 5:51 remaining in the third quarter, and helped close it to 21-14 with an 8-yard TD burst with 1:10 left in the quarter.

Tuiasoa finished with 118 yards on 22 carries.

Johnson, a starting safety, finished with 109 all-purpose yards on offense and added 45 return yards on his two picks.