Kahuku rebounds with a win against Farrington
BRUCE ASATO / BASATO@STARADVERTISER.COM
Kahuku safety Frisco Aveau headed up field after picking off a Chris Afe-Alaivanu pass in the fourth quarter of Friday’s game at Skippa Diaz Stadium.
It’s usually a given on the North Shore, but back-to-back losses the past two weeks made Friday’s playoff-clinching victory for Kahuku an important one. Quarterback Robbie Sauvao tossed two first-quarter touchdown passes and Zealand Matagi rushed for 72 yards and another score in a 34-8 win over Farrington in the Govs’ homecoming game at Skippa Diaz Stadium. Kahuku (5-3, 2-2 OIA Open) rebounded from its first consecutive losses in regular-season play in 22 years with its seventh win in its last eight games against the Governors (2-8, 1-4). The Red Raiders locked up the third of four spots in the Open Division playoffs in the OIA. “The players know they needed to right the ship and they did get that swag back,” Kahuku coach Sterling Carvalho said. Against primarily a zero-safety look with eight or nine players in the box on defense, the Red Raiders attempted 35 passes. Sauvao hit on only 10 of his 31 attempts but averaged nearly 23 yards per completion. “We’ve got to be able to push the ball and get it there,” Carvalho said. “Even though they stacked the box we were able to run the ball. We were able to impose our will and that’s what we want to do heading into the playoffs.” Mason Paulo was Sauvao’s primary target, hauling in five receptions for 135 yards, including a 44-yard TD for the Red Raiders’ first score. “They did a lot of Cover 0 and we wanted to make them pay with one-on-one matchups on the outside,” Paulo said. The Govs were attempting to snap a three-game losing skid to the Red Raiders and jumped out to an 8-0 lead less than a minute into the game. Sophomore Raymond Millare made a one-handed snag in stride over the middle and went untouched on an 80-yard touchdown. The extra point was bobbled, but Wendell Alob ran it in. Sauvao’s first two completions were touchdowns with a 16-yard pass to Toalei Lefau out of the backfield for a 14-8 lead. Matagi added a 19-yard TD run, Duke Heffernan kicked field goals of 23 and 29 yards and Kai Noeau’s scoop-and-score on a 13-yard fumble return gave Kahuku 34 unanswered points. Millare finished with 135 total yards for Farrington, which is still in the playoff race despite its regular season ending. A Campbell win over Kapolei tonight and wins by Campbell over Waianae and Kahuku over the Hurricanes on Friday would force a three-way tie for the final playoff berth in the division between the Govs, Hurricanes and Seariders. “We must have had tons of yards on penalties,” Farrington coach Daniel Sanchez said. “We had them how many times third-and-long and then had 15-yard (penalty after) 15-yard (penalty).” — GAME SUMMARY No. 5 Kahuku 34, Farrington 8 At Farrington >> Kahuku (5-3, 2-2) 14 7 0 13 — 34 >> Farrington (2-8, 1-4) 8 0 0 0 — 8 Farrington — Raymond Millare 80 pass from Chris Afe (Wendell Alob run) Kahuku — Mason Paulo 44 pass from Robbie Sauvao (Duke Heffernan kick) Kahuku — Toalei Lefau 16 pass from Sauvao (Heffernan kick) Kahuku — Zealand Matagi 19 run (Heffernan kick) Kahuku — FG Heffernan 23 Kahuku — Kai Noeau 13 fumble return (Heffernan kick) Kahuku — FG Heffernan 29 RUSHING — Kahuku: Matagi 20-72, Lefau 3-7, Laakea Faifili 5-6, Heffernan 1-(minus 1), Team 1-(minus 6), Sauvao 2-(minus 6), Braxton Cravens 2-(minus 8). Farrington: Millare 6-55, Selau Kalani 6-3, team 1-0, Richard Tagataese 3-(minus 3), Afe 3-(minus 24). PASSING — Kahuku: Sauvao 10-31–0-228, Thorton Alapa 0-1-0-0, Cravens 0-3-0-0. Farrington: Afe 3-16–1-98, Tagataese 0-4-0-0. RECEIVING — Kahuku: Paulo 5-135, Heffernan 3-66, Lefau 1-16, Ethan Erickson 1-11. Farrington: Millare 1-80, Isaiah Rios 1-17, Keane Foster 1-1. * JV —Kahuku 35, Farrington 7