Saturday, October 28, 2022
By: Nick O’Connor
Campbell was able to capture third place in the Open Division and the last state tournament berth with a 49-42 Friday night victory over Kapolei at Nanakuli High School.
Despite the Sabers jumping out to an early first quarter lead, it never really felt like either team had control of the game. The Hurricanes were able to make it a nail-biter until the very end of the game.
The scoreboard got its first taste of action late in the first quarter as Kapolei was punting out of their own end zone. Campbell’s Blesyng Alualu-Tuiolemotu was able to get his hand in there and deflect the punt that would pop out of the back of the end zone. The play resulted in a safety giving the Sabers a 2-0 lead.
Campbell would then go on to score three unanswered touchdowns as their quarterback Jaron Sagapolutele would find three different receivers for touchdowns. His first touchdown of the game was completed to Chauncee Lopez on a 12-yard strike. On their first drive of the second quarter Sagapolutele connected with Jourdain Berinobis-Pyne. Berinobis-Pyne was able to make a few defenders miss and scampered into the end zone with 8:22 in the second quarter. After a turnover on downs by Kapolei, Rowen Bucao was able to get into the end zone on a 15-yard reception from Sagapolutele. After three scoring drives in a row the score was 22-0.
Kapolei was able to get on the board after a 10 play drive that started with 5:35 left in the half. The Hurricane quarterback, Tuli Tagovailoa-Amosa was able to complete a pass down the right side to Braedon Pieper. Pieper tip-toed his way into the endzone to bring the score to 22-6 after a failed PAT.
After Kapolei was able to get their first score of the game, they were able to come back into the game with a series of unanswered possessions of their own.
This time the Hurricanes were able to back the Sabers into their own endzone for a punt. The punt was taken to the house by Diezel Kamoku to bring Kapolei to within one score.
On the next drive by Campbell, Sagapolutele was intercepted by the Hurricanes defense that would give them the ball back with 2:23 left in the half. The Hurricane offense was able to take advantage of this opportunity as they scored on a touchdown pass to Malachi Tapaoan. After an unsuccessful 2 point conversion the score was 22-20 and just 58 seconds remained in the second quarter.
The Sabers were able to make due with the time they had left on the clock and drove down the field to score another passing touchdown. Sagapolutele was able to deliver his fourth touchdown pass to Jonah Togafau-Tavui with 16 seconds to end the first half scoring.
Heading into halftime the score was 29-20 in favor of the Sabers.
The Sabers were able to put together a 8 play scoring drive to open up the second half and seemingly put the game out of reach. Sagapolutele threw his fifth and final touchdown pass to Mason Muaau to put the Sabers up 36-20 after the PAT.
However, Kapolei was not done quite yet. The Hurricanes were able to bring the score to within 2 points. Tagovailoa-Amosa was able to throw a touchdown pass to Halai Kamohalii
Following the offense score, the Hurricane defense was able to rally for another interception as Braedon Pieper intercepted a ball in the endzone and carried it back all the way to the Sabers 36-yard line. After the interception Tryton Keliikipi forced his way into the endzone with 51 seconds to go in the third quarter bringing the score to 36-34.
The field was then littered with yellow flags on multiple possessions by both Campbell and Kapolei, including another interception that was overturned due to a costly holding call.
The Sabers continued to keep the lead despite the plethora of penalty flags that rained on the field. They found the endzone again on a short inside run as Togafau-Tavui took the ball out of Wildcat formation and wiggled his way into the endzone.
Campbell’s final score came as Kapolei’s Tagovailoa-Amosa attempted to scramble out of the pocket and had the ball jarred loose. The Saber’s Tainoa Lave scooped up the fumble and strolled in the endzone, putting the score at 49-34.
In Kapolei’s final attempt to get the lead Tagovailoa-Amosa led them down the field and ended with another score by the Keliikipi. Leading the game to its final score of 49-42 with just 1:43 left in the game.
The Hurricanes finished the year at 6-5 on the season. The Sabers clinched the final state championship position to continue their season.
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