Sep. 9—Leilehua's defense picked off five passes and the Mules' Cole Northington picked up huge chucks of yardage on the ground Friday in a 34-7 victory over Aiea.
Leilehua's defense picked off five passes and the Mules' Cole Northington picked up huge chucks of yardage on the ground Friday in a 34-7 victory over Aiea.
Northington rushed 37 times for 208 yards and four touchdowns in the OIA Open /Division I game at Leilehua.
"It was definitely a hard task, but me and the O-line, we like to help the team as much as we can, " Northington said. "If it means carrying the ball that much, then we'll do it."
Kevin Burke, Pono Tabangcura, Kaui Nakamoto, Chaystin Senas and Kingston Kennedy had interceptions for the Mules. Burke's and Tabangcura's picks led to Leilehua touchdowns.
"They did their job correctly, then stayed in the scheme, " Leilehua coach Mark Kurisu said. "When you look at our defense, we did what we were supposed to do."
The Mules' Hanohano Plunkett completed 17 of 25 passes for 167 yards and two interceptions. Timothy Arnold caught eight passes for 98 yards.
The Mules (3-2, 2-1 ) took a 7-0 lead on Northington's 1-yard run and Maci Rivera's PAT kick with 2 :08 remaining in the first quarter. Leilehua converted a fourth-and-12 with a 24-yard pass from Plunkett to Camren Flemister, which put the ball at the 1. Northington scored on the next play.
Leilehua went ahead 14-0 on Arnold's 20-yard run down the left side with 10 :47 to go in the first half. On the previous play, Burke intercepted a pass and returned it 60 yards.
The Mules' Nakamoto, Senas and Kennedy also had first-half interceptions.
"We put a lot of work in during practice on ball drills—making sure we know where the ball is in the air and on the floor, " Kennedy said.
Late in the first half, Leilehua also had an interception return for a touchdown negated by a roughing-the-passer penalty.
In the first half, Aiea's Ayden Bruhn was 1-for-8 for 4 yards, and Na Alii rushed 13 times for 15 yards.
Aiea stayed in the game by forcing three turnovers in the first half.
Leilehua's Tabangcura had an interception in the end zone on Aiea's first drive of the second half.
The Mules went on an 11-play drive, which was capped by Northington's 2-yard touchdown run with 4 :24 left in the third quarter.
Aiea cut the deficit to 21-7 on a 22-yard scoring pass from Bruhn to Jheremie Cacpal with 2 :30 left in the third quarter. Bryson Boyea Quiton made the PAT kick.
It was the first points scored by Na Alii (1-4, 0-3 ) this season against a team from Hawaii. They lost by a combined score of 110-0 against Kapaa and Campbell, forfeited against Kahuku on Aug. 26 and beat West Anchorage (Alaska ) 33-26 last week.
Northington added a pair of 3-yard touchdown runs in the fourth quarter.
"I like to be a little physical, " he said. "We have our other running back, Camren, who kind of is shifty. We like to complement each other."