Playing for all the marbles

The Kaua‘i High School Red Raiders will meet Na Ali‘i of King Kekaulike on neutral turf starting at 5 p.m. today.

At stake will be the title for the First Hawaiian Bank State Football Championships for Division II in the Hawai‘i High School Athletic Association.

Kaua‘i, top-seeded in Div. II, advanced to the championship meet with a 17-6 edge over the Waipahu Marauders last week. Justyn Jumawan-Perreira plucked two airballs in the rain and Kainoa Lemke iced the win with the extra point that broke a 6-6 deadlock and added a field goal for insurance.

Na Ali‘i got past ‘Iolani 38-37 in the final period last week on Maui as the ‘Iolani point-after attempt fell incomplete while Na Ali‘i answered with a 19-yard scoring pass from Shelton Bangasan to Randen Abafo for the go-ahead.

Entering the title bid, Kaua‘i (9-0) goes in showing an average gain of 331 yards in offense through the six KIF regulation games. The Red Raiders also show 21 touchdowns by passing and 8 by rushing.

Signal caller Andrew Renaud, playing with a swollen finger last week, leads the Kaua‘i offense with 57 percent pass completion (135-77-1). In the rain against Waipahu, Renaud was 36-19-2.

Pono Matthews, who started the season as the alternate quarterback, is Kaua‘i’s leading receiver averaging 60.5 yards per game and finishing the season with five touchdowns.

Jonathan Gebauer is next in line averaging 37 yards per game with 8 touchdowns to his credit.

On the ground, Brendan Young leads the team with 467 yards gained on 67 carries through the season. Matthews followed with an average of 47.8 yards per game.

Kevin Holtzman, who recovered a fumble against Waipahu last week, leads the Kaua‘i defense with 27 solo drops and 10 assisted tackles.

Kickoff for the Division II championship is 5 p.m.

The game will be broadcast live by KQNG AM570 with Anahola Joel Pahukula doing the play-by-play. Air time is scheduled to begin around 4:40 p.m.

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