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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Kahuku's D-line loves to pressure

Jamora, Sauni, Schwenke made life miserable for Leilehua QB in OIA final

By Kalani Takase
Advertiser Staff Writer

Kahuku football coach Reggie Torres is a man with high expectations. But that hasn't been a problem for a trio of Red Raiders' defensive linemen.

Ends Hauoli Jamora and Kona Schwenke and nose tackle Veteson Sauni — all seniors — wreaked havoc against Leilehua quarterback Andrew Manley on Friday night to lead Kahuku to its second consecutive O'ahu Interscholastic Association title and 21st overall.

"Coming back from last year, we knew that our strength would be our defensive line," Torres said. "They were supposed to help solidify the defense while the linebackers and secondary came around and they've done that job."

Jamora — who had five sacks of Manley — and Sauni, combined for seven sacks. Jamora, who is 6 foot 2, 235 pounds, also had five sacks in a semifinal win over Castle two weeks ago.

"He's been the same way all year," Torres said of Jamora, a two-sport standout. "He works his tail off in the weight room and on the field, he's just relentless at practice."

Jamora is the reigning OIA judo champion at 220 pounds, but Torres said that Schwenke, who stands 6 foot 3 and weighs 215 pounds, may be the most gifted of the group.

"Oh yeah, of all the three linemen, he's the athlete," Torres said of Schwenke, who is a post player on the Red Raiders' basketball team. "He's got that grace and mobility to him."

Sauni, at 6 foot and 250 pounds, has been a steady run-stuffer in the middle, forcing offenses to run the ball outside, where Jamora and Schwenke have prospered.

"He mandates double teams, which gives one-on-ones for Hauoli and Kona," Torres said of Sauni, who is on the wrestling team.

Against the Mules, Jamora forced a fumble by Manley on a sack in the first quarter and Schwenke recovered it. Kahuku recycled the turnover into a 5-yard Viliami Pasi touchdown run to go ahead, 10-0.

After Leilehua scored the next 20 points to seize the lead, Jamora turned the tide in the early part of the fourth quarter with his fumble recovery in the end zone off a blocked punt by teammate Johnny Tupuola to pull the Red Raiders to within a field goal.

"We were down by two scores and we had a long drive, got into scoring position and fumbled the ball away," Torres said. "Our kids were down and frustrated, but that play brought us back to (within) a score, gave us some big momentum and took away from the fact that we fumbled the ball away on that drive."

Torres said that each has provided integral leadership toward the team's success.

"We have our players select captains for each position group and after the 11 or 12 defensive linemen voted, Hauoli, Kona and Vet all had the same amount of votes," Torres said. "We couldn't break the tie, each had equal votes, so all three are captains for us."

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