Kahuku goes all the way
The Red Raiders are the OIA champions after a 32-13 win over Waianae
It was last night if you were among the 6,844 at Aloha Stadium who watched Kahuku pound Waianae, 32-13, and successfully defend its Oahu Interscholastic Association football championship.
Perhaps the Red Raiders' big boys will share the trophy from Oceanic Cable in Stanley Cup style, taking turns eating, drinking and sleeping with it. But their position coach, Garth Spurrier, had it at the end of the evening; one more of his guys needs to see it up close.
Starting senior left tackle Gabriel Nauahi has been at Queen's Medical Center since Sunday with what several teammates said was a heart ailment.
"He's one of our best," senior Raymond Manumaleuna said. "We know he was watching the game from the hospital, so we're happy we were able to win for him."
Junior Semisi Kauvaka replaced Nauahi, and Manumaleuna was among four starting defensive linemen who beefed up the O-line. Chris Kemoe'atu, Sioape Lautaha and Jonathan Mapu also helped the Red Raiders generate 530 yards and hold the Seariders to 219.
"They help us out, because they're a little more aggressive than most offensive linemen," Spurrier said.
They created running room for Marcus Salanoa (149 yards on 13 carries) and Mulivai Pula (120 on 9 attempts).
Kahuku got going early, with touchdown drives of 90 and 95 yards on its first two possessions -- and that was after a 91-yard TD kickoff return by Aaron Francisco to start the game was nullified by a penalty.
Five players scored a touchdown each for Kahuku.
"We haven't even peaked yet and played our best," Red Raiders coach Siuaki Livai said. "We've got a long way to go, but we control our destination."
That would be the state tournament, which starts next Friday.
Kahuku earned the No. 2 seed with last night's victory, and hosts Kauai Interscholastic Federation champion Waimea at Aloha Stadium.
Waianae visits Maui at War Memorial Stadium the same night, and coach Danny Matsumoto knows the Seariders need to regain their desire in a hurry.
"(Kahuku's) line really pushed us back. They executed well and we didn't tackle well at all," Matsumoto said. "We knew it would be a rough game. It looked like they wanted it more."
Waianae linebacker Keaka Kamai also said it wasn't the same Searider team that beat the Red Raiders, 12-7, in the regular season.
"We came unprepared for this game," Kamai said.
This time, Kahuku held on to the ball. It had seven turnovers against Waianae in the regular season game, but only one last night.
Kahuku (10-1, 10-2) 12 8 12 0--32
Waianae (10-1, 11-1) 0 7 0 6--13
Kah--Marcus Salanoa 10 run (kick failed) Kah--A.J. Smith 1 run (run failed) Wain--Lono Manners 12 run (Shawn Bebeau kick) Kah--James Kammerer 25 pass from 'Inoke Funaki (Jonathan Mapu pass from Funaki) Kah--Mulivai Pula 48 run (kick failed) Kah--Funaki 11 run (kick failed)
Wain--Manners 7 run (run failed)
Rushing--Kah: Salanoa 13-149, Pula 9-120, Earvin Atuaia 4-23, A.J. Smith 1-1, Funaki 7-44, Colby Unga 8-45, Travis Kaka 4-1, Kealoha Taua 1-12, Ferron Fonoimoana 3-11. Wain: Manners 15-79, Brandon Lopes 4-(-1), Peter Sarono 5-8, Jonah Nunuha 2-12.
Passing--Kah: Funaki 8-15-0 for 95 yards, Fonoimoana 1-7-1 for 29 yards. Wain: Lopes 6-12-1 for 102 yards, Nunuha 2-12-1 for 9 yards.
Receiving--Kah: Fonoimoana 1-(-2), Kammerer 2-40, Aaron Francisco 1-29, Pula 1-37, Vai Napaa 1-9, Saia Hafoka 3-11. Wain: Manners 2-15, Sarono 1-42, Graen Enriquez 3-31, Teacel Hines 1-9, Bebeau 1-14.
Glen Higa contributed to this report.