Kahuku rolls past Waianae
2015 October 3 SPT - HSA Photo by Jamm Aquino. Kahuku's Kesi Ah Hoy (26) lunges for yardage during the first half of an OIA football game between the Kahuku Red Raiders and the Waianae Seariders on Saturday, October 3, 2015 at Aloha Stadium in Halawa.
Simple, yet devastatingly effective.
Kahuku made no secret of its intentions on offense in Saturday’s OIA Red showdown with Waianae at Aloha Stadium. The Red Raiders kept the ball in the hands of whoever lined up at quarterback and plowed forward.
For most of the night that was Kesi Ah-Hoy. The junior powered for 152 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Red Raiders to a 30-0 win and the division title.
Kahuku rushed for 252 yards and Ah-Hoy mixed in two passes for 25 yards and a touchdown and the Red Raiders (8-0, 7-0) completed an undefeated regular season.
"There’s no secret what we’re gonna do," Kahuku coach Vavae Tata said. "That’s our DNA. That’s our makeup. We’re going to ground and pound on offense and we get after it on defense."
The Kahuku defense turned in a suffocating performance and did not allow Waianae past midfield until the 6:45 mark of the fourth quarter. The Red Raiders stuffed the Seariders for negative-22 yards in total offense in the first half and allowed 48 in the game, 26 rushing and 22 passing, in their fourth shutout of the season.
"They had a very good game plan. They just executed better than we did," Waianae coach Walter Young said. "They’re always going to be tough to play if they execute like that with all the talent they have."
Both teams will have byes in the first round of the OIA Division I playoffs. Kahuku will face Castle or Kapolei in the quarterfinals. Waianae takes on Kailua or Waipahu.
Ah-Hoy lined up behind center with double tight ends and blocking backs to either side and kept the ball on Kahuku’s first nine plays from scrimmage.
"That’s what made this game so successful, our front line with our fullbacks," Ah-Hoy said. "This game wouldn’t have happened for me if it wasn’t for them. They’re just big-time players and they’re unselfish, too."
Ah-Hoy played on a sprained ankle he rated at 80 percent and lost a fumble at the Seariders 1 on Kahuku’s second possession. But the Red Raiders defense forced a three-and-out to give Ah-Hoy the ball back at the 34. This time he finished with a four-play march with a 12-yard keeper around the left side.
Ted Kenese and Harmon Brown took turns at quarterback on Kahuku’s next possession. They also tucked in behind the beefy offensive front to drive the Red Raiders to the Waianae 22 before Ah-Hoy broke loose for his second score of the night.
The Kahuku defense continued to push the Waianae offense backward and the lead grew to 16-0 when a Seariders shotgun snap went out of the end zone for a safety.
After the free kick, Ah-Hoy went over the century mark in a seven-play drive and dove in from the 1 and Kahuku took a 23-0 lead into halftime.
Kahuku rumbled for 160 yards in total offense, all on the ground, and did not attempt a pass in the first half. The only time the ball left a quarterback’s hands came when Ah-Hoy flipped an option pitch to Brown to open Kahuku’s third scoring drive.
The Red Raiders opened up the offense, just a bit, in the third quarter when Ah-Hoy completed an 18-yard pass to Kasen Latu and a 7-yarder to Noah Magalei for Kahuku's final touchdown.
"The plan was just to pound the ball, pound the ball, pound the ball to make them come in an open up that little pass game," Ah-Hoy said. "We only passed two times, but it was two big plays for our offense."