No. 2 Kahuku barrages No. 12 Waianae
Aaron Fonoimoana-Vaomu (12) twice recovered a loose ball in the end zone as a part of the Red Raiders' 31 points off special teams and defensive turnovers. Spencer Honda | SL
WAIANAE — It was vintage Red Raiders football mixed with a bit of new school offense as second-ranked Kahuku barraged No. 12 Waianae, 49-13, in both teams' Oahu Interscholastic Association Division I-Open regular season opener Friday night at Raymond Torii Field.
Kahuku scored 31 of its 49 points off special teams and defensive turnovers, recycling three Waianae punt miscues (mishandled snap, block, bad snap) and two interceptions for four touchdowns, one safety and five PAT kicks.
Junior linebacker Aaron Fonoimoana-Vaomu found himself in the right place at the right time, twice converting on a free shot at recovering a loose ball in the end zone — the first coming off KJ Macatiag's blocked punt in the second quarter and later on a high snap over the punter's head in the third period.
Kaonohi Kaniho and Ace Kaufusi each picked off Waianae backup quarterback Shaydon Lopes and took it all the way back for points within a minute, 30 seconds apart of game time.
A week after three different rushers eclipsed the century mark in a 41-28 win over Punahou, the Red Raiders took an unorthodox approach on offense in carrying the ball just a total 12 times for 24 yards — their lowest output since running for -7 yards against Leilehua in Sept. 2014.
Senior Wes Alo-Maiava carried the rock 23 times for 101 yards and four scores last week but only had five carries Friday night, getting stuffed for -3 yards with the team's lone rushing touchdown.
The other two offensive scores came through the air on Thorton Alapa's 31-yard strike to Mason Paulo in the second quarter and later on Robbie Sauvao's 18-yard dime to Ikaika Wells in the fourth period.
"Yeah we're trying to put emphasis on the passing game, but Waianae is tough up front. If you look back at the history of Kahuku versus Waianae, they always give us a tough, tough time," Kahuku first-year coach Sterling Carvalho said.
Kahuku QB Robbie Sauvao got his third start of the season but split some time behind center with Thorton Alapa with each throwing a TD pass. Spencer Honda | SL
It was a tough defensive battle early on with Kahuku going three-and-out on each of its three first quarter possessions while Waianae converted only two first downs during that same time span.
Sauvao got his third start of the season behind center while Alapa made his season debut midway through the second quarter and threw a TD pass on his third play to give Kahuku a 9-0 lead. The former finished 8 for 18 for 88 yards, 1 touchdown and 1 INT while the latter went 3 for 4 for 71 yards and a score.
"It was time to give [Alapa] the opportunity. We knew we were going to play both quarterbacks tonight and so when Thor had the opportunity, he took advantage of it," Carvalho said. "We wanted to see what we had in both quarterbacks and obviously we can play either one."
Waianae's Lopes tossed two touchdown passes in relief of starter Justin Tacgere, who never returned to the game following a hit taken from Kahuku linebacker Miki Ah You on a scramble right before halftime. But after Lopes threw his second score — a 40-yard throw to Daniel Wetter late in the fourth quarter — Lopes had to be helped off the field. Kevin Poepoe took the snaps behind center on the Seariders' final drive.
Kahuku will host Kapolei next Friday night while Waianae will play Campbell at home on Saturday.
No. 2 Kahuku barrages No. 12 Waianae
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