No. 2 Kahuku powers past No. 6 Kamehameha
JAMM AQUINO / email@example.com
Kahuku defensive tackle Zion Ah You (38), left, and defensive end Tuia Tupuola (99) work to bring down Kamehameha running back Reino Bush (15).
No. 2 Kahuku played its brand of hard-nosed football Friday night in overpowering No. 6 Kamehameha 24-7 at Aloha Stadium. There were no frills about it during the first half, but after the break, the Red Raiders gave the Warriors some breathing room and Kamehameha put up a fight. In mounting a 24-0 halftime lead, the Red Raiders capitalized with a punt block, a fumble recovery and an interception. Junior linebacker Aaron Fonoimoana-Vaomu had a hand in all three plays that put Kamehameha (2-3, 1-3 ILH Open) in a big hole. “Kamehameha is tough; they’ve shown they’re a second-half team,” Red Raiders coach Sterling Carvalho said. “They came right back against Mililani (31-24 loss on Aug. 18) and they basically did the same to us. We can’t be complacent with what we did in the first half. We just gotta finish the game, and obviously we didn’t do that (the right way).” Fonoimoana-Vaomu got things rolling by blocking a punt that led to Duke Heffernan’s 22-yard field goal. Later, he stripped a ball to cause a fumble that teammate Elaijahl Latu recovered, paving the way for Wes Alo-Maiava 6-yard TD run and a 10-0 count early in the second quarter. After a trademark 80-yard drive capped by Alo-Maiava’s 4-yard TD run made it 17-0 with 1:42 left in the first half, Fonoimoana-Vaomu was at it again with an interception and 34-yard return to set up Toalei Lefau’s 1-yard TD run and a sizable 24-0 lead going into the lockers. Kahuku (4-1, 1-0 OIA Open) was without two leaders on defense, linebacker Miki Ah You, who is out for the season with a knee injury, and defensive back Kaonohi Kaniho, who also has a knee injury but is expected back. “With our big losses, everybody needed to step up their game,” Fonoimoana-Vaomu said. “Miki came to see us in the coaches’ room on Wednesday and said, “I’m only one man. Next man up. We’re going to take this ‘W’ home and have a nice ride back.” Kamehameha looked like a different team in the second half. Quarterback Kiai Keone — who came in for starter Christmas Togiai — threw for 182 yards, including a 34-yard TD pass to Braden Akima in the third quarter. He had the chains moving for 10 first downs over the final two periods. The Warriors nearly scored again late in the game, driving all the way to the Red Raiders’ 14, but Kahuku’s Peter John Mataira intercepted a Keone pass in the end zone. Defensively, the Warriors stepped up to hold Kahuku out of the end zone the rest of the way. “It was a tale of two halves,” Kamehameha coach Abu Maafala said. “What we have to realize is we’re a good football team. We can do it. We proved it in the second half. Things were moving. We just gotta stick to that and keep it moving. We have good players, too. The No. 1 thing is to keep them confident. In the second half, they figured out they can play with these guys and they responded. I’m hoping we see them (Kahuku) again.” GAME SUMMARY No. 2 Kahuku 24, No. 6 Kamehameha 7 at Aloha Stadium >> Kamehameha (2-3, 1-3) 0 0 7 0 — 7 >> Kahuku (4-1, 1-0) 3 21 0 0 — 24 Kahuku — FG Duke Heffernan 22 Kahuku — Wes Alo-Maiava 6 run (Heffernan kick) Kahuku — Alo-Maiava 4 run (Heffernan kick) Kahuku — Toalei Lefau 1 run (Heffernan kick) Kamehameha — Braden Akima 26 pass from Kiai Keone (Preston Rezentes kick) RUSHING — Kamehameha: Reino Bush 11-37, Alec Serrao 10-23, Christmas Togiai 3-0, Akima 1-(minus-5), Keone 3-(minus-25). Kahuku: Alo-Maiava 18-69, Lefau 19-60, Robbie Sauvao 6-25, Zealand Matagi 6-22. PASSING — Kamehameha: Togiai 4-7-0-22, Keone 17-31-2-182. Kahuku: Sauvao 6-15-1-55. RECEIVING — Kamehameha: Akima 6-75, Skyler Ramos 5-47, Davis Mun 4-35, Edward Correa 2-26, Serra 2-7, Brock Ai 1-12, Micah Pasion 1-2. Kahuku: Heffernan 2-17, Lefau 2-9, Mason Paulo 1-21, Alo-Maiava 1-8. * JV — Kahuku 42, Kamehameha 29