Kailua coach Gary Rosolowich might have a hard time getting his kids to turn in their pads this year.
The Surfiders wrapped up a disappointing season with the rally of a lifetime in the fourth quarter of their 42-24 playoff loss at Kapolei on Friday night. The Surfriders closed out their third straight losing season with a 2-7 record.
“We just told the kids to keep on going,” Rosolowich said. “We wanted them to change the reality on the field and they did that and I am really proud of them for that.”
With the score 42-0 and the running clock instituted, Kailua didn’t want any mercy. Kapolei, though, put in its backups, and Kailua quarterback Noah Auld moved the ball for the first time and hit Matthew Bishop from 6 yards out to prevent the third shutout against them this year.
The much-maligned Kailua defense then got into the act. The Surfriders ended the season giving up an average of 38.3 points per game, easily their most in the modern era, but even that unit will go into the offseason with something to build on.
Points allowed per game for Kailua, 1973-present
(year, coach, papg)
1. 2013: Gary Rosolowich, 38.3
2. 2010: Gary Rosolowich, 27.6
3. 1994: Jerry Fornelia, 27.5
4. 2004: Gary Rosolowich, 23.8
5. 2012: Gary Rosolowich, 22.7
6. 2001: Darren Johnson, 21.1
7. 2006: Gary Rosolowich, 20.8
8. 2009: Gary Rosolowich, 20.4
9. 2005: Gary Rosolowich, 20.1
10. 1989: Alex Kane, 19.6
Kailua’s defense forced three fumbles during the comeback, the second one from Kapolei’s 2-yard line, and the hit on the ballcarrier sent the ball backward into the end zone. Shaedon Spencer came up with it in the end zone, and after Naia Graham’s kick it was 42-14.
The Kailua defense forced another fumble as Kapolei desperately tried to run out the clock, and Auld marched his team to the 6-yard line on seven plays. The last of those was one of Auld’s 25 carries on the night and went 10 yards for a first down, but he got hit below the waist and had to leave the game after a long time on the ground. Kapolei coach Darren Hernandez wore a sick expression while Auld was attended to, telling officials that the four helmet-to-helmet hits called against his defense forced them to go lower to tackle and he was afraid that Auld’s injury might have been a result of that.
With Auld recovering on the sideline, Kailua’s Kaimanahila Lono took a direct snap from the shotgun and muscled his way into the end zone. Graham’s kick missed, but Kailua had trimmed the margin to 42-20.
Kailua’s defense came up big one more time three plays later when Peter Albinio picked off a pass and Auld limped back onto the field. The quarterback threw two incomplete passes before hitting Koolauloa Gaspar from 23 yards out, and Graham booted the extra point to make it 42-27. It ended that way after three running plays by the Hurricanes, who were more than a little frustrated despite the important victory.
Kailua had its own frustrations, but while Kapolei is practicing for Farrington, the Surfriders can rest easy knowing what it was capable of, even if it was against a bunch of backups.