In helping Kaiser find redemption, Cougars quarterback Kahoalii Karratti gave himself a second chance to create a more positive memory of the state tournament.
Karratti had put up impressive numbers as Konawaena’s starter last season, leading the Wildcats into a home game against Nanakuli in the first round of the Division II state tournament.
Karratti led Konawaena to a 23-7 lead before Nanakuli stormed back in the second half. The Golden Hawks took the lead when Karratti was pressured into the end zone and threw the ball away, resulting in an intentional grounding call and a safety with 2:32 left. Nanakuli held on from there for a 25-23 win.
“I always think about it,” Karratti admitted, adding, “I try not to.”
Karratti will be back in the state tournament next month, this time wearing Kaiser’s colors.
He’s completed seven of 10 passes for 111 yards in a 51-3 win over Radford on Friday as Kaiser advanced to the OIA White championship game, set for Nov. 1 at Aloha Stadium, a year after being eliminated in the first round, also by Nanakuli. The OIA White finalists, Kaiser and Pearl City, also secure the conference’s two Division II state tournament berths.
Karratti has completed nearly 68 percent of his pass attempts (77-for-114) with four interceptions and 1,134 yards and nine touchdowns this season.
“It means a lot,” Karratti said of returning to the state tournament, “making it this far is pretty awesome.”