The Kamehameha defense was sizzling hot Saturday night in a 27-0 pounding of Waianae.
The Warriors kept the defensive motor running all night long, and 18 of their tackles went for negative Waianae yardage.
In the end, the Seariders were held to minus-25 yards rushing and 154 passing for a net total of 129.
As usual, there was the Hoku Arias factor. The linebacker had a fumble recovery and two sacks, including one in which he stripped the ball from Waianae quarterback Kevin Poepoe before Warriors teammate Lancen Dung picked it up and scored from 15 yards out.
But it was also a major night for Kupono Blake, a defensive lineman and linebacker who had two sacks and two other tackles for loss.
After the game, Kamehameha coach Abu Maafala mentioned that Blake recently committed to play for Air Force. It was his only offer.
“I got the offer from D-line coach (Tim) Cross sometime in May,” Blake said. “He came across my film, and Nakoa Pauole (a former Warriors defensive lineman) is out there (playing for Air Force). He vouched for me. He’s my brother.”
Blake, who said he made his commitment about three weeks ago, will take an official visit sometime after the season.
“It’s awesome,” he said. “I’m really excited about it. They have a good coaching staff and real nice people. I’m excited to be a Falcon.”
Blake said Kamehameha’s effort on Saturday was one of the team’s better performances.
“We came out with a different fire tonight,” he said. “It was pretty awesome. We want to prove that we can hang with the best teams.”
The biggest test for Kamehameha (4-4, 3-3 ILH Open) comes next Friday against No. 1 Saint Louis.
“Our goal is to always come after it and to know we can bang,” Blake added. “We’re Warriors and that’s how we do it every night.”
Maafala had lots of good things to say about Kamehameha’s defensive unit, which had recovered three fumbles with two interceptions.
“Hoku Arias has done a great job of pulling everybody together,” he said. “The defense plays well together, lifts each other up, challenges each other. Kupono Blake has been doing this all year. There hasn’t been a game where he hasn’t been wrecking shop. He gets off the blocks and is a very smart player. He’s everything you want in a defensive lineman.
“We’ve got a big one coming up next week. It’s Saint Louis-Kamehameha. I don’t think it will take a lot to get the defense up for that game.”
There were other big-time defensive players on Saturday for the Warriors, including Kawika Clemente (tackle for loss, fumble recovery), Ezra Evaimalo (two tackles for loss), Akalea Kapono (sack, tackle for loss), Dayne Maeva (interception) and Micah Lilo (interception).
On the other side of the ball, five different players threw passes for Kamehameha — four quarterbacks and wide receiver Skyler Ramos, who took a lateral and tossed a 32-yard TD pass to quarterback Christmas Togiai. The Warriors passed for 136 yards and rushed for 83 for 219 total scrimmage yards, and they also turned over the ball four times.