All business: Kahuku closes OIA Open regular season a perfect 6-0

Kahuku sings its alma mater before a regular-season closing game with Campbell. Paul Honda/

Kings of the road and then some.

Kahuku closed out the OIA Open Division regular season with a 49-23 rout on Saturday, capping a perfect run at 6-0. They did it with the same balance that started the season. Doing it with a backup quarterback, Waika Crawford, makes the evolution of Kahuku’s passing attack even more stupendous.

Crawford threw four touchdown passes in the first half, three to Kealoha Kaio, as the team in all-red took a 42-0 lead into intermission. Crawford finished 15-for-27, 260 yards with one interception. His scrambling ability continues to torment defenses. Few QBs can avoid trouble out of the pocket, then run to the line of scrimmage to bait defenders in the secondary, then rifle passes to wide open receivers.

“It’s always good to have different throwing angles. You’re not always going to have a perfect form throw, so being able to throw off balance is key,” Crawford said.

Kainoa Carvalho (seven receptions, 108 yards, TD) and Kaio (five, 128, three). Kaio almost didn’t know what to do with himself after the touchdown hauls of 6, 54 and 35 yards. Post-TD celebrations are a thing of the past after some wise counsel from mom and dad, Kaio said.

The precision and explosiveness of Kahuku’s aerial game do all the talking.

“We can get way better. Obviously, we didn’t click in the beginning, but with all this time, we’re going to hook it up a lot,” Kaio said.

According to Crawford, Campbell coach Darren Johnson is an uncle of Kaio.

“I know he’s happy to be able to do that to his uncle,” Crawford said.

Crawford’s mobility keeps Big Red fans on their toes. He took a hard hit late in the game while sliding for a nice gain.

“We’re just going to keep preparing for the playoffs. It’s win or go home, so we’ve got to prepare extra hard for that,” he said.

Kahuku’s defense stifled Campbell’s sophomore quarterback, Chayne Kuboyama-Hayashi.

“We came out and we were flying around, so it was fun. We had fun today. We played together as a group for the most part,” linebacker/wide receiver Liona Lefau said. “We started getting sloppy towards the end.”

Stellar defenders Lefau, Brock Cravens Fonoimoana and Kruze Keanu have been incorporated as offensive weapons from time to time. The main focus, though, is defense. Defensive coordinator Sola Soliai has kept his unit mindful.

“He said we’ve been doing a good job, but there’s still things to improve on every day. He’s been telling us not to get complacent,” Lefau said.

That perfect 6-0 record doesn’t guarantee everything. It does get home-field advantage to the top two seeds, Kahuku and Mililani, not that it matters to Kahuku. Their home site, Carleton Weimer Field, remains under renovation. Running the table before the playoffs, that still means something to players like Lefau who resisted transferring out.

“It’s our goal every week to go 1-0. For us to accomplish that (perfect record), that’s a big deal for us,” Lefau said.

Coach Sterling Carvalho‘s team will host the OIA Open Division’s fourth seed, Waianae (3-3) on Saturday, Dec. 4, 6:30 p.m. at Skippa Diaz Stadium. Mililani was scheduled to host third-seeded Campbell, but the lighting situation at John Kauinana Stadium may cost the Trojans a home game in the playoffs. The game is scheduled for Friday night.

At Campbell
(Note: Kahuku was officially home team)
Campbell (4-2, 4-2) 0 0 13 10 — 23
Kahuku (6-0, 6-0) 21 21 7 0 — 49
Kah—Clyde Taulapapa 42 run (Kainoa Carvalho kick)
Kah—Carvalho 40 punt return (Carvalho kick)
Kah—Kealoha Kaio 6 pass from Waika Crawford (Carvalho kick)
Kah—Carvalho 35 pass from Crawford (Carvalho kick)
Kah—Kaio 54 pass from Crawford (Carvalho kick)
Kah—Kaio 35 pass from Crawford (Carvalho kick)
Cam—Diego Betancourt 16 fumble return (run failed)
Kah—Taulapapa 21 run (Carvalho kick)
Cam—Jonah Togafau-Tavui 33 run (Sehutha Maka-Mailei kick)
Cam—Maka-Mailei FG 43
Cam—Togafau-Tavui 1 run (Maka-Mailei kick)
JV—Kahuku 42, Campbell 0.

Individual statistics

RUSHING—Cam: Chauncee Lopez 8-9, Rowan-Ray Bucao 1-4, Chayne Kuboyama-Hayashi 8-28, Togafau-Tavui 9-72. Kah: Kana Loa Kaluna 2-6, Kelsyn Tangaro-Kanoa 3-11, Clyde Taulapapa 7-89, Kingsley Ah You 2-(-1), Kainoa Carvalho 1-4, Oleao Graycochea 1-1, Keona Poouahi-Macpherson 1-(-1), Waika Crawford 4-19.

PASSING—Cam: Chayne Kuboyama-Hayashi 11-32-2-116, Togafau-Tavui 5-9-0-76. Kah: Waika Crawford 15-27-1-260.

RECEIVING—Cam: Jonah Togafau-Tavui 5-43, Dominick Espinda 2-34, Jourdain Berinobis-Pyne 2-8, Rowan-Ray Bucao 4-46, Dallas Fonseca-Juan 3-61. Kah: Kainoa Carvalho 7-108, Kealoha Kaio 5-128, Liona Lefau 1-10, Kingsley Ah You 1-16, Tangaro-Kanoa 1-(-2).


  1. HailFromDaNorth November 28, 2021 1:07 am

    Would love to see more of the run please. Don’t get me wrong, I love the passing, but would like to see them balance it out more. Good job boys, also please keep your emotions in check. I know the game can be physical and emotionally you might get caught up in the moment, but we don’t need guys getting ejected out the game and the. Can’t play the next game. So just be smart and control your emotions. Other than that, keep doing your guys thing boys! Remember you represent the community and the last name on your back. Always keep faith, family and football in your hearts. And let’s get ready for playoffs onto the path to bring home #9 back to the north shore! #RR4L

  2. Good Story November 29, 2021 10:24 am

    Hey Coach,

    If we take states, I propose we don’t have any more home games. Maybe this “Road Dog” mentality is the key. Jus Joking of course. But if these “home” games were actually played at home…and if we truly believe that playing at home matters…scary to think what the scores could’ve been.

    One of the most impressive accomplishments, when all is said and done this that this team did it practicing at the park. No hash marks, no yard markers to practice 10 yard routes, 5 yard routes…no field goal to practicing PAT and field goals. All goes back to the what Larry Price used to say. “Physical Superiority cancels all theory”.

  3. Ku Ki’a’i o Kalaepohaku December 4, 2021 1:14 pm

    Physical superiority does not cancel all theory! Larry should have known better than to make this unqualified and absolute statement, as a former football player and coach himself. I challenge the above individual-using the pseudonym Good Story-to carefully consider the statement and think of some real life examples that falsify it. Don’t so easily accept such statements without critical thinking and applying attempts to falsify them, simply because they appear to be true or because a celebrity has said it. Larry evidently failed to account for two relevant principles in reaching his incorrect conclusion.

  4. Siuaki Livai December 5, 2021 1:06 am

    Physical superiority does not cancel all theory! Larry didn’t think that statement through very well or long before reaching that conclusion and saying it on television and radio. If it were true, Judo, Aikido, Lua, and other forms and techniques for self defense wouldn’t be effective against a physically superior opponent and there wouldn’t be any teachers teaching them to students who would only be wasting their time trying to learn. As a former football player and coach himself, Larry should have known better than to say that. Does he not know or remember that lineman are taught techniques that utilize leverage and quickness to outmaneuver and defeat physically superior opponents? The low man wins is a well known principle of effective line play, not who is bigger. Don’t simply accept Larry Price’s words as truth because they seem to be true, or because of his celebrity status.

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