Freshman kicker delivers Waipahu an OIA title

Waipahu coach Bryson Carvalho guided the Marauders to an OIA Division II title last season. Photo by Jamm Aquino/Star-Advertiser.

Quarterbacks dream about the scenario. Coaches scheme for it and kickers dread it until it’s over.

Everything Waipahu had worked for since March presented itself when the Marauders recovered a Pearl City fumble on the Chargers’ 41-yard line with under five minutes remaining in the OIA Division II championship game at Aloha Stadium on Thursday night.

Down by six points, Waipahu quarterback Braden Amorozo seized the moment, delivering a 33-yard dime to Isaac Yamashita that set up a 3-yard rushing score by super sophomore Alfred Failauga with 3:22 left on the clock. The game was temporarily tied, and the extra point attempt that ensued could give the team its first lead of the game.


Brycen Amorozo, Braden’s little brother who had been called up from JV just three days before, trotted to the 10-yard line with a comfort and poise rarely seen by a freshman playing his first varsity game.

Despite a high snap, the younger Amorozo knocked it through the uprights with plenty of leg and Waipahu held on for a 23-22 victory, giving the Marauders their first OIA Division II title since 2011.

Earlier in the game, Brycen Amorozo’s 23-yard field goal in the third quarter cut the Pearl City lead to 22-16, making the game-winning drive feasible in the end.

“We put him in and he made a great field goal for us. It was awesome. Super proud of that kid,” Waipahu head coach Bryson Carvalho said of Brycen. “Such a great kid, just like his brother.”

Waipahu’s previous kicking duties belonged to Braden Amorozo, who would stick around every practice for around an hour to an hour and a half to kick with his little brother. So when the time came for all the extra reps to pay off, Brycen knew where his mind would go.

“I was really trying to stay calm. I heard everybody from the Pearl City side and I put them out of my head,” Brycen Amorozo said. “I thought about my team, especially my brother because he really helped me kick after practice. He taught me a lot about football and I just kicked both of the points believing in my team.”

“My brother worked extremely hard just to make sure his kicks are good and I’m so proud of that guy,” Braden Amorozo added. “I love him to death.”


Oct. 28, 2016 is a day that is not forgotten among the Waipahu team. The Marauders were edged by Waialua, 36-35, giving the Bulldogs their first conference championship since 1955.

When this year’s edition met in the spring, they vowed to themselves that the loss would fuel them the entire season.

Fast forward to Thursday night, and the Marauders are 10-0 heading into this year’s HHSAA Division II state championships.

But rewind back to 2015 when Carvalho got the head job at his alma mater, when the seeds toward the program’s steady rise were planted during a meeting with the older Amorozo.

“He told me ‘I want that quarterback that wants that ball with two minutes left and when we need a score.’ We had that moment and we were able to capitalize,” Braden Amorozo said.

Carvalho was on the Waipahu staff for 11 years as an assistant coach but left after the 2013 season. After a year of balancing college and full-time work in California, Carvalho decided to come home and lead the program.


Thursday night served as a reminder why.

“Three years ago, I made a choice to come back home and be the head coach here,” he said. “It’s for moments like this. I couldn’t be more happy.”

COMMENTS

  1. ??? October 27, 2017 11:30 am

    PC had TOO many Stupid penalties and looked confused at critical times in the game which contributed to their Loss. They had their first championship in hand and gave it away!


  2. PROUD MARAUDER October 27, 2017 12:50 pm

    BEING A WAIPAHU ALUM AND PROUD OF IT PC HAD SO MANY CHANCES TO WIN..WAIPAHU GAVE THEM THE GAME TO WIN AND COULDNT CAPITOLIZE SO WAIPAHU TOOK ADVANTAGE OF THAT WHEN THEY COULD AND WON THE GAME…ON A SIDENOTE THAT LINE JUDGE CLOSEST TO THE CROWD WAS TERRIBLE IN SPOTTING THE BALL CORRECTLY..I COUNTED AT LEAST 4 TIMES WHERE HE WAS OFF IN SPOTTING THE BALL BY 5 YARDS!!!! IN A GAME OF INCHES, MAKIN THOSE CRITICAL ERRORS CAN COST ANY TEAM AND ALMOST COST WAIPAHU THE GM..ALL IN ALL A WIN IS A WIN!!!


  3. PROUD MARAUDER October 27, 2017 12:56 pm

    WOULD ALSO LIKE TO ADD WAIPAHU HAS BEEN NOTORIOUS THIS YR IN STARTING SLOW..CANT KEEP DOIN THAT IN THE STATE TOURNAMENT OR ELSE THEY WILL BE GOING HOME EARLY..ALSO THEY HAVE TO GIVE THE BALL TO FAILAUGA TO SET THE TONE..PERIOD..FIRST SERIES WAS 3 AND OUT AND NO TOUCHES FOR FAILAUGA..HE NEEDS TO GET INVOLVED EARLY AND OFTEN..JUS SAYING..


  4. Lena Conrad October 27, 2017 10:57 pm

    Zion Tupuola Fetui was bred in Waipahu. Hold your head up your college bound with many scholarships to boot. So very proud of you and happy for your family.


  5. Runningman8626 October 28, 2017 2:40 am

    Marauders offense is back on the ground with Failauga’s talent running the ball. What a strong balanced offense! Only a sophomore, he’s looking to have huge years for his Jr. and sr.year! I always felt that Waipahu could compete with the elite in divison 1 but always failed becasuse If there passing game got shut down, their defense were the ones to pay! Being that theyd be on the field too much and getting tired early on, also then playing catch up and still getting 3 and outs so defense couldn’t rest! Therefore being blown out of games! But I feel now with another QB that can throw half descent than Amoroso and don’t turnover the football! Well with Failauga eating up clock and that being half of their defense. In the next couple of years look to see Waipahu make a serious “run” at the division 1 titles! Waipahu’s best defense will be the running game of Failauga, and will make their well rested defense seem stronger! And surely open up big passing touchdowns at any time! Run Run Run Run and bore the fuck out of everyone! 10- 7 final score wins? Against Kahuku?.. Farrington? We’ll take it!


  6. Shmuck October 28, 2017 9:20 am

    Eeeezy guy, all Waipahu did was almost loose to PC. No need to be calling out the Big Doggs.


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