GAME NIGHT 8/26: Waianae/Kahuku

Kahuku linemen face off prior to Friday night's showdown with No. 4 Waianae. Photo by Bruce Asato/Star-Advertiser.
Kahuku linemen face off prior to Friday night’s showdown with No. 4 Waianae. Photo by Bruce Asato/Star-Advertiser.

Five games on Oahu Friday night are highlighted by the showdown up North between the top two ranked teams in the OIA.

Live updates of the 7:30 p.m. kickoff will follow below:

No. 1 Kahuku 28, No. 4 Waianae 0, FINAL


Kahuku shuts out Waianae for the third time in two years. I don’t think Waianae ran a play in Kahuku territory the entire game. Final: No. 1 Kahuku 28, No. 4 Waianae 0.

GOOD NIGHT. Kesi Ah-Hoy comes flying off the end and sacks Ulu, punching the ball away in the process. Sioeli Naupoto scoops it up in the end zone and it’s a touchdown for Kahuku. 28-0.

Now Waianae junior DB Sireadan Sana is banged up. Waianae whistled for a personal foul as it gets frustrated. One of the underrated aspects of these Kahuku teams under Tata is they just don’t hurt themselves. You don’t see many turnovers or flags. Harmon Brown 11-yard TD run. Kahuku leads 21-0.

Ulu misses a receiver as two rushers barrel in on him. Waianae, with only four first downs all game, has to punt. Kahuku has dominated the time of possession.


More great kick coverage by Kahuku, which is so well coached. And now Ambrocio is down for Waianae. Seariders losing some key players quickly. Waianae continues to try to pound away on the ground but just not much there. Third quarter ends. That’s 11 quarters Waianae has failed to score a point against a Vavae Tata-coached Kahuku defense.

Kahuku starts near its 35. Vakapuna with a tough run of 8 yards on second down. Kid is a real difference maker for Kahuku. He bobbles the snap on first down though and it backs Kahuku up. Third-and-9. Maiava with a strike to Vakapuna and it’s a first down. Another strike from Maiava to Dowling. Lombard with a rough run up the middle and Kahuku is starting to wear down Waianae’s front seven it looks like. Inside the Waianae 25 now. Now Jean Paul Kefu comes in for a nice run. Kahuku pounding away and now Waianae DB Tony Cabral is down. Kahuku with a false start and a delay of game penalty inside the 10 but it doesn’t matter. Vakapuna with a 9-yard TD run to give the Red Raiders a 14-0 lead late in the third quarter.

Kade Ambrocio gets a chance to return a kick but is bottled up at the 18. Only a 16-yard return and Brandon Hattori is down for Waianae. Hattori has to be helped off by teammates. Looks like his right leg. Can’t put any pressure on it. Waianae starts on its 18. Ah You stops Towne for 2 yards. A personal foul gives Waianae a first down but the Seariders have to punt.


Rico Rosario finally finds some space and he picks up 13 yards up the middle. Not sure how much time is left but can’t be much. Incomplete pass and now it’s halftime.

Kahuku starts on the Waianae 41. Francis Mailo in on the stop on Brown for no gain. Mailo with another tackle to force third-and-long. Elvis Vakapuna gets pass on crossing route over the middle and takes it 12 yards. Big first-down conversion on third-and-long. Vakapuna now on the handoff and he picks up 12 more near the 15. Elvis Vakapuna making a difference on offense and he bumps it outside and races for the 11-yard TD run. Kahuku takes advantage of the failed fake punt by Waianae to score first. 7-0 Kahuku.

Waianae will start at its own 42. Probably halfway through the second quarter. Scoreboard still not functioning. Naupoto with another stop of Rosario, whose helmet comes off. Third down pass is incomplete as the pressure got to Ulu, who took a hit from Miki Ah You. Punt coming. Nope. Pontes-Borje decides to run instead of kick and Kaniho is all over it. That didn’t have a chance. Kahuku ball with good field position in Waianae territory.

Brown with a 7-yard rush. Brame with a huge stop on the tackle. Those Waianae DB’s can hit. Viliamu forces Maiava to throw it away and Kahuku will punt but there could be a roughing-the-kicker call. It’s only the 5-yard variety so it’s fourth-and-4.

Ulu finds Isaiah Freeney and the Seariders pick up their second first down of the drive. LB Sioeli Naupoto with the big stop to force third-and-long. Ulu throws a bomb and Stokes Nihipali-Botelho makes the pick around the Kahuku 25.


Waianae ball on the 20. Jorell Pontes-Borje with a 10-yard run. Ah-Hoy with the tackle but it’s a first down. First quarter ends.

Harmon Brown right up the gut for a big gainer and he’s already got 31 yards on five carries. Kahuku already close to the Waianae 30. Seariders stuff two runs to force third-and-long. Maiava rolls out to his left and has a receiver wide open but the throw is nowhere close and almost picked by Elijah Brame. Kahuku punts.

Waianae starts on its 35. Seariders go backwards on first drive as Aliki Vimahi sacks Jaren Ulu on third down. Waianae loses 13 yards on its first drive.

Waianae holds Kekaula Kaniho to a 1-yard return. Kahuku will start on its 28. Frosh Sol-Jay Maiava starts at QB for Kahuku. Waianae caught for an illegal substitution before the first play. Now a sideline warning for Kahuku. Maiava goes deep on the first play but Tony Cabral knocks it away. He has been great for Waianae all year. Steven Lombard gets the first carry for 5 yards. Lots of confusion. Kahuku goes for it early on fourth-and-2 from its 45. Kesi Ah-Hoy in at QB and he gets 4 yards for a first down. Kahuku nearly fumbled a delayed handoff but big runs by Maiava (10 yards) and Brown (14 yards) move ball deep into Waianae territory. Josiah Viliamu stuffs Brown for a loss and Maiava is short on the pass on third down. Stokes Nihipali-Botelho tries a 37-yard field goal but it’s partly tipped. Kahuku whistled for a personal foul to add to injury. Waianae takes over. 14-play drive. No points for Red Raiders.

Waianae getting ready pregame. Photo by Bruce Asato/Star-Advertiser.
Waianae getting ready pregame. Photo by Bruce Asato/Star-Advertiser.

Game is a bit delayed because of the JV game. We’ll kick around 7:40 p.m. Scoreboard is out.

JV FINAL—Kahuku 34, Waianae 13


Series history: Kahuku leads the series 26-13-1 since the OIA expanded in 1970, with the Red Raiders taking the last 15 meetings dating back to 2000 when Lono Manners and Peter Sarono led the Seariders to a 12-7 win at Aloha Stadium. Even though this matchup always figures to be run heavy, Waianae has not had a running back go for more than 100 yards against Kahuku since Duane Miller went for 114 way back in 1998, a span of 18 games, and hasn’t had a receiver go over 100 since Ikaika Gilman in 1995. Kahuku has historically had no problem running on the Seariders, getting a back over 100 yards in four of the past five matchups including Kesi Ah-Hoy in the last two. Kahuku hasn’t had a receiver gain more than 100 yards since Punga Vea in 2000. The last time Waianae traveled to Kahuku it put a scare into the Red Raiders until allowing Aofaga Wily to score with 2:32 left for a 14-10 win. Kahuku has eight shutouts in the series, Waianae has six.

Billy Hull: How does “The Crunch Bowl” sound?

Paul Honda: This summer/fall, No. 1 Kahuku has simply not been tested yet. After landing eight players on the Star-Advertiser All-State first team for defense last year, the Red Raiders have dominated against Leilehua and Aiea. Defensive end Aliki Vimahi (6-4, 250), who has 11 scholarship offers, is among the standouts in the unit.

What Waianae’s offense offers is a bit different from what Kahuku has seen in past years: more depth at most positions across the board. Behind a gargantuan, yet agile offensive line — 6-foot-1, 325-pound senior guard Mililani Misipati has been sensational as a pulling blocker — the Seariders have employed multiple ballcarriers out of the Wing-T and four-wide offenses. Rico Rosario (297 yards, three TDs), Javen Towne (131 yards, TD), Kade Ambrocio (147 yards, three TDs) and Jorell Pontes-Borje have been durable and fresh.

Without a dominant tight end, the Seariders have been efficient through the air. Senior Jaren Ulu’s poise is a big key. Ulu has passed for 374 yards and four TDs with just two interceptions. He has a tall, skilled target in Isaiah Freeney (10 receptions, 130 yards, one TD) who is one of the best big wide receivers in the league. Rosario was a blur on a 77-yard screen pass for a touchdown last week against Moanalua.

Offensively, Kahuku freshman quarterback Sol-Jay Maiava (15-for-31, 192 passing yards, two TDs, no picks) has able pass catchers in Royce Pao (six receptions, 98 yards, two TDs), Kai‘ea Dowling (four, 54) and Elvis Vakapuna (four, 47, one TD). Defensive back/linebacker Kesi Ah-Hoy (three, 36) will probably see more action than usual on offense, the custom for Kahuku’s finest athletes in games like this.

Maiava, who has a scholarship offer from Michigan, has the blessing of a skilled, massive offensive line and steady producers in the backfield. Harmon Brown (135 yards, two TDs) and Steven Lombard (97 yards, three TDs) have toted the pigskin most for an offense that has tilted less heavily on running the ball. The ratio, however, is still more than 2-to-1, rushing to passing.

There is no statistic to measure what goes on in the trenches, the will to dominate at the point of contact, and the moment either side gives in, that’s usually when a game between behemoths will turn.

Coach Vavae Tata, who did not return calls to comment about the game, is 15-0 since taking charge of Kahuku’s program. In all, the Red Raiders as a group have 32 scholarship offers. All-State cornerback Kekaula Kaniho received an offer from Boise State on Saturday, his eighth. Vimahi got his 11th offer on Sunday, from UCLA.

USA Today moved Kahuku into its Top 25 this week at No. 25.


  1. Paper Crane August 26, 2016 6:06 pm

    Great weather for football tonight and so let the game begin yet prayers to both Kahuku and Waianae varsity men whereas let there be no injuries tonight and may the best team from the east or west claim victory; also, bless you all with safe travel as you return home late tonight. Win or lose people you all enjoy OK. RR4L

  2. 87 August 26, 2016 8:41 pm

    According to the oc16 announcers this is the 15th consecutive game where teams have thrown the game away verse the red raiders, how lucky.

  3. TooMeke August 26, 2016 9:53 pm

    Any questions?????

    Yeah. Against the 2nd best D in da state.

    Puns and St LuLu – you guys keep running your spread O. We gonna do da same to you. Now you know.

    Goooooooooooooood night!



  4. Alpha August 26, 2016 10:07 pm

    Alpha August 25, 2016 at 7:49 pm
    Kahuku wins, I predict shutout….. waianae is good this year but Kahuku will have an easier time stopping the run then a pass team this year… it’s just a prediction.

    ….. I just wana put that out there….

  5. KahukuAlumni August 26, 2016 10:18 pm

    With all those NFL players from kahuku you would think they would get a new scoreboard? New field? Instead of that ghetto field. Everyone is more concern with buying red clothes. Once again the offense and defense will get sasa in Vegas. Sol Jay overrated. Stick with smash mouth offense.

  6. Tutu Kane Ale August 26, 2016 10:22 pm

    To the entire Red Raiders Nation, congratulation on another victory and much mahalo to all who supported coach Tata and Hao along with their staff and not to forget families, faculties, and the many RR4Lifers. @87, thanks for being there.

  7. OHHREALLY August 26, 2016 10:32 pm

    That ghetto field helped them win 24 OIA titles and 8 state titles. Don’t worry that smash mouth offense will continue to… SMASH!!!

  8. 87 August 26, 2016 10:41 pm

    Waianae has the run defense to slow that red raider jumbo pkg. Too bad some key players got hurt cause the morale went south and Kahuku showed its dominance, Kahuku had some injuries in the game too and I saw 3 offensive starters not suited up so it all evens out.

    Tata seems to be scheming or doing something with this red raider team because it almost feels like there is something brewing in a lab somewhere, scary to think how dominant this team can be once things start to click.

  9. 88 August 26, 2016 10:47 pm

    It would of been a better game if Waianae’s fitness level was better. 2nd play of the game and Big #5 for the Seariders walking already… Don’t get me wrong Kahuku would of won the game but Big W need better fitness if they want to be successful.

  10. 87 August 26, 2016 10:53 pm

    Hows Felipe Ojastro talking about where kids are born or the birthdate, so iritz, hope he does that for all the games hes at and not just be an investigative reporter when calling Kahuku games. Cant wait till he calls an ILH game and lists the hometowns, home islands and birthdates on those players.

  11. Tutu Kane Ale August 26, 2016 11:33 pm

    It’s not midnight yet but I believe we missing many of them regular commenters like should we have a roll call or maybe that’s not necessary like they’ll be bye tomorrow that I’m sure?

  12. oia#1 August 26, 2016 11:46 pm

    Neva have razzle dazzle but hats off to kahuku, i still want to point out that waianae coaching scheming, game planning on offense just doesnt seem to work. Spread offense? Not even the #1 rated alabama commit could pass it against them. Goin for a fake punt on 4th and 7? On your 30 yard line? Defense was on the field practically the whole game they got worn down plain n simple,Im no genius but cmon man that killed the vibes. Much props and respect to kahuku.

  13. Good Story August 27, 2016 12:10 am

    Good job Big Red…good to see the Home Team Keyboard Warriors all still up and defending our home turf, Ofa Atu to all of you.

  14. Paper Crane August 27, 2016 12:19 am

    @Good Story, good to see you too; our team going to get even katoosh better watch and see; you enjoy OK.

  15. Unko Alvin August 27, 2016 12:46 am

    How sweet it is like the Red Raiders proved them non believers wrong; just got off work and I couldn’t wait for later so here’s congratulation the entire Red Raiders Varsity Football team, the proud coaching staff, the faculty, family members like we all so proud of our varsity men. RR4L

  16. RidgeRunnerE-5 August 27, 2016 1:17 am

    I was hoping Waianae would come out with the spread and hit Kahuku with some quick short passes. Coaches elected to run instead, even when the run game was getting completely shut down, the coaches wouldn’t budge. Gotta make the necessary adjustments and meet up again in the playoffs. Good to see the Searider Nation show up in force tonight for our boys.

  17. Aku Bird August 27, 2016 3:29 am

    Im glad Waianae improved like everybody said they did or it would have been 50-0 instead of 28-0:)

  18. Alohachef August 27, 2016 4:03 am

    @Kahukualumni are you really a Red Rider? The field and scoreboard needs to be renovated. the issue needs to be addressed by the state. Other schools have or are having million dollar renovations but it’s not that simple with KHS ‘s situation. If you are from there you know the recurring reasons why the issues have not been addressed. Secondly, Gorman is a national powerhouse. They recruit majority of their players. They have facilities that major colleges can only dream of. Lots of big Vegas donors put money into their athletic programs. That’s why the dominate here in Vegas. They have a quarterback committed to Ohio State. A running back committed to Cal and several others being recruited by D1 schools. It will be a heavy and huge task for Kahuku. To say that they will get sasa could happen but Coach Tata, staff, and the team believe and are determined to prove the critics wrong once again. Gorman I might be bigger, faster, and stronger but on game night we shall see. As sportswriters like to say, “that’s why the game is played on the field.” We all will know in September 17. Red Raider Nation Rise Up and Respect. Hope you do too, Kahuku Alumni.

  19. Chloropicrin August 27, 2016 8:00 am

    Wainae runs on 2nd and long and then goes for a fake pass/ run option on fourth down to lose field position and any type of momentum…but that’s none of my business.

  20. MrWendall August 27, 2016 8:26 am

    Waianae and Farrington are not good match ups with Kahuku because its easier for a stout red raider defense to shut down a good run game and less then average pass game that Wai/Farr have.

    Pass happy teams like Kapolei will actually move the ball efficiently between the 20’s on the red raiders because they spread the field and have a QB that can find the pockets. In either case all that matters is the score at the end of the game and its usually a lopsided victory for Kahuku, although the pass happy teams somehow think that a moral victory is a victory on the scoreboard. lol

  21. Paper Cranes August 27, 2016 3:22 pm

    Kahuku Red Raiders still number #1 and still the defending football champions of the State of Hawaii High Schools; so please leave out our grandfather score board, puka puka football field, the questionable GPAs, and the new format like them doesn’t win football games and until proven otherwise by those who challenge the Red Raiders, Kahuku is still number #1; not simple math but just the final game scores that say so and by the way Weimer Football field is not a ghetto field and ghettos doesn’t have football fields, they have sand/dirt lots. RR4L

  22. Hauula93 August 28, 2016 8:19 am

    @Kahuku alumni… What you call a ghetto? We call it old school… we do a lot of conditioning and fitness drills old school style… Our facilities are outdated, but we make due in back yards weight rooms and other old school fields (Laie park) and still bring home Champions. Our NFL tryed to donate money, but admin. Shut it down due to being equal to the others sports (volleyball,basketball,soccer,etc.) So if you were a Kahuku alumni, you would know these things…. I’m calling it, Kahuku alumni is a Kahuku fan imposter… Smdh.. And on the subject of being overrated? Every good team last year and this year who played Kahuku was overrated.. Tua man and his brother was overrated, cuz they could not win big games… Kahuku’s offense and Sol Jay is putting up bigger number this year then last year…He has a lot more pass yards then the whole season last year… That’s not overrated, it’s improvement… Do your research my ILH brada… Now, Sasa’d… The key to beating Gorman is clock management…We did it against waianae, why can’t we do it gorman.. Our coach came from Stanford,who shut down Oregon every year…. Ummmmmm…Think about it…

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