Just two games on Oahu on Saturday night but both involve some heavy hitters.
No. 1 Kahuku plays for the first time in two years coming off a loss. The Red Raiders had their 18-game winning streak snapped last week at Bishop Gorman. Moanalua gets its shot against the state’s No. 1-ranked team.
HISTORY: Kahuku leads the all-time series 12-0-1 with the one tie coming in 1979 (6-6).
Live updates of the approximately 6:30 p.m. kickoff will follow below:
Second half flying by with the mercy rule. Kapolei at the Kahuku 20 with less than a minute left. Kaniho has been out this whole second half, but the rest of the unit is in lockdown mode. They want their shutout.
Kahuku ball, quarter ends 42-0.
Sekope Latu with another booming kickoff into the end zone. Two in a row for him. 6-4, 240-pound junior. What a weapon. And they have two between him and Stokes. Roughing the passer call against Kahuku. Major pass rush on every play, pretty much. Red Raiders not messing around. Most, if not all, of their starters on defense still in. Yuen scrambles out of the pocket and runs but he’s forced out of bounds on fourth down. Turnover on downs.
Vakapuna with a 35-yard run, but there’s a flag against Big Red. Unsportsmanlike conduct against Kahuku. Vakapuna bounces off a defender for a 20-yard gain. The Red Raiders hand it to Elvis one more time and he glides through the heart of Moanalua’s defense for a TD. KAH 42, MOA 0, 6:10.
Mercy rule in effect. Running clock. I was told during halftime that Moanalua suffered seven injuries during the first half. Some of them returned, some can’t. Moanalua goes three and out. Punt.
Nihipali-Botelho weaves through traffic and scores on a 98-yard TD. Stokes does it all! KAH 35, MOA 0, 11:41.
Kahuku 28, Moanalua 0
Touchback, Moanalua ball at its 20. Completion from Yuen to Ramones, 8 yards. Deep route to Ramones, but Kahuku is waiting with two defenders.
Moanalua stalls, punt. Kahuku ball at its 28. Fourth and 3, jumbo set and Brown gets the first down. The jumbo personnel stays on the field. Kesi Ah-Hoy is on the field for offense. Spins out of a tackle and takes off for 40 yards, then gains another 20 on the next play. Just like old times. Ah-Hoy scores on a 5-yard run. Jason Kaneshiro informs me that Ah-Hoy played the first half on defense. He was incredible last year as a wildcat QB. Then there was a game at the stadium when he ran 15 or 20 times in a row. He had an ankle injury later and was limping for awhile. Surplus of riches for Kahuku. KAH 28, MOA 0, 1:08.
No. 38 at QB for Kahuku. No 38 listed on the roster, but he looks like Cameron Renaud. Pass in traffic is picked by Moanalua’s Jeremy Rodriguez, 15-yard return and a personal foul on Kahuku.
Moanalua ball after the touchback. Pass goes through Miguel’s hands, almost picked off inbounds. Yuen sacked and Kahuku’s No. 28 (Sioeli Naupoto) squats and sits on Yuen’s helmet for a few seconds. Moanalua players angry about that. One of the Red Raiders tells Naupoto something and Naupoto shoves the guy. His own teammate. Moanalua punts, ball down at the Moanalua 45.
Kahuku ball at midfield after the punt. Brown with a nice gain, but Kahuku flagged for holding. Maiava runs option left, pitch to Brown for a modest 4-yard gain. Vakapuna shot out of a cannon, run right tackle, first down. Massive hole. Kahuku sticking to the I. After all the upsets last night, they’re sticking with basic. Flag on Moanalua for a chop block. This has happened to Kahuku before. Lombard up the gut for 15 yards. Beast mode. Pitch left to Brown for a touchdown run, but there’s a flag against Kahuku. Holding. Maiava drops back and then sprints to the left pylon. Forced out at the 3. Give up the middle to massive fullback Jean Paul Kefu for an uncontested TD. KAH 21, MOA 0, 7:07.
Nihipali-Botelho booms another kickoff into the end zone for a touchback. First down, Yuen goes deep to Ramones, ball picked off by Nihipali-Botelho, but out of bounds. Next play, pass to Miguel incomplete. Third down, rush is on and Yuen has to get it out quick, two receivers not ready, incomplete. Punt snap is difficult but Yuen saves it and gets the punt off. Kahuku return guy stuff.
Kickoff is a touchback, Moanalua ball at its 20. Booming kickoff. First down, trips right and Yuen looks left. Kaniho jumps to snag the pass, runs it back for a pick-6. That was a return of about 30 yards. KAH 14, MOA 0, 9:49.
Kahuku stops Moanalua, turnover on downs. Two handoffs and they advance from their own 5 to the Moanalua 25. Rodrigues down and he gets up and walks off under his own power. Brown with a run right and he’s gone. Almost. Saving tackle brings Brown down at the Moanalua 45. Another Moanalua player down. This guy was Rodrigues’ replacement. Coach Savaii Eselu look back to his bench wondering who’s up next. Kahuku loving the I. Now it’s Vakapuna off left tackle, runs over a defender and is off down the left sideline for a 30-yard gain. Maiava has Lombard wide open on play-action but overthrows him. Lombard gets his chance to score, pounds his way in for a 1-yard TD. KAH 7, MOA 0, 10:01.
Fourth down at the 5, Yuen is under huge pass rush and has to let it fly as he escapes the pocket, out of the back of the end zone. I’m told the kicking game has been erratic for Moanalua, so a FG try was not a certainty.
Moanalua ball at the Kahuku 11 after the fumble return by Rodrigues. First down, Brandon Bender carries for a 1-yard gain. Moanalua’s first RB carry of the night. Time out, Moanalua, :20 left in the first quarter. Second down, Yuen under center in a tight end/two RB formation. Drops back, throws to Ramones on a post route and he’s held up. Pass interference. Second and 3 at the 4. Same set, Ramones double-teamed and the pass is too high, nearly picked off by Kahuku. Third down, trips left, Yuen throws right to Ramones and Stokes Nihipali-Botelho called for interference. Still third down, with 1 yard for a first down. Yuen handoff to Rodrigues and the wall breaks down. Kahuku slams him for a 1-yard loss. The quarter ends scoreless, fourth and 2 for Moanalua at the 5. Will they kick a FG?
Another coffin-corner punt by Moanalua has Kahuku at its 17-yard line, 2:52 left. Red Raiders start this series in the I and Brown has a huge hole off left tackle for a 22-yard gain. Lombard up the middle for a short gain, then play-action, Maiava rolls right and finds Lombard, who makes a nice catch for a first down. Vakapuna with the ball, blasted and fumbles. Kea Rodrigues of Moanalua scoops it up at the 41 and returns it 30 yards to the Kahuku 11. Huge break for Na Menehune.
Moanalua ball at its 30 after Kahuku fails on fourth down. Quick pass to Chad Shiraishi for 2 yards. Completion to the other side and Kekaula Kaniho squares up and blasts the receiver. Picture-perfect tackle. Third and long, Yuen scrambles for a 5-yard gain, but they’re short of the first down. Punt.
Coffin corner punt pins Kahuku back at its 8-yard line. They run a jet sweep left to Elvis Vakapuna, dive to fullback Steven Lombard and a jet sweep right to Harmon Brown. Ball at the Kahuku 34 already. First down, straight give to Lombard for 2 yards and Vakapuna goes in motion to join Lombard, takes the handoff and gains 3. Brown is the motion man on third down, lines up next to QB Sol-Jay Maiava and picks up 4 yards. Make it 5. They measure and Kahuku has the first down. Still in no-huddle mode, but a little quicker pace now in the jumbo set. Smashmouth with Brown at QB, then Vakapuna. Then a snap over the QB’s head and a huge loss back to the Kahuku 40. They’d had two snaps earlier that nearly got away. If not for the bad snap, Kahuku’s jumbo set was thrashing Moanalua’s defense apart. More Jumbo but Moanalua stops Brown after 5 yards. Turnover on downs.
Rylan Miguel’s kick return sets Moanalua up at around the 20. First down, Alaka‘i Yuen with a deep shot to Ramones, covered well, incomplete. Second down, a quick pass to Ramones for a couple of yards. Kahuku bringing 10 guys to within 4-5 yards of the line of scrimmage, but they back off on third and long. Yuen to Ramones on a drag route and he has a step on his defender, picks up almost 25 yards for a first down. Another third down and long, incomplete but Kahuku flagged for roughing the passer. Moanalua with another third and long, just past midfield. Yuen’s been getting the ball out quick, but Kahuku brings heat and his deep pass to Ramones is way too far. Moanalua will punt.
Almost a full house here at Moanalua High School. Huge turnout as usual by Red Raider Nation, all in red. Jason Kaneshiro is writing the game story so I’m free to live blog and shoot video. Woohoo!