Kailua coach Joseph Wong didn’t want his team to dwell on previous losses, especially since the Surfriders were winless entering Friday night’s matchup against Radford.
The Surfriders broke through for their first win of the season against the Rams in a 26-14 battle of attrition. In the end, Kailua (1-3) made fewer mistakes than the Rams (0-3), who turned the ball over five times against a stingy Surfriders defense.
Despite the victory, the Surfriders turned it over three times themselves. They also committed a handful of penalties on offense, causing Wong to lament the points left on the board.
“Not satisfied. A lot of points left out there on that field,” he said. “We had a long touchdown called back and a couple throws, overthrowing wide open receivers.”
There was no carryover from the disappointing Moanalua loss on Aug. 16, a game Kailua lost to the No. 10 Na Menehune 19-18. A week earlier, the Surfriders suffered a 14-0 loss to No. 6 Leilehua that was never out of reach.
“It’s the little things. The little things can come back and become the big things,” Wong said. “It’s just the basic little things that we need to work on and make sure we capitalize on it.”
Hastings Yee Hoy scored two touchdowns for Kailua with a pair of 2-yard rushing scores. He carried the ball just seven times for 11 yards, but also lined up at linebacker. To him, the victory was long overdue. But like Wong, he sees ample room for improvement.
“I think it will bring us a lot of confidence in ourselves. Our offense, our defense, special teams, everyone did good,” he said of the win. “We’re out here putting in the work.
“This offseason, we were working hard, putting in work. I think we’re in really good shape but we can always get better in everything we do, so we just gotta keep working hard.”
Kailua now carries some momentum heading into a pivotal matchup with ‘Iolani.
Despite falling out of the Star-Advertiser Top 10 with their own loss to Moanalua, the Raiders remain a stiff test for teams in the Division I and II ranks. With a bye week before the contest on Sept. 6, Wong sees it as an opportunity for refinement.
“It’s big for us. This is our fourth game if you count preseason. It comes at a nice time for us. I think it’s perfect timing,” Wong said. “Sometimes you want it halfway or three-quarters of the way, but you can’t ask for more. We’ll regroup, take care of the little things and get a little better on our concentration.”
As relieved as Yee Hoy was to be on the winning side, he knows there isn’t much time to celebrate, even with the bye.
“Finally after a long (losing) streak, we just did our jobs,” he said. “Everybody did their jobs and we worked hard to get to get the ‘dub.’
“Know your jobs, do your jobs and just work hard. We finally got it done, and now we’re on to ‘Iolani in two weeks.”