If this is it, Kaimuki wants to send coach David Tautofi out with ‘proper farewell’

Kaimuki's Koby Moananu (8) caught a touchdown pass despite tough defense from Kaiser's Josh Okamoto during the second quarter. Photo by Cindy Ellen Russell/Star-Advertiser.

This might not be the final chapter, but if it is, the Kaimuki Bulldogs are doing all they can to send coach David Tautofi out with a championship parade.

The spotlight sensations like Jayden Maiava, Naomas Asuega-Fualaau and Koby Moananu delivered big in Kaimuki’s 33-17 win over Kaiser — the same team that handed the Bulldogs their lone defeat in OIA Division II regular-season play — on Friday night at the Cougars’ field in the OIA D-II semifinals. Kaimuki (9-2) moves on to the final against Roosevelt next week.

>> CLICK HERE FOR A PHOTO GALLERY FROM THE GAME





Maiava, the 6-foot-5 sophomore, was poised against a well-schemed Kaiser defense all night. Though the Cougars often loaded the box and defended the perimeter well, Maiava finally broke through with a 37-yard TD pass to Sione Taufa, and after Kaiser tied the game at 10, he delivered perfectly-thrown TD passes to Moananu three times.

The arch, the timing, the placement were all too good even against perfect coverage. Maiava finished with 336 yards and four TDs, while Moananu clutched up with eight catches for a school-record 203 yards. Asuega-Fualaau endured a rough night in the trenches and finished with 102 yards on 31 carries — not bad after starting the game with 5 yards on eight attempts. Kaiser was ready, but Kaimuki stuck with its version of “Beast Mode” and the lanes opened up in the second half, when Kaimuki ran off 37 plays, not including penalties and punts. Kaiser had 30 second-half plays, most after falling behind 27-10.

There was a stretch from late second quarter into late in third quarter when Kaimuki had 23 of the game’s 27 offensive snaps. The difference between Kaimuki-Kaiser II from the original a month ago was twofold. Kaiser freshman quarterback Easton Yoshino sat out (concussion), and he might just be a plus-30 performer since Kaiser won by 14 points the first time around. More telling, however, is the way players like Matt Williams and Avin Tanioka came up clutch. Williams had an interception and a fumble recovery. Tanioka had two of his team’s four picks.

“(Assistant) coach Billy Masima and Coach T, they started this program for us. Us seniors are going to try and close it out for Coach T, give him a proper farewell,” Williams said.

Farewell? For awhile, Tautofi has hinted that this year may be his last. Five seasons in charge of a Kaimuki program that had fallen on challenging times. With a 36-18 overall record and now, a third state-tournament berth, it is difficult to imagine any other coach and staff that could have done what Tautofi and his assistants did.

Kaiser coach Tim Seaman, in his third decade as a coach, sees an ideal role model in Tautofi.

“When it’s the end of the season, I think all of us (as coaches) sit down and take stock where we’re at. Coach hasn’t said anything to me personally. I know he’s looking forward to continuing his run next week in the OIA championship and in the state,” Seaman said. “He does such a great job for that school, and not just the football team, but the school in general. The positive aspects that any sport can bring, and I see the relationship and the respect that those kids have for Coach T and that staff. He’s a big, big part of why they’ve become what they’ve become.”

Tautofi, a former Kaimuki and UCLA defensive lineman, says there has been no final decision. Yet. The red, teary eyes told the story after the game.


“It’s a curtain call for the seniors. We always have plans and sometimes God has different plans. You’ve just got to be adept and willing to listen to that voice, and that’s where it seems to be for us and for me,” Tautofi said. “But I can’t really focus on that. There’s no real telling until the season ends.”

The Bulldogs — all 23 of them — were poised, stoic even, as they shook hands with the Cougars. They walked to the bus with lightness, joy, but kept their tone quiet.

“It’s awesome, to go to the state tournament three times in five years, it’s awesome. These boys earned it with their preparation, their time and dedication at practice,” Tautofi said. “Guys were waiting for their opportunity, and they understand when it comes. It just makes our team better when they’re ready.”

In the bus, as it began to depart the parking lot, the excitement was too much to contain. The bus was rocking by the time Tautofi boarded.

“It reminds me of USC when they beat Oklahoma in the national championship. Lendale White and Reggie Bush,” Tautofi said.

Yes, indeed, the Bulldogs are going to the ‘ship.

COMMENTS

  1. IDGAF October 20, 2019 2:25 am

    Woopty doo! Only D2


  2. To Da Hale October 20, 2019 7:47 am

    Take it easy.

    Open, D1 or D2 all these student athletes put in a lot of effort everyday and being able to go to the ship (in any division) is awesome.


  3. Hau’ulaBoy October 20, 2019 8:17 am

    @IDGAF:
    What a hater. These kids deserve all the glory for their hard work. And you come on here and just hate. Feel sorry for you. No character. No class. Just hate. Too bad for you. BUT CONGRATS TO THESE BOYS OUT THERE IN KAIMUKI!!!!!!!


  4. Lou October 20, 2019 8:18 am

    Hope Lilio Kaluna tells some of the boys how good it is in Kahuku. Otherwise York will come.


  5. Boolakanaka October 20, 2019 1:27 pm

    IGDAF, prob never play HS, or college ball, and prob not even Pop Warner. Where all da HS football experts that said Kaiser would take it to Kaimuki—chirp chip, crickets huh?!

    Kifi, great job Hawaiian !


  6. Ondareal October 20, 2019 1:56 pm

    Idgaf, these D2 kids from any school would run circles around you! Heck, pop Warner kids would take you to the house. So show some class!


  7. Your Unko & Aunty October 20, 2019 2:29 pm

    🗣 First & 10 Kaimuki


  8. MiliLouis October 20, 2019 2:58 pm

    @LOU

    Question:

    Is Lilio rooted or recruited?


  9. The Truth Shall Set You Free October 20, 2019 7:02 pm

    Rollah Coastah, IDGAF is a D5 Postah. Thanks.


  10. HI School Fan October 21, 2019 3:41 am

    Kaimuki is well coached team. Don’t have the numbers and the kids play with heart. Good luck to them.


  11. Chirp chirp.........pfffsssssss October 21, 2019 7:56 am

    @Boolakanaka

    Kaiser? Chirp chirp? What you talkin? Who said Kaiser? We said Lunas!

    I’m talkin “Lunas” baby! Your dogs ain’t going walk over the Lunas. If you expecting an easy game, you out of yo mind!


  12. Hawn4Life October 21, 2019 11:24 am

    Easy missy “Chirp Chirp….”

    Lunas? Lmao lets not even start there. Besides, the last time they met Kaimuki, they got away with one thanks to the Maui Refs. Anyhow, no one said they’d run over anybody but if you wanna start chirping yourself for your Lunas I suggest you learn from Kaiser fans mistakes chirping all that garbage. Just wait tho, we’ll see what happens hahaha.


  13. Date street October 21, 2019 4:54 pm

    Riders


  14. Date street October 21, 2019 4:55 pm

    Should be a good championship game. I jus think the Bulldogs are more hungry after giving away a championship to the riders last year. Different team, different mind set. Plus, with some key guys back in the lineup for the mighty Bulldogs. Should be interesting. Go Bulldogs


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