The numbers weren’t pretty. Four-for-15 for 20 yards and three interceptions.
Kaiser quarterback Kalawai’a Judd had two weeks to stew over those numbers after Kaiser lost its first game of the season to Waianae, 26-7. With a bye week to prepare for Friday night’s game against Waipahu, Judd used the extra time to study and mentally prepare for the challenges playing quarterback in coach Cameron Higgins‘ hurry-up offense brings.
The layoff seemed to help Judd, who looked much more comfortable behind center for the Cougars against the Marauders. Judd threw for 206 yards and two touchdowns in the first half of a 45-6 win at Kaiser Stadium.
“We tried to be more mentally conditioned (after the Waianae game) and understand what’s killing us,” Judd said. “When I transfered (from Kauai) it was kind of confusing at first but the coaches have helped me out to understand the playbook. That Waianae game I played really bad — threw for (20) yards or something — and so coming into this game I tried to be a lot more calmer.”
Judd completed his first five throws against Waipahu and spread it around to four different receivers. The big play came with his No. 1 target as he hooked up with the speedy Destin Moss, who took a bullet pass over the middle all the way to the house for a 76-yard touchdown.
The calmness Judd talked about displaying in the pocket showed on his second TD pass. Feeling the rush around him, Judd had time to step into a throw and launch a perfect deep pass that fell gently into the hands of Isaiah Pongasi-Adric for a 39-yard score.
His 206 passing yards came in just nine attempts and seven completions as Kaiser led 24-6 at the break.
“I tried to take my reads one at a time and then just throw the ball,” Judd said. “We came out firing.”
Kaiser righted the ship against Waipahu after losing to Waianae in a game the Cougars could have won. Four turnovers hurt big time but costly penalties also played a big part in Kaiser failing to knock off the Seariders.
The Cougars still had penalty issues against Waipahu, committing 16 for 158 yards. One erased a 65-yard touchdown run by Keith Jones II and three others allowed Waipahu to move the chains on third down without running a play.
“Our goal was to try and limit the mistakes but as you can see we still are getting flagged for unnecessary things,” Judd said. “I think later in the season we will be good.”
Kaiser heads to Roosevelt to play McKinley next Friday before a showdown on Sept. 19 against undefeated Kahuku.
Kaiser 45, Waipahu 6
At Kaiser Stadium
Waipahu (0-4, 0-4) 0 6 0 0 — 6
Kaiser (2-1, 2-1) 14 10 14 7 — 45
Kais—Destin Moss 76 pass from Kalawai‘a Judd (Matt Sai kick)
Kais—Isaiah Pongasi-Adric 39 pass from Judd (Sai kick)
Kais—Parker Higgins 4 run (Sai kick)
Waip—Jacob Anae 2 run (run failed)
Kais—FG Sai 27
Kais—Jensen McDaniel 62 run (Sai kick)
Kais—McDaniel 43 run (Sai kick)
Kais—Keith Jones II 8 run (Sai kick)
RUSHING—Waipahu: Maurcell Melton 8-14, Lariyah Fuentes 1-5, Anae 2-4, Nehemiah Palimo‘o 4-(minus 2), Jordan Taylor 1-(minus 2), team 4-(minus 3), Gavin Marques 11-(minus 6), Blaise DeAsis 3-(minus 8). Kaiser: McDaniel 14-162, Jones II 16-135, Judd 10-27, Higgins 1-4, Andrew Kaufusi 1-(minus 4), team 1-(minus 5).
PASSING—Waipahu: Marques 8-18-1-117, B. DeAsis 0-1-0-0. Kaiser: Judd 7-12-2-206.
RECEIVING—Waipahu: Storm DeAsis 2-65, Taylor 2-30, Palimo‘o 2-10, Melton 1-8, Kobie Russell 1-4. Kaiser: Moss 2-87, Pongasi-Adric 2-76, McDaniel 1-34, Jones II 1-6, Jordan Kannys 1-3.