The statistics might be credited under “scoring offense,” but Kahuku’s defense and special teams have contributed a chunk of the Red Raiders’ point total two games into the season.
Kahuku scored in all three phases against Kapolei in its OIA Red opener and again on Friday in a 51-10 home win over Waipahu.
Kahuku returned a fumble for a touchdown and Kesi Ah Hoy took a kickoff back 94 yards in the Red Raiders’ 26-0 spurt on their way to a 33-19 win over Kapolei.
On Friday, Kahuku stormed out to a 51-0 lead early in the second quarter sparked by three returns by defensive back Keala Santiago and another by Alohi Gillman.
After forcing and three-and-out to open the game, Santiago set up Kahuku’s first touchdown with a 39-yard punt return. The junior defensive back intercepted back-to-back passes later in the first quarter, taking the first back for a touchdown and the second to the Waipahu 1.
Kahuku recovered a botched punt attempt in the end zone for another touchdown, the defense added two more points with a safety and Gillman returned the free kick 63 yards to cap the scoring frenzy with 10:34 left in the second quarter.
The Red Raiders went deep into their bench in the second half to close out the win and faces McKinley next week at Roosevelt’s Ticky Vasconcellos Stadium.
Waipahu faces Castle next week after opening the season against two of the state’s most physical teams in Farrington and Kahuku.
The Marauders have 49 players on their roster and were closer to full strength after having more than 20 players sidelined in last week’s abbreviated loss to Farrington. Most of those on academic probation were back on Friday.
“We go Castle next week, I think we can regroup and take some positive things out of this game and work on that,” Waipahu coach Eric Keola said.