Kahuku impressive in first on-field action since 2019

Kahuku running back Manulele Ah You (13) puts the stiff arm on a Kamehameha defender during an interleague scrimmage on Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021, at Farrington High School. Jamm Aquino/jaquino@staradvertiser.com.

Up front, it is all business for Kahuku.

Coming into a scrimmage with No. 1-ranked Kamehameha, two offensive linemen went down with injuries. Next man up. Kahuku scored five touchdowns in five series during the modified scrimmage, mixing rollouts and two-back, shotgun power runs in a display of balance. Kamehameha played reserves from start to finish.

The Warriors’ bye week was an opportunity to get some action for both those second- and third-stringers, while the visiting Red Raiders enjoyed their first action against an opponent since the fall of 2019.


Running backs found themselves trucking through sizable gaps between the tackles, but part of that was necessitated by Kahuku’s scheme. Quarterbacks Jason Mariteragi and Waika Crawford were quick on rollouts and precise on short and intermediate sideline passes.

“We are lucky that we have great quarterbacks. We’ve got a good set of skilled players out there, not just great running backs,” head coach Sterling Carvalho said. “We’re very fortunate we have a stable of great running backs. There’s no shortage of running backs at Kahuku. Hat’s off to Lalio Kaluna (5-11, 200), our senior captain. Clyde Taulapapa (5-11, 195). (Manulele Ah You, he scored a touchdown, and obviously Kelsyn Tengaro-Kanoa. He’s our x-factor on special teams and when he comes in, he brings that speed and explosiveness.”

Kahuku quarterback Waika Crawford (1) throws the football during an interleague scrimmage between Kamehameha of the ILH and Kahuku of the OIA on Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021, at Farrington High School. Jamm Aquino/jaquino@staradvertiser.com.
Kahuku quarterback Jason Mariteragi (3) throws the football during an interleague scrimmage between Kamehameha and Kahuku on Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021, at Farrington High School. Jamm Aquino/jaquino@staradvertiser.com.
Kahuku tight end Carson Mariteragi (89) tries to make a catch while being hit by Kamehameha defensive back Kilinahe Wong (28) during an interleague scrimmage on Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021, at Farrington High School in Honolulu. Jamm Aquino/jaquino@staradvertiser.com.
GFKamehameha defender Brayden “Ku” Keopuhiwa (16) almost comes up with an interception on a pass for Kahuku wide receiver Kainoa Carvalho (11) during an interleague scrimmage on Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021, at Farrington High School in Honolulu. Jamm Aquino/jaquino@staradvertiser.com.

The timing and execution — no false starts by their offensive line — was impressive.

“It started at the Pylons when we won the national championship with the Rebel Squad,” wide receivers and special teams coordinator Stuart Carvalho said. “It was made up of Kahuku players, so we’re running the same system. We’ve got the confidence. We’ve got the speed. We’ve got great running backs. All around on our skill position players, I think it’s the deepest we’ve ever been.”

Assistant offensive line coach Manu Olevao has seen the transition of bulldozing smashmouth blockers in years past to a more versatile group.

“I see the product of a lot of help we had from the community during this break. The boys put in a lot of hard work. We practically had two years of waiting for something to happen. Coach Tala Esera, bringing all his wealth of knowledge from different levels he’s been at, and the dedication of the boys. We got a good look tonight,” Olevao said.

Left tackle Judah Kaio (6-2, 280) was in crutches coming into the scrimmage. Then right tackle Manny Marquardsen (6-2, 240) got hurt during 1v1 matchups with Kamehameha linemen.

“What you saw today was something we put together at the last minute. Sione (Heimuli, 6-4, 370), who’s normally our starting right guard, he filled in (at right tackle). Roebeck Rupp (6-4, 350), who’s our left guard, filled in (at left tackle),” Olevao said.


Because the team’s home field is under major renovation, they march over to Kahuku District Park next door every day for practice. No goalposts. That made Carvalho, the special teams coach, quite satisfied.

“We never did kick a field goal or extra point until today,” he said.

Kainoa “Kaikai” Carvalho made two of his three PAT kicks despite a merciless 30-mph wind, and Horyzen Farley displayed tremendous depth on his kickoffs. Into the wind, it was a struggle, but with the wind at his back, the ball sailed beyond the end zone.

Head coach Sterling Carvalho was grateful to Kamehameha and its co-athletic director, Reggie Torres, for welcoming the Red Raiders.

“I’m very thankful to (Kamehameha Schools) president (Dr. Taran) Chun for allowing this. Coach Reggie, coach Abu (Ma‘afala) for allowing us to play, and to Farrington, for sure, for letting us use this field,” he said. “Thank you for making this happen.”

Defensively, Big Red swarmed and tackled, shutting out Kamehameha’s reserves.

“Offensively and defensively, there are little things we need to fix. Lining up in the proper alignments. Those things we need to clean up,” Sterling Carvalho said.

The scrimmage was live streamed on Kamehameha’s site.


“Nothing to hide. Everybody knows Kahuku. We’ve just got to be prepared,” the head coach said. “We’re going to get everyone’s best, so we have to be ready.”

See today’s story on the scrimmage in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Kahuku running back Kelsyn Tangara-Kanoa (24) blows by Kamehameha defender Brayden “Ku” Keopuhiwa (16) into the end zone for a touchdown during an interleague scrimmage on Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021, at Farrington High School in Honolulu. Jamm Aquino/jaquino@staradvertiser.com.

COMMENTS

  1. ILH October 10, 2021 4:55 pm

    Hard to say how good Kahuku is when they played against the reserves and not the 1st team of Kamehameha, the 1st team of Kamehameha did not play, as they have a tough match up next week in the rematch with Saint Louis.


  2. Good Story October 10, 2021 8:27 pm

    Nothing hard about it…they’re pretty good.


  3. James October 11, 2021 4:32 am

    Kamehameha deserves their number 1 ranking spot. Theyve played great football beating St Louis and Punahou. Great for ILH football. Great for Hawaii high school football. However, Kahuku played alot of their reserves too. Starting Dline only went in for 5 plays. Both starting tackles didnt play, so they moved both the guards to play tackle. Kahuku just started practicing 2 weeks ago. Kahuku used this scrimmage to rotate players as well. Last time these kids played an official game was back in 2019. ILH been playing the last month. The OIA open division teams are hungry. Huge game for Kahuku coming up against Kapolei this week who will be hungry as well to show what they’ve got. OIA football is back. Hawaii High school football is back


  4. 88 October 11, 2021 6:02 am

    One thing we learned from this scrimmage is that Kamehameha better pray no one from their starting 11 gets hurt cause their 2’s are terrible. BigRed played everyone and still Kam could not move the ball.


  5. SMH HAWAII FOOTBALL October 11, 2021 7:18 am

    The Crusaders will punish Kamehameha this week.


  6. rrforlifebaby October 11, 2021 8:41 am

    It’s a scrimmage. It is what it is.

    I believe both squads benefited. Kamehameha was able to sit it’s starters while the backups got in valuable reps against a very physical Kahuku team. Big Red was able to get in some work against some one other than themselves….looking forward to them against Kapolei.

    RRFL!!


  7. Eddie K October 11, 2021 9:46 am

    It’s all good. Kamehameha let it happen even if they got the biggest game coming up. Farrington let it happen on their field. Kahuku owes and will give back. It’s all about getting everyone, ILH,OIA,BIIF,MIL back on the field. Nice job.


  8. 88 October 14, 2021 8:31 pm

    Are you sure the starters didn’t play? Because if you watch the scrimmage the Kamehameha announcers say some familiar names.


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