Kahuku prepares for trip to Utah after vanquishing Campbell

Kahuku running back Zealand Matagi rushed for 261 yards in a 35-7 victory over Campbell earlier this season. Photo by Jamm Aquino/Star-Advertiser.

It was studsville in Kahuku on Friday night.

The fifth-ranked Red Raiders kept it simple at their Carleton E. Weimer Field, running the ball between the tackles most of the night. The result: 440 yards on the ground and a 35-7 smashing of fourth-ranked Campbell.


The pack of stun guns on the offensive line did their thing. Passing? No need on this night.

But in the long run, to keep teams honest, Kahuku might have to find some wrinkles in its aerial game. But maybe not. Maybe they can run over everybody, which the Red Raiders have proven to be able to do many times in past years.

The next test may be telling. Kahuku visits Provo, Utah, to play Timpview on Friday night. The Thunderbirds are off to a 1-2 start.

“The win was good,” said running back Zealand Matagi, after bulling and carving his way for 261 yards on 17 carries and three touchdowns on runs of 22, 80 and 70 yards. “But we have so much more to work on. We’re going to Timpview and we’re gong to need to do more and work more.”

The Red Raiders (3-1, 2-1 OIA Open) also got a big game from Lalio Kaluna, who was actually more of a workhorse than Matagi. Kaluna lugged the ball 21 times for 88 yards, kept the chains moving and also scored a TD.

The blocking fullback who has been helping to rip open holes all season, Jack Tito, also had some party time in the end zone, scoring on a 1-yard run.

Kahuku’s defense left its calling card just as much as the offensive line. The Red Raiders — led by linemen Zion Ah You and Kanai Liva, defensive back Kaonohi Kaniho and linebacker Kana Fonoimoana-Vaomu — held the Sabers to 7 yards rushing. They let Campbell score once, but that came after Kahuku’s kickoff return team fumbled away the ball deep in Red Raiders territory to start the second half.

“When the defense is rested, they come in and fly around and make plays,” Kahuku coach Sterling Carvalho said. “They’re very aggressive, and we’re hard to run against because we have veteran DBs as well.”

Liua made two key stops in a third-quarter goal-line stand for Kahuku.

“Liua, he’s a big guy (6 feet 2, 265 pounds),” Carvalho said. “He’s a basketball player and he also is a good tight end for us. He’s just a great athlete.”

Ah You made his presence felt in the first half with heavy pressure on Campbell quarterback Blaine Hipa, and he also had a tackle for loss.

“Zion is tight and compact,” Carvalho said. “He has a quick first step, is hard to block, relentless to the ball … and he’s an Ah You.”

Zion’s grandfather, Junior Ah You, is a former Canadian Football League star, and Zion’s brother Miki Ah You was a defensive leader for the Red Raiders last year before signing with Washington.

Timpview is already on the Red Raiders’ minds.

“We leave Tuesday,” Carvalho said. “We want to make sure our players get acclimated to the thin air. Their lungs are going to burn. We also want it to be an educational experience, not just football. We want to get up there, have team bonding to hopefully bring the team closer together. We just want to go up there and represent Hawaii football. Out-of-state games haven’t been kind to Kahuku in recent years.”

The Red Raiders’ last win against a mainland team came in 2006, when they beat visiting Narbonne (Harbor City, Calif.) 25-6.

Since then, it’s been four straight losses against out-of-state teams — 27-0 at Bingham (South Jordan, Utah) in 2007; 38-15 to East High in Salt Lake City in 2013; 35-7 to Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas in 2016; and 17-0 to Bingham at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas in 2017.

Kahuku’s rout of Campbell left the Sabers at 1-3 overall and 1-2 in the league.

“We knew what they (the Red Raiders) were going to do and they did well and they played better than us tonight,” Campbell coach Darren Johnson said. “We gotta go back and get better if we want to come back and meet them again and play the brand of football we’re capable of.”

Added Sabers wide receiver Titus Mokiao-Atimalala, who notched his team’s only touchdown on a 20-yard pass from Hipa: “We’ve gotta work harder. Too many mistakes and it cost us. Missed tackles, not making catches. We’ve just gotta fix it. That’s all.”

Campbell will get a chance to right the ship with a home game Thursday against O’Connor (1-1) of Phoenix.


  1. Wainakea September 1, 2019 5:21 am

    People have been saying from game 1 this year, to run the ball. And when they did, they absolutely dominated. Running the ball really helped the defense.
    They don’t have Maiava anymore who can throw the ball. Different HC, but it seemed like they took that 2017 title loss too seriously. You gotta do with what you got and work hard; that’s how Kahuku has been thriving all these years. Back to the roots.

  2. Rrforlifebaby September 1, 2019 8:19 am

    @Wainakea. Maiava is a talented kid, but he’s gone. I Like this Adolpho kid. He’s not as fast as soljay, but it looks like he has a good football IQ, shows good maturity and in my imho spins the ball much better than soljay.

    I love the progression the last two weeks. Still got a lot to improve on, just keep on working and moving forward.


  3. Team808 September 1, 2019 8:22 am

    They went back to their bread and butter and thrived. Good job Kahuku! I also think Zealand Matagi is one of the best RB’s in the state and he’s only a Junior.

    But please beat Timpview lol. Their having a down year and Hawaii teams have been representing against the mainland in 2019. Make history and be the first Kahuku team to win in the Mainland.

  4. Koloa Gulch September 1, 2019 9:05 am

    Aloha and nice article. Nick Abramo just a spelling error for Kanai Liva should be Kenai Liua. Mahalo for your coverage of the game. love the staff and boys from Ewa but its hard to come to Red Raider country and play. Good luck the rest of the season. Red Raiders keep practicing and getting better each week and stay safe. Go BIG Red.

  5. 96730to89 September 1, 2019 9:17 am

    Going into the season many writers had Campbell ranked #2, because of the skilled players loaded on the offense. I hate to say we told you so, but many told you so. Games are won in the trenches and Kahuku has owned the trenches for years.

    Mililani now matches that strength and combines that with great scheming. Against Liberty, York got outcoached much of the 1st half, but made adjustments and really showed off his expertise. Impressive team win.

    Campbell is moving the needle, but it’s going to take time.

  6. Real Talk on HawaiiPrepWorld September 1, 2019 11:19 am

    Text book execution on Kahuku’s behalf. Gotta plan your scheme around the type of athletes you have. Stick to the run game against Timpview!!! Ground ‘n pound.

  7. "UNITY=STRENGTH" September 1, 2019 1:23 pm

    I agree Ground ‘n Pound run the rock it’s Kahuku’s strength TRENCH WARFARE did somebody see the elephant on the field among other thing’s it will be a night for Timpview MOVE EARTH O-LINE!!!:) But they can also be hurt on the pass I would have at least a few play’s mastered with speedy receiver’s to be more balanced if the need arrise’s. Remember you guy’s gotto come back home and prepare for the next game’s HeHe!!!:) There offense like’s to hurt you on the pass and there QB is mobile I would treat them the same on offense as the Bishop Gorman game contain rush with speed giveum different look’s to get in no even give the QB chance for throw!!!

  8. HailFromDaNorth September 1, 2019 1:28 pm

    Let’s gooo! #RR4L don’t sleep on them!!

  9. Hau’ulaBoy September 1, 2019 1:42 pm

    Adolpho kid looks promising. Good footwork and nice arm. Accuracy is a little off, but should get better as game slows down for him. Looks as though everything’s moving a little fast for him. Reminds me of Sol Jay at the same time of his development. Sol Jay didn’t have huge numbers his sophomore year either. Keep doing what your doing. RR4L

  10. Hau’ulaBoy September 1, 2019 1:46 pm

    Adolpho is a prominent family in Hau’ula. Also produced some good football players.

  11. HI HS FAN September 1, 2019 2:31 pm

    Kahuku has resurrected their running game. Their strength has always been a punishing running game behind a solid offensive line. As witnessed last night they just kept pounding Campbell ‘s defensive line until they got vulnerable. Now, if they can play-action pass when defenses stack the box. However, it’s got to be short to medium routes to give Adolpho more confidence. They’re not going to hit the long passes because that’s not their strength.

  12. ??? September 2, 2019 9:31 am

    JL Lavea? Anybody?

  13. Protectors not Protesters September 2, 2019 5:58 pm

    Great win RedRaiders!!!

  14. Fiatagata Memea September 2, 2019 8:35 pm

    I believe that all of the players for Kahuku contributed to the win! The stars of the game couldn’t do their best without the effort of the rest of the players. There was improvement by a lot of players from the first game of the season to the game with Campbell. CONGRATULATIONS to the coaches and staff, and especially the players for a great game, until it rained. GO RED RAIDERS #15…

  15. Big and tall September 4, 2019 12:35 pm

    Lol, going to back to campbell , where are all those talkers lol. Anybody can win pass league games, but with pads , different story and it showed. I give Kahuku credit for running over campbell, but remember now, its only campbell. I dont see them moving the ball like they did against a mililani, punahou, or a saint louis team. They got speed that can stop that so what Kahuku people calls it (smash mouth football). If thats their game plan against those 3, let me tell you , kahuku is going to get smashed. They need real OFFENSIVE COORDINATORS instead of having these pop warner coordinators who only knows how to use size and strength to try and run over the weaklings. But against the top 3 , it aint happening.

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