Kahuku’s Maiava feels the pain of hard-fought win

Kahuku quarterback Sol-Jay Maiava needed crutches after leading the Red Raiders to a 35-31 win over Mililani in the OIA title game on Saturday night at Aloha Stadium. Photo by Christian Shimabuku/Special to the Star-Advertiser.

A shirtless Sol-Jay Maiava was on crutches on Saturday night at Aloha Stadium, fresh off No. 3 Kahuku’s 35-31 victory over No. 2 Mililani in the OIA championship game that certainly lived up to the hype.

The sophomore has sustained multiple injuries this year, and the only loss the Red Raiders had this year was a 17-0 game to Bingham (Utah) in which he didn’t play. But with Kahuku’s third consecutive OIA Division I title on the line, Maiava wasn’t going to sit this one out. He wasn’t going to let the game slip away, either.

Kahuku found itself down 14-0 and 21-7 late in the first half, and the Red Raiders didn’t take their first lead of the game until 7:31 to go when Alex Fonoimoana-Vaomu returned a fumble for a 45-yard touchdown. The Trojans responded when Dillon Gabriel and Kilifi Malepeai connected for an 11-yard touchdown with 5:05 left.

With 1:34 left in the game, Maiava hit sophomore Kaonohi Kaniho perfectly in stride for a 28-yard touchdown. The Red Raiders’ defense held up and the comeback was complete.

“An ugly win is better than a beautiful loss. I’m just glad that we got the dub tonight especially for this team. We made a comeback and got into the end zone,” Maiava said. “The O-line held up good, the wide receivers came up at the end. It was a great game.”

In his freshman season with the Red Raiders under coach Vavae Tata, Maiava threw 110 passes in 13 games, an average of 8.5 pass attempts per game.

Maiava has been given an increased role in the passing game this year for the Red Raiders under new head coach Makoa Freitas, and Saturday’s performance might have been his best one yet in that regard. He was 17-for-25 with a career-high 248 yards, no interceptions and touchdown. He also added nine rushes for 46 yards and another touchdown.

“It was great. That’s what we came here for,” Maiava said. “We train all week to prepare for this, I don’t know how to explain it.”

As for the injuries, Maiava says he’ll be good to go for Friday’s matchup with Waianae in the HHSAA Division I-Open semifinals. A win there would mean an opportunity to avenge last year’s second-place finish in the state final.

“It’s just minor. I’m probably back to practice on Monday,” he said. “It’s all good.”


  1. Toomeke November 5, 2017 6:51 am

    Any questions about who the best QB in Hawaii is???

    Put the state on notice what they can expect for the next two years!!



  2. Grabum.by.da.puppy November 5, 2017 7:08 am

    he made adifference fo sure but watching da mill qb sling it was a sight to see also

  3. 88 November 5, 2017 7:19 am

    I hope all you part time RedRaidahz out there who said “this kid can’t throw” or “he lacks arm strength” or “ he’s not even the best QB on the team” enjoyed honking your horns on the way home. Like Coach Johnson said in his interview “ 50% of RedRaider Nation ain’t even alumni”. Well this kid comes from 2 alumni’s and as an alumni myself you half steppaz can go eat a FAT ONE! 26 baby!

  4. Choloropicrin November 5, 2017 8:07 am

    2 OIA championships and he’s only a sophomore, who’s surrounded by a very young team. By the time they’re seniors look out.

  5. Coach C November 5, 2017 8:14 am

    Great clutch game. So Jay gets hurt from staying in the pocket. So many times he could have taken off. St.Louis Mililani game will be a dowzer. Just play Alapa at Qb for the Waianae game. In fact second string it for Waianae.

  6. NatureBoyRicFlair November 5, 2017 8:31 am

    88 – So what are you saying? Outsiders can’t root for Kahuku? Just because you aren’t an alumni you can’t cheer for Kahuku? Kahuku fans are always talking about “Everybody is against us” but when outsiders actually cheer for the Red Raiders we get responses like “You aren’t even an alumni” “You never even go school at Kahuku” c’mon braddah man some of us have nephews on the team and even though we aren’t from the North Shore, we’re reppin that red.

  7. Bbb November 5, 2017 8:53 am

    Enemy of the state but yet have like a dozen titles lol I don’t get it.

  8. Bert Hernandez November 5, 2017 8:54 am


  9. Red Leaf ( Hauula ) November 5, 2017 9:13 am

    Good job again soljay and the rest of the red raider clan. Hope you felt the thunder in the stands from your red raider fans. Always a joy to see the heart and spirit involved in every red raider game. Keep up the heat, we going win again !!!!!!!!!! Your RR neighbor.

  10. anywaaaays!! November 5, 2017 9:16 am

    NatureBoyRicFlair/Education First, stop whining and stop hating on Kahuku. Go an peddle your hate and your whining about how kids need to get an education somewhere else, punahou boy. Who’s punahou playing in the first round of states again? OH, THEY DIDN’T MAKE IT. Maybe they can recruit better next year like Rod York. RRFL!

  11. ahinalu November 5, 2017 9:32 am

    The Kahuku Red Raiders just Refused To Lose !
    Kahuku Red Raiders The Pride of The North Shore.

  12. The New and Improved Education First November 5, 2017 9:47 am

    Hey “anywaaays” stop pretending your are from Kahuku. We all know you are from Waialua. Did Waialua even make playoffs this year?

    Congrats to Lahuku for a hard fought win. Just curious, do you guys also honk the horns and get all “giddy” when someone breaks the 1000 mark on the SAT’s? To me that’s way more impressive than a meaningless title that has zero worth 2-4 years down the road.

  13. 702Rydah November 5, 2017 11:42 am

    anywaaaays!! – not sure how “NatureBoyRicFlair” was whining or hating. he/she was just saying, just because you didn’t go to Kahuku, that doesn’t mean you can’t root for them. plenty people (including myself) have family members on that Red Raider football team, but we aren’t Kahuku alumni. does that mean we can’t be part of the Red Sea?

  14. Glynnie Ani November 5, 2017 12:18 pm

    Are u trying to say that Kahuku High lacks in education? Come on Bro don’t be a hater be a Red Raider!!!! It doesn’t matter what anyone says about us no one in the State has a community and fans like Us!!!!! RR4LIFE…

  15. OIA November 5, 2017 3:03 pm

    why is the #1 seed St. Louis playing the # 3 seed OIA, shouldn’t it be #1 vs. Waianae # 4 seed, and Kahuku # 2 seed playing # 3 seed Mililani, just wondering.

  16. ??? November 5, 2017 4:28 pm

    I hope Sol Jay is healthy for the state title game. He should rest against Waianae cause they have NO chance unless they have the 12th man (Refs)

  17. Tiu wesley November 5, 2017 5:09 pm

    @The New and Improved Education First”
    What’s new and improved? I’m sorry, it’s the same condescending attitude that only speaks volume on the kind of person you are.

  18. Freshie November 5, 2017 6:28 pm

    @ new and improved. That’s why they need to redshirt, blue shirt , gray shirt their kids. 18 year old sophomores. #recruiterssamethingasredoers.

  19. BIG RRED November 5, 2017 7:20 pm

    anywaaaays!! = Toomeke/Education First/Mr Punaho/NatureBoyRicFlair

    You’re little RR4L shtick isn’t fooling anyone. Go home hater. RR4L 4 realz!

  20. BIG RRED November 5, 2017 7:23 pm

    ???, agreed. Rest Sol Jay but have him ready just in case. We shouldn’t need him against the Seariders unless they bring their A game. Save him for states.

  21. ResaLicious November 5, 2017 7:36 pm

    Great game Kahuku Red Raiders! Mililani came to play but didn’t have the HEART it takes to get the WIN! Offense sells tickets, Defense wins championships!! GO BIG RED!!!

  22. Married to one November 5, 2017 10:08 pm

    Never understood what it is to be a RR4L till I married one. Then I knew what the Big Red is all about. Hard to doubt when they’re there year in and year out. No such thing as a rebuild season over there. Just lock and load. No other community like that in the state. We all know that for real.

  23. Good Story November 5, 2017 10:13 pm

    Saw the post game interview…this boy is becoming a man. The next 2 years will be an absolute privilege to watch his development if he continues on this “trajectory”. Rest up…take nothing for granted…bring that SHIP back home.

  24. YNAE4EVER November 6, 2017 6:45 am


  25. 88 November 6, 2017 7:07 am

    Yeah they always in contention for 5th place….

  26. Auwe November 6, 2017 9:39 am

    Waianae always play kahuku tough! Thats a given! To take them to lightly would be a big mistake! As for mill ville they played a good game! They just came up a few bad calls short! Good lick in states everybi! go big red

  27. TooMeke November 6, 2017 10:39 am

    @BIG RRED – I was RRFL before you were even a thought of being BRED… hahahahaaaaa!!!!

    Giv u.

    btw – I would have sol jay sit out unless absolutely needed – we can beat waianae without him. no offense to waianae, but they haven’t proven they can move the ball vs our D for 3 years in a row now… why risk more injury to sol jay.


  28. Sweaty Murphy November 6, 2017 12:08 pm

    Sol-Jay is clutch and headed to a big-time program after high school. Can anybody tell me if he is a “true sophomore” or is he a year or two older than most of his sophomore peers? It kind of dampens the hype for me a little when I find out a kid is a 16 or 17 year old sophomore.

  29. Terii'te'toofa November 6, 2017 12:59 pm

    Right on RED RAIDERS won ! But this was the most flagrantly obvious juiced called game I’ve witnessed in my many year’s of life. Even both Spectrum O.C 16 sportscaster’s Felipe Ojastro and Darren Hernandez said there were “many questionable calls against Kahuku”. Wade Miranda and just about his entire officiating crew should be banned from calling any high school football game again. In fact there should be an investigation of this matter by the HHSAA. SO WHAT’S UP WIT DAT HHSAA !?

  30. ChruchIsTRUE November 6, 2017 1:02 pm

    @sweaty murphy….. put it this way. He going be buying all the beers by his senior year. #TRUESTORY

  31. Pops November 6, 2017 1:41 pm

    Without a doubt, Sol-Jay is the most improved gunner in the league since the opening of the season. He fought through injury and found his rhythm and strength for the main season – the post season. Well done. You earned the props.

    Here’s hoping he’ll also continue to improve as a leader by staying humble, acknowledging the efforts of his team mates and recognizing that “we” is a bigger deal than “I.” That’s how you get the opportunities to win championships.

  32. RB4L!!! November 6, 2017 5:13 pm

    Why does the #1 seed in the state have to play the #3 seed in the semi finals????? So……the #2 seed gets to play Waianae in the semis and waltz right in to the final. Doesn’t make sense. No reward for being the top seed. Anywhere else in the world would have the #1 team playing #4 and the #2 team playing #3.

  33. Terii'te'toofa November 6, 2017 6:09 pm

    RB4L if you (The I.L.H) say and think you da best why are you crying and scared of playing “any team” ? Just go out there and prove yourself ! Another thing to certain Red Raider fans. Why does it make a difference if you’re not alumni and you support Kahuku ? As Jesus said in the New Testament,”anyone for you is not against you”.

  34. RB4L!!! November 19, 2017 11:00 am

    Read ’em and weep!!! 31-28!!!…..No crying……not scared to play anybody……point proven……’Nough said

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