Kahuku’s physicality too much for Punahou

Kahuku's Wes Alo-Maiava broke free for a big run against Punahou. Photo by Steven Erler/Special to the Star-Advertiser.

Marcus Lombard put it bluntly.

“Punahou gave us cracks at first,” the Kahuku right guard said.

It was a confession rooted in respect, of course, nothing illegal or dirty. Punahou’s defense brought some hammers and stuffed Kahuku’s ground game for some time in their Open Division clash on Saturday night at Carleton E. Weimer Field. But Kahuku didn’t stop. The body blows kept coming. The inside-the-tackles trench work gradually wore down Punahou’s stout front seven to pull out a 41-28 win.

It mattered to Kahuku, which is now 2-0, though neither win counts in the OIA’s standings. Games against ILH teams in this new OIA-ILH alliance don’t count for OIA teams, though they do count in the ILH standings.

It didn’t matter to the O-line or any other unit on Kahuku’s sideline.

“We’re playing every game the same way,” coach Sterling Carvalho said.

By definition, Kahuku did it with full frontal force. By game’s end, the home team racked up 324 rushing yards on 49 carries, and three Red Raiders amassed at least 87 yards on the ground. Toalei Lefau had 114 yards on 13 attempts, including a 65-yard touchdown jaunt that featured at least two nifty cutbacks. Wes Alo-Maiava carried the ball 23 times for 87 yards and four touchdowns, including three out of sets that began as the Michigan-style centipede, but turned into wildcat formations.

Kahuku Tausili Fiatoa sacked Punahou quarterback Hugh Brady. Photo by Steven Erler/Special to the Star-Advertiser.

Quarterback Robbie Sauvao, making his second career start, passed for 192 yards and ran for 115 more. The bulk came on two big runs to help fuel Kahuku in the second half.

All in all, however, it was defense and adjustments that stymied a hot Punahou passing offense. Making his first career start, Hugh Brady finished with 311 passing yards, but was limited to 9-for-25 accuracy with two picks for 78 yards in his last 10 possessions.

A Kahuku offensive line that turned the tide, allowing the defense to rest, made the biggest difference.

“It’s a testament to all the work they put in during the offseason,” Carvalho said.

“They’re the first in the weight room every time,” Sauvao added.

And those staggering blows handed out by Punahou’s tough defensive unit, well, Kahuku just refused to panic or change the game plan.

“We figured out their alignments and what we needed to do better,” Lombard said.

Punahou’s Tamatoa Falatea stiff-armed Kahuku defender Nalu Emerson to pick up extra yards. Photo by Steven Erler/Special to the Star-Advertiser.


  1. Awrite!! August 13, 2018 12:37 pm

    ilh – Maybe you should’ve gone to the game to hear Punahou parents yelling out to Kahuku players….”AT LEAST WE GO COLLEGE!”

    Let me remind you, if the Punahou team in pre-game is going to walk to the Kahuku sideline with all his teammates and yell out “THIS IS MY HOUSE!”. Brother better back it up on the field, instead he played like he ate too much donuts over the summer.

  2. Hamo August 13, 2018 1:16 pm

    Couldn’t agree more with @awrite. Practice what you preach! If you’re going to make your commitment video about being humble and giving praise to God, but you come in to someone else’s house with that kind of disrespect! C’mon man!

  3. hwynstyll August 13, 2018 2:36 pm

    Short memory, Punahou beat Kahuku the previous two times they played at a neutral site. Congrats to Kahuku on a well coached and hard played game, but dont act like calls didnt go your way saturday night when it mattered. Just like Konawaena game.

  4. JonFlo August 13, 2018 4:52 pm

    Short memory? … hwynstyll, go back and check your facts bro. Kahuku lost in 2014 at the stadium, but beat Punahou in 2009, 2011 and 2012 at the stadium.

  5. 88 August 13, 2018 4:55 pm

    When was the 2nd time Punahou beat Kahuku? In 2012 Punahou and Kahuku played twice. Both games kahuku won. A 21-13 preseason game and than destroyed them 42-20 in the State title game. The last time Kahuku lost to Punahou was in the 2014 state playoffs and it was 13-10. Was this 2nd game a secret game? I mean was it played behind closed doors like the secret 3rd fight between Rocky Balboa and Apollo Creed? Stop making SH#!t up to hype up your story. Bottom line is Punahou thought they were the big dawg. They came to Kahuku and met the Big Dawg. The Big Dawg whooped that @$$.

  6. Buff N Red August 13, 2018 7:33 pm

    The fullback demolished the USC commit at the goal and out ran him😂😂 he needs to stop eating donuts 😂😂😂slowest Lb I seen!!

  7. ILH August 14, 2018 7:31 am

    Hold on, how old are you?

    How old is this kid? I repeat kid.

    I think you need a lesson on the development of the adolescent brain because you still acting like an adolescent.

    About the Punahou parents yelling about going to college, they wrong too. Just like you.

    Classic. Called out on something and instead of taking responsibility you justify it by pointing out what everyone else is doing wrong.

  8. ??? August 14, 2018 10:47 am

    Kahuku made Punahou #5 All-American look average! Is Kahuku that good or is #5 overrated?

  9. ILH August 14, 2018 12:32 pm

    Bigger, Faster, Stronger.

    Cancels out any perfect scheme.

    Lets be real. That’s what this is, pure and simple.

    Not to mention, they play like a bunch of animals. And I admire this about them. They fly around with violent intent. Cant teach that.

    But what happens when they face a team that is as equally big, fast and strong as them? Not as good. How come?

    All this focus on # 5. Tsk, Tsk.
    will graduate with a Punahou Diploma and all the networks that come with it.
    Will attend Linebacker U, USC and earn a University of Southern California Degree. (BTW, he one sharp buggah in the classroom)
    Regardless if he reaches the ship or not.
    Focus on the prize yall. Hint, its not the Koa trophy.

  10. hwnstyll August 14, 2018 5:39 pm

    Sorry you guys were right, I was thinking of the other ILH team that beat you guys twice in a row. So with all this chirping going on I guess you guys now have to back it up for the rest of the year? Well not the kids , just the posters.

  11. OIA August 14, 2018 6:17 pm

    When Kahuku loses EVERYONE loves to live and ride off of it, but at the end of the day were they the ones even in the position to try and beat them? NO? How come?

    The “ILH team” that beat Kahuku twice in a row was Saint Louis NOT Punahou. People are quick to want to label “ILH this and ILH that”, but in reality, it’s only Saint Louis doing things not “ILH”. Kind of like when Kahuku crowds come out (ex: State Championship) and then all of a sudden it’s “Hawai’i football” no that’s just Kahuku football. Stop trying to take credit for something you all did not have anything to do with.

    As for #5 I don’t condone bashing on any of the kids but at the same time if you’re gonna be disrespectful in someone else’s home field expect the backlash afterward. Doesn’t mean he’s not a great player and such, he made comments and now he’s getting the repercussions from it.

  12. Neva Mind August 15, 2018 5:21 am

    I’m just a football fan that loves to Watch and support both leagues and this is disturbing to me. Everyone’s bashing on punahou this ,punahou that, and #5 did this and that. You guys think Kahuku is so innocent. You don’t think they started the trash talking? How bout during stretching and warmups several kahuku players yelled F Punahou. Yes #5 for punahou was wrong for what he did. Let’s all stop the bashing and just enjoy a exciting and fun season

  13. ??? August 15, 2018 8:38 am

    @Lou Soldier
    Your comment! St. Louis in a whole different pay grade than anyone else. They taking school spirits across the state. Lou Gang baby!

    I think what you REALLY mean is taking Athletic KIDS from across the state!! The Truth Hurts👎🏽

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