No. 8 Kailua did a lot of things right in a 40-14 dismantling of Nanakuli on Saturday night at Alex Kane Stadium.
There was firm response to a big first-quarter play by the Golden Hawks, a 90-yard connection from Nahum Kipi to Reno Curtis after Curtis had snuck behind the secondary.
There was a strong ground game — four players rumbled for 50 or more yards — and timely passing by quarterback Aaron Mejia. Running back Chauncy Gonsalves-Bell led the way with 101 yards while Mejia had two passing TDs and one rushing.
There were four sacks (including a safety) on Kipi and interceptions by three players, including one to the house 30 yards by Dylan Kurahashi-Choy Foo that restored the lead for the Surfriders, who improved to 3-0 (2-0 OIA Red).
And there were a number of personal fouls and other flags on both sides as the game swung for good to Kailua in the third quarter, but cooler heads ultimately prevailed.
“I like where we’re at and I’d just like to keep building off of what we’ve accomplished in the first four weeks of the season,” coach Joseph Wong said. “Like anything else, you gotta look at the tape and correct the mistakes out there. There were some points we left out on the field, but for the most part we took care of business in the red zone, and when we had opportunities to score.”
Kailua hosts Farrington (2-2, 2-1) next week, with the Governors fresh off an upset of No. 5 Kapolei. It’ll be a big game. The Surfriders will need to perform well in all facets to win.
That includes the kicking game. More specifically, the point-after-touchdown kicking game. Kailua tried two players there Saturday, Joshua Vega and Alika Teramoto.
The Surfriders’ first try was a busted play 2-point attempt that failed and from there they went 2-for-5 on PAT kicks, with Teramoto converting the two makes but also missing one to go with Vega’s 0-for-2. If the game had been close, well … things have certainly been decided by less.
“They were money (leading up),” Wong said. “Joshua was good the whole week while Alika was gone. Alika is our field-goal kicker, he usually kicks it from 20 yards out, so what is that, a 30-yard field goal, maybe. And he missed chip shots. So we gotta fix that. I think he kicked too many of his good shots during the pregame and during the week. I told him, ‘You wasted some of them. Gotta take some of those bullets for the game.’ ”
Kailua will need its full arsenal for the coming gauntlet; after Farrington, there’s still Kapolei, Castle, Leilehua and Mililani to get past. But if the Surfriders get their “extra ingredient” sorted, they could contend for a favorable berth in the OIA playoffs.