There are only three teams in Kauai Interscholastic Federation football, and they usually hammer away on each other three times per season.
Sure, there have been KIF teams that have gone 6-0 before, but it’s been a long time since a team ran through the league as dominant as Kapaa did this season.
The Warriors (6-1 overall) allowed just 22 points in the six league games — an astounding average of 3.7 points per game, or, in other words, a smidgen more than a field goal.
“We never expected it to be like this,” said Kapaa coach Phillip Rapozo, whose team faces Pearl City (8-2) in the first round of the Division II state tournament on Saturday at Vidinha Stadium in Lihue. “Usually, this is a real tight league. We only have three teams and everyone thinks it’s easy, but it’s not. You are constantly battling each other and getting to know how teams play.”
The Chargers are coming off an emotional 37-36 overtime loss to Nanakuli in the OIA D-II final, but coach Robin Kami said that game is in the past.
“We got closer after that game and had a real nice talk in the locker room afterward,” Kami said. “Other teams wish they were in our position. We have a second chance, a second life.
“We’re excited to be there for the second year in a row. It’s a sign that we are moving in the right direction.”
A year ago, the Chargers were in the same position, traveling to Kauai for a first-round game. They lost to Kauai High 13-7, and nearly came back with some late razzle-dazzle plays.
“We have that one year under our belt,” Kami said. “It should make a big difference. The players know what to expect and won’t be in shock.”
The Chargers’ Jordan Taamu (1,493 passing yards, 24 TD passes) is a smart, accurate and savvy quarterback, and Dominic Maneafaiga is a speedy and shifty running back/slotback.
Defensively, Pearl City gets big contributions from a host of players, including defensive tackles Jackson Fuamatu and Pjay Solomon.
Kapaa has a potent offensive weapon in Rudy Agoot, who, according to Rapozo, hasn’t thrown an interception or lost a fumble all season. That is something that’s extremely difficult to do at any level of the game.
Shane Davis, a slotback and running back who can also play quarterback, is another dangerous customer in the Warriors’ spread offense.
“We have a well-rounded offense and we’ll take what the defense gives us,” Rapozo said.
Rapozo is extremely proud of his starting linebacker crew — all four of them. They are Chaz Pacleb, Mosese Fifita, Austyne Carvalho-Toloai and Brooks Bethel.
The Kapaa coach knows Taamu is the engine that makes Pearl City go.
“Taamu is a good athlete who has everything a successful quarterback needs — size, speed, arm,” Rapozo said. “Defensively, we will work on stopping him. He can hurt you passing or running.”
Kapaa’s only loss was an 18-16 affair against state Division II top seed and MIL overall champion Lahainaluna on Aug. 16 at Vidinha Stadium, the first game for both teams.