Kapolei can catch it

Kapolei's Alika Sene-Bailey celebrated a touchdown against Kailua on Friday night. (Jay Metzger / Special to the Star-Advertiser)
Kapolei’s Alika Sene-Bailey celebrated a touchdown against Kailua on Friday night. (Jay Metzger / Special to the Star-Advertiser)

Kapolei can run the ball, that is no secret.

But heading into its playoff game against Farrington, it showed it can throw it a little bit, too.

Quarterback Aizon Kahana passed for 203 yards in the Hurricanes’ 42-27 win over Kailua in the first round of the OIA playoffs on Friday, just his second game with more than 200 yards passing this season.

That he did it is enough to make Governors coach Randall Okimoto sit up and take notice.

HOW he did it might throw a little bit of fear into the Governors.

Kahana’s M.O. all season has been to drop back, find his receivers covered and force it to Mana Reis, especially after Alton Julius went down with a high ankle sprain. Reis had 16 catches during league play, and no other Hurricane threatened double figures. The playmaker was targeted five times against the Surfriders and hauled in two of them, including a 20-yarder.

But if Kahana’s decision making on Friday night is any indication, the quarterback has grown by leaps and bounds.

Kahana threw Alika Sene-Bailey’s way four times and got a 78-yard catch and run touchdown off a short screen out of it. Daniel Magaoay may have been the most effective, catching two of his three targets for first downs, and the one that he missed was way over his head.

Ohai Bumanglag caught one of his three targets, and Trison Pebria and Tristan Centeio each had two targets.

Kahana didn’t start well, overthrowing Reis on a third-and-seven to end Kapolei’s first drive, and overthrowing Ty-Noah Williams on a third-and-long.

But in between those mistakes, Kahana was untouchable. He went 2-for-4 on Kapolei’s second scoring drive and 3-for-4 on its third. Kapolei’s fourth touchdown wasn’t much of a drive, as Kahana hit Sene-Bailey for a touchdown on the first play to make it 28-0.

Kahana’s most impressive play made it 35-0. On second and 15 from the 30, Kahana watched the snap travel way over his head past midfield. He tracked it down and evaded trouble enough to get back to the line of scrimmage, where he saw Joseph Kaina waiting all alone in the end zone and hit the receiver in the hands while being chased relentlessly by a host of Surfriders.

Six different players have led the Hurricanes in receiving yards in a game this year, but Friday night was the first time they all showed up at the same time.


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