Kapolei charges back but falls just short

Kapolei quarterback Aizon Kahana ran against Waianae on Friday night. (Darryl Oumi / Special to the Star-Advertiser)
Kapolei quarterback Aizon Kahana ran against Waianae on Friday night. (Darryl Oumi / Special to the Star-Advertiser)

Two weeks after rallying past Leilehua, Kapolei nearly pulled off another remarkable comeback Friday night against Waianae.

After falling behind by 22 at halftime and again in the third quarter, the Hurricanes made it a one-possession game midway through the fourth period. But the Kapolei offense wouldn’t get another chance to touch the ball again as Waianae managed to run out the clock for a 35-27 win.

After seeing a chance to move into second place in the OIA Red West slip away, Kapolei coach Darren Hernandez picked out three factors that contributed that turned the outcome:


Waianae’s option attack

The Seariders were efficient in their ground game in the first half and scored on five of their six possessions in taking a seemingly commanding lead. The Hurricanes stiffened in the second half to force four punts and a fumble while the offense made its push.

Turnovers

A Kapolei fumble set up a Waianae field goal in the second quarter and the Seariders came up with two more takeaways in the third quarter. Niko Kala-Mahiai scooped up Kapolei’s second fumble of the third quarter and returned it for a touchdown for Waianae’s lone score of the second half.


A touchdown that wasn’t

Trailing 35-20, Kapolei drove to the Waianae 12 late in the third quarter before being pushed back by a holding penalty. The Hurricanes opened the fourth quarter facing a second and 23 from the 25. Quarterback Aizon Kahana swung a pass out to Alton Julius, who pulled up and lofted a throw to a wide-open Ohai Bumanglang in the end zone. But after a discussion, the officials ruled it was an illegal forward pass, taking the score off the board.

Kapolei got 18 yards back on the next play on a completion from Kahana to Tristan Centeio. But Kahana was dropped for no gain on fourth and 15 to end the drive.


Centeio had sparked the Kapolei comeback with a 94-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to open the third quarter.

Kapolei closes the regular season on Oct. 4 at Campbell, the Hurricanes’ third straight road game.

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