After a 33-13 loss at Kahuku on Friday night, the Kapolei Hurricanes’ season stands upon the edge of a coin.
The Hurricanes (3-7 overall, 1-4 OIA Open Division) fell into a three-way tie with Farrington and Waianae for the last of four spots for the OIA Open Division playoffs. A coin flip, or flips, will determine which of those three teams faces OIA top seed Mililani.
Coach Darren Hernandez gathered his players upon the Carleton E. Weimer field right after his team shook hands with the Red Raiders to let them know what’s next.
Then, Hernandez told Hawaii Prep World, “It’s a coin flip. So it’s going to be between us, Farrington and Waianae. I don’t know when the coin flip is happening, but that’s where we’re at.”
Hernandez said that he’d “probably” be there in person for the flip, wherever it takes place in the coming days.
It comes down to a flip because Farrington beat Kapolei, Kapolei beat Waianae, and Waianae beat Farrington in a high-stakes game of jan ken po during the season.
It was a disappointing outcome for the Hurricanes on Friday night, because if they’d found a way to win on the North Shore — as they did back in 2007 in a OIA playoff game — they would have assured themselves a playoff berth. But Kahuku has now won all seven meetings since 2007, home, away or neutral.
“Well, it’s always a daunting task,” Hernandez said of facing the OIA Open third-place Red Raiders. “And when you make as many mistakes as we did, you don’t deserve to win. So, we made more mistakes than they did. They outplayed us. Football is players making plays. They made more plays than us.”
Hernandez went with sophomore quarterback Christian Rapis, who entered the night with three touchdowns and three interceptions on the season, and 549 yards passing. Fellow sophomore Noa Bailey, who got some work in garbage time, has eight touchdowns and 10 picks.
Rapis went 17-for-41 for a touchdown and three interceptions and 190 yards. He went deep early to Elijah Badoyan for a 52-yard score (that Badoyan fumbled then recovered on the run). There was another unusual bounce for Kapolei later in the game, as Rapis completed a second-half pass to himself that caromed off the back of a lineman … but resulted in a loss of 5 yards.
“Yeah. Yeah,” Hernandez said when asked if he liked Rapis’ effort. “I mean, it’s not ever on one player. We had drops, we had missed assignments. We had blown protection problems. It was a lot of different problems.”
The Hurricanes got off to leads of 7-0 and 10-7, but the momentum would not last into halftime thanks to Kahuku’s 20-point second quarter.
“It’s not how you start. It’s how you finish. And they finished and we didn’t,” Hernandez said.
Bottom line, Kapolei now needs some help from Lady Luck if it is to avoid having its season end at the hands of Kahuku for the fifth straight year.