Kapolei vs. Waianae: The way the ‘Canes win

Kapolei's Destyn White and Treven Maae doubled up to take down a Campbell running back on opening weekend. Photo by Bruce Asato/Star-Advertiser.
Kapolei’s Destyn White and Treven Maae doubled up to take down a Campbell running back on opening weekend. Photo by Bruce Asato/Star-Advertiser.

If you played the word association game right now with Kapolei football, just about every answer would revolve around either sophomore QB Taulia Tagovailoa or offensive coordinator June Jones for obvious reasons.

The leader of the program throughout its entire existence, Darren Hernandez, shouldn’t have a problem with that. After all, who wouldn’t want the combination of Jones and Tagovailoa controlling an offense at the high school level?

But when it comes to Saturday’s showdown against No. 4 Waianae, Hernandez might look elsewhere for the key to victory.

Hernandez has played the Seariders 13 times as head coach at Kapolei and has managed to come out on top only four times. Waianae’s nine wins over Hernandez at Kapolei trail only Mililani, which is 10-2 against the Hurricanes all-time.

Aiea: 11-1
Pearl City: 6-2
Nanakuli: 5-0
Kailua: 5-2
Campbell: 5-5
Moanalua: 4-1
Waianae: 4-9
Kaiser: 3-0
Castle: 3-1
McKinley: 3-1
Waipahu: 3-1
Radford: 3-2
Leilehua: 3-7
Kalaheo: 2-0
Kalani: 2-0
Waialua: 2-0
KS-Hawaii: 2-0
Mililani: 2-10
Damien: 1-2
Farrington: 1-6
Kahuku: 1-6
Kamehameha: 0-1
Kaimuki: 0-1
‘Iolani: 0-1
Pac-Five: 0-1
Saint Louis: 0-1
Punahou: 0-2
TOTAL: 71-63

There is a common theme among Kapolei’s four wins against the Seariders and it has nothing to do with the offensive side of the ball. The Hurricanes have held Waianae to less than 14 points in four meetings. Their record in those games? 4-0. Give up 14 points or more and they are winless in nine tries.

It might be easy to expect the combination of Jones and Tagovailoa to outscore everyone you play. They got off to a good start last weekend as Tagovailoa threw for 263 yards and five touchdowns in a 38-0 drubbing of Campbell. But as equally impressive as the 38 points and five touchdown passes for Kapolei is the big zero put up by the defense.

Kapolei held Campbell to 154 total yards (just 5 yards rushing) and key interceptions by Leonard Lee, Kalani Segovia and Tyler Vasega thwarted some promising Campbell drives.

Waianae pulled off an impressive win on the road against Kamehameha to leapfrog Kapolei into the No. 4 spot in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser rankings. The Seariders used a four-wide, spread offense in the second half that caught Kamehameha off guard, but good luck surprising a defense with something they see every day in practice.

The Seariders made the big 54-yard TD pass play to win the game in the final 2 minutes, but two of Waianae’s four touchdowns came off an interception and special teams. Through 2+ quarters, the Warriors were able to hold the Seariders scoreless.

Waianae is talented on defense and Tagovailoa surely will end up tasting the Kapolei turf a few times. He should also be able to break through at least a couple of times for scores.

The key to this game, if history is any indication, is what happens when the Seariders have the ball. If Kapolei comes out, stops the run, and slows down a suddenly diverse Waianae offense, then it might not take a Superman performance from Tagovailoa to win the game.

And that might be exactly what Hernandez wants.


  1. The Red Sea August 9, 2016 6:47 pm

    I say these.2 teams are evenly matched. But with the home team always given a 7 pt.edge, that’s the margin of victory for Kapolei. 35-27.

  2. HomeGrown August 9, 2016 7:43 pm

    Wow this article implies that Waianae Got away with a Lucky win. both Kamehameha Scoring drives were only extended by Personal Foul Peanalties. “Kamehameha Held Waianae
    Scoreless for 2 Quarters” But Waianae
    blanked them for 3 Before the Penalty Party Started. I’m not sure when the ruling changed (if it did?) but the last play should have been a ten yard Penalty on Waianae from the 45 (if accepted) or if declined and accepting
    The Catch and run The Ball should
    Have been placed on the 3 yard line and game over because time expired. This week will be a war of wills and who can impose theirs Not a game for Kapolei to win or give away. Good Luck to Both Teams for a Safe and Strong Battle. Imua Team Waianae

  3. Chloropicrin August 9, 2016 7:49 pm

    On defense stop the run and make them play from behind. On offense score more and quick.

  4. anywaaaays!! August 9, 2016 8:06 pm

    I do not know who will win this game because both have shown to be a “Top 5” team after their first week. But I have a feeling that the winner will win convincingly and would win again in a rematch.

  5. anywaaaays!! August 9, 2016 8:46 pm

    How come the author never mentioned Jaren Ulus name as the QB that threw that heroic 54yd TD to win the game for Waianae last week against Kam? Yet Tagovailoa’s name is praised six times in this article. #WaianaeQBLivesMatterTooYouKnow

  6. anywaaaays!! August 9, 2016 8:54 pm

    @Homegrown, exactly! just like last year with St. Louis and Mililani and all the media coverage about how those two teams either won the game or gave it away. Looks like Kapolei is this years media darling, I think there is more football intelligence in these comments section then the article itself. #ArmChairQBLivesMatterToo

  7. oia#1 August 9, 2016 9:30 pm

    Lol they act like waianae got lucky then they acting like waianae goin lose, bunch of phonys

  8. Chloropicrin August 9, 2016 9:33 pm

    Media darlings. Lol. Until Kapoleo makes some noise in the post season, no one should take them seriously.

  9. Chloropicrin August 9, 2016 9:58 pm

    The back judge at the Waianae / Kamehameha game should have won player of the game. He was key in Kamehameha’s last two series and scores.

  10. K-TOWN August 9, 2016 10:22 pm

    Waianae QB was lucky to get that ball off.if you guys ever watch that ulu kid he is just a spot passer.he just lucky he has a WR that actually can catch the ball..we shouldn’t even be worry about there of fence our defense will crush them..and our offence will school them on how a passing team looks like..hurricanes all the way!!

  11. K-TOWN August 9, 2016 10:58 pm

    @anywayyy..Waianae QB was luck to get that ball off.if you every watch him from last year.he is still a spot passer, he just lucky he has a WR’S that can run after the ball.i know we have notthing to worries about there offences cause all we have to do is stop there run game cause they don’t have the speed RB’S THAT THEY HAD LAST YEAR (didn’t see them playing at the Kamehameha game..)there offences really didn’t show anything at that game.. our offences will show there defence what a passing of fence look like!! CARS ALL THE WAY!!!

  12. Chloropicrin August 10, 2016 6:38 am

    @K-Town Waianae returns 2 of their top 3 backs from last year and adds on a couple studs from JV. Ulu doesn’t have to pass if the run is working and besides he’s a competent enough passer if they need it. After seeing Kapolei scrimmage, Kapolei’s D front is not on the same level as Kamehameha, watch their eyes get big when they see that massive O Line.

    In it her news, I’m looking at Radford’s schedule and they play Kahuku and Waianae in back to back weeks..it’s a welcoming to D1. Brutal.

  13. Chloropicrin August 10, 2016 6:52 am

    Funny how people say “our offences will show there defence what a passing of fence look like”…dude for real Kahuku won 25 OIA’s and 8 State Titles with a running game, Waianae dominated the OIA for years with a running game; Alabama wins national championships with a running game..point is, passing offenses looks good, scores a lot, but they can be stopped. June Jones lost the Sugar Bowl to UGA cause they applied pressure on defense and had a strong running attack on offense.

  14. K-TOWN August 10, 2016 8:12 am

    I really didn’t see any running game when waianae played Kamehameha.they had 2 RB’s that are big but slow.they got hit at the line of scrimmage every time and got luck on some of its run cause kam did tackle them..didn’t see those speed back that they claim they have.and what 2 backs are you talking about that came back??!!.. didn’t even see them play.. as for the QB really !! Throwing floater is good enough?? That why waianae will never beat kapolei cause they settle on just being good enough!!!..plus I heard he is playing with stiches in his throwing hand.so even if they plan on throwing,it would be hurting him during the game I smell pick six all night for our defence.so knowing waianae they will play a hurt QB at this game cause they have no back up!!.. we got this!! CANES ALL THE WAY!.

  15. Leeboy August 10, 2016 8:32 am

    Aloha my 808 braddahs! it’s funny to see everyone talking about Kapolei’s offense. Their defense is what everyone should be talking about. Those hurricanes linebacker will eat the “W” for lunch. I’m surprise a guy like Mareko doesn’t have any D1 offers. This will be a good game to gauge both teams because both Campbell and Kam ain’t that good this year. I will be surprise if Campbell wins more that two games this year.

  16. red x August 10, 2016 8:43 am

    Waianae is more physical than kapolei on offense and defense. They just going run right through kapolei!

  17. Plus2 August 10, 2016 8:44 am

    Waianae never beat Kapolei???? Read the article clown 9-4 record!!! One of Waianae’s backs had 10 carries for 56 yards and 1td, that’s 5 yards per attempt!!! And that was against arguably one of the best run stopping teams in the state with Pauole/Aleki up front!!! Numbers don’t lie bro!!!

  18. Petey August 10, 2016 8:52 am

    Interesting to note that since the OIA/ILH merger in 1970 (45 years) Kahuku and Waianae have combined for 35 of the 45 OIA D1 championships! Mililani and Leilehua have 3 each, Radford has 2, and Farrington, Waipahu, Castle, Kailua, Kaiser and Nanakuli have 1 each. Kahuku has 19 and Waianae has 16! Both teams have the tradition behind them and I expect them to be the best in the OIA this year!

  19. rrforlifebaby August 10, 2016 8:57 am

    Agreed, this will be a good gauge for both squads. Will be interesting to see how Kapolei’s D stacks up against Waianae’s physical running game. If Searider’s don’t put enough pressure on Tagovailoa, he will eat up the secondary.


  20. Chloropicrin August 10, 2016 9:12 am

    @K-Town is recess over yet? Go back to class. It was a credit to Kamehameha’s defense front, which IMO is better and more athletic them Kapolei’s. Until Kapolei can get passed the first round in the OIA, then we can take them seriously. There are so much hype every year about Kapolei, but they end up getting knocked out in the first round. Bring in June Jones and all the staff was a way to get the pressure and attention off of Hernandez.

  21. 87 August 10, 2016 9:36 am

    Its a new season so everyone is 0-0, in this case they are both 1-0. It doesnt matter about the history because if you dwell on the past you will get into trouble. Waianaes defense should be good enough and Kapoleis offense should be good enough. The difference maker will be what color underwear the head referee wear, if its purple then Kapolei win, if pink Waianae win, if white with dodo stain going get poweroutage and hame cancelled.

  22. Chloropicrin August 10, 2016 9:42 am

    @87 haha..power outage. What if no underwear?

  23. Aku Bird August 10, 2016 10:10 am

    Lol.. all the bandwagon fans (media) jumping on June & Taulia (Kapolei) this year; Last 2 years was Milton & Malepeai (Mililani). It will always come down to Kahuku, St Louis & Punahou for state title… “Period”

  24. Leeboy August 10, 2016 10:31 am

    @87 that’s some funny stuff brah. Speaking about power outage I guess they didn’t want my Crusaders to beat Mililani that bad on their home turf. LMAO

  25. Tutu Kane Ale August 10, 2016 12:30 pm

    Anytime you play Waianae it’s physical and all it takes is Tago’vai to getting injured,…auwe but anyway it’s the referees that very questionable like I believe they’ll lean for The Canes..

  26. oia#1 August 10, 2016 12:46 pm

    Guarantee the canes goin have the upper hand, media already handing kapolei the championships smh just like last year everyone said blue division was weak 2 of the final 4 teams were from the blue! Pressure on taulia is what waianae needs to keep it close. Defense wins championships! Remember that!

  27. Alpha August 10, 2016 2:52 pm

    Can anyone give a good explanation on why (4)Waianae, (5)Kapolei, (6)Kam are ranked so high early in the season? What they think HPW ‘s formula was for the polls. Was theTop 10 preseason poll based on how this website thinks the season will pan out? Or is it based on the outcome of last season and go from there? Just wondering

  28. IDK August 10, 2016 3:28 pm

    All you scrubs polishing Kapolei’s helmets, Waianae will physically abuse them period, that’s it! They can bring in all the coaches they want,but the seariders will RUN EM OVA! chee huu!

  29. Jeezy33 August 10, 2016 5:36 pm

    UH lost in the sugar bowl because Georgia was a physically superior and dominant team across the board. UH could’ve ran the run and shoot, smashmouth, air raid, whatever offense you want, it didn’t matter. It had nothing to do with passing vs running offense. It was just outright physical domination at the line of scrimmage, period. That and the fact that throughout that game, Keoni Steinhoff couldn’t block a chair, much less a blue chip all american defensive end.

    Kahuku succeeds with their caveman football because they have straight up athletes and are bigger, faster, and more powerful than almost all Hawaii high school teams. You could plug them into any offensive and defensive scheme and they’ll succeed. The only chance that smaller teams (like kapolei) have against Kahuku is a spread attack like the run and shoot, because, duh, that’s what spread attacks were designed for. To spread the field and create space in order to equalize the field against bigger, more powerful players. Kahuku manhandling kapolei or any spread attack has very little to do with the superiority of their caveman schemes and almost everything to do with the superiority of their athletes.

    I would know. I do football scouting regularly. You can see my work on Stephen Tsai’s blog.

  30. Jeezy33 August 10, 2016 5:42 pm

    Tutu Kale Ane says “Anytime you play Waianae it’s physical and all it takes is Tago’vai to getting injured”

    Yes. Any time a team runs a passing offense, which is actually a vast majority of college football aside from the service academies and georgia tech as well as 100% of the NFL, when their starting all star quarterback gets injured, usually the team performs poorly. Thank you for stating the obvious.

  31. 87 August 10, 2016 9:10 pm

    So jeezy is the biggest armchair qb in Hawaii! Kapolei is not small physically they always have big boys, difference is how hard you want to work and who is left after the private schools come in and recruit up all the elite ones.

  32. Jeezy33 August 10, 2016 9:46 pm

    87, you should read my post more carefully. I said that Kapolei was a smaller team, as in, a smaller team relative to Kahuku, not that Kapolei was a “small team.” Again, I know what I’m talking about. I attend UH practices regularly.

  33. Moses Moke Galletes August 11, 2016 4:24 am

    History will repeat it’s self, Waianae and Kahuku will turn back the hands of time. BOOM Shakalaka!

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