Lahainaluna offense lauds defense in rout of Roosevelt

Joshua Tihada followed the lead block of Treven Tihada (10) against Roosevelt’s Shepherd Kekahuna (4) in the third quarter. Tihada had 162 yards on 27 carries. / Photo by Rodney S. Yap, Special to the Star-Advertiser.

The Lahainaluna offense put up the points, sure, and star running back Joshua Tihada added more state-tournament records to his impressive haul.

But it was the Lunas’ defense that set the tone in a 35-0 blanking of Roosevelt on Saturday night in a HHSAA Division II semifinal at Sue D. Cooley Stadium, and the Lunas’ offensive stars were more than happy to give them the plaudits.

Tihada, who had 27 carries for 162 yards and a touchdown, now owns the HHSAA state-tournament records (any classification) for career rushing yards (777) and career carries (140). He already had the tournament record for all-purpose touchdowns and pushed that to 16 with his first-quarter score Saturday.

That touchdown drive was set up by a Lunas recovery of a Rough Rider fumble, one of five, amazingly, before halftime. In all, the Lunas won the turnover battle 6-0.

“The defense is a big part of us and I just feel like they create their name every year,” said Tihada, who will participate in his fourth state championship game against Kapaa at Aloha Stadium on Friday. “(The assistant coaches), they always come out here every year, same schemes, and just hours after hours, watching game plans. Without them, we wouldn’t be anything, period. … They set a good example coming into practice on Monday. Just seeing how everything goes. And it was a great game.”

All-purpose touchdowns (rushing, receiving, special teams)
1. Joshua Tihada, Lahainaluna, 16
2. BJ Batts, Saint Louis, 14
3. Tyler Taumua, Farrington, 13

Rushing yardage
1. Joshua Tihada, Lahainaluna, 777
2. Alfred Failauga, Waipahu, 698
3. Pesefea Fiaseu, Saint Louis, 668

1. Joshua Tihada, Lahainaluna, 140
2. Alfred Falauga, Waipahu, 120
3. Ammon Baldomero, ‘Iolani 119

Junior quarterback Esekielu Storer got off to a shaky start but completed his last nine passes to finish 9-for-13 with four touchdowns and no interceptions. His two touchdown tosses to Kai Bookland, for 52 and 28 yards, were spaced 13 seconds apart in the final minute of the first half and were both set up by fumble recoveries.

Matthew Rabinno, Nainoa Kulukulualani-Sales, Tysyn Estrella, Matai Mataafa and Bookland recovered Roosevelt fumbles for the Lunas. Kulukulualani-Sales added a late interception of Roosevelt quarterback Sky Ogata, who was harassed into 4-for-17 passing for 47 yards. He was in negative yardage passing for most of the night until he strung together some late throws.

The way Bookland explained it, a nearly one-month layoff from action after running the table in the MIL season actually worked to the advantage of the No. 10 Lunas (10-1).

“They did a great job of getting that ball back for us multiple times,” Bookland said of the defense. “Them and special teams did a great job getting those fumbles. We worked on that a lot, we had four weeks working on fumbles and fumble recoveries. And they did a great job of coming out and executing on that.”

Lahainaluna routed Roosevelt on the Valley Isle for the second straight year; it was 48-10 the previous year, with special teams factoring heavily into that one. That third of the game played a part Saturday, too, with the Rough Riders fumbling once on a kickoff return and turning it over another time when a line-drive Lunas punt deflected off the leg of Isaac Kaleikau in the red zone.

“That was really special. Our defense and our special teams came through tonight for us offense,” said Storer, a 6-foot junior.


  1. Disappointed November 24, 2019 6:40 am

    Hats off to the Lunas. They’re one heck of a team and play sound football.

    This year was looking bright For the Riders. Yes there was injuries, yes there was losses but toward the end I felt like they lost their identity. Roosevelt probably had two of the better running backs in the OIA and they weren’t utilized. Myka #21 disappeared at the end of the season. Why? Their quarterback who ran for tons of yards barely ran this year. Why? We’re giving the ball to Shepard #4 when everyone in the stands Knows he’s getting the ball. Why? Call a bootleg, a fake, something…. not the same thing over and over. To me it seemed like coaches had it set in their mind what they wanted to do and don’t adjust … to anything! If sky’s off rhythms Let the kid run to get confidence… let him throw a screen to get the feel of a pass completion… why are we throwing outs to the wide side coaches ????? Why are we running a quarterback draw after he just faked a halfback throw… all that’s doing is giving you one extra blocker with everyone now flowing to the running back which is where the qb is…

    I’m so disappointed… yes the boys made mistakes but as cliche as this sounds it was the coaches. And it has been most of the times this year. Especially clock management. Was The Lunas a better team… yes… could Roosevelt have not been shut out… absolutely… they put up a fight… not placing blame on anyone but at one point in the game on a punt return… coaches take out our punt returner because they think it is a defensive play… muffed punt and that’s when the Lunas started to roll.

    To the senior class of the Rough Riders… you guys are irreplaceable whether people see it or not. So much more to say but I’ll stop here.

  2. Bill hull November 24, 2019 10:48 am

    I agree with you disappointed. The coaches gave in to a certain parent who wanted their kid to play both sides of the ball. Well he did and look what happened 2 fumbles and gets burned deep. Then he’s on Facebook live blaming the coaches. The coaches should’ve stuck to what they were doing it was working.

  3. E November 24, 2019 7:57 pm

    Stop!..Roosevelt is a good team! Lahaina is a GREAT team!! You honestly think it would have changed the outcome of this game? They played the 3 X D2 STATE CHAMPIONS!! AT THEIR HOMEFIELD!! Come on dude, give respect where respect is due! Both sides played good and each deserved to play in the semi’s. Congratulations LAHAINALUNA, YOU GUYS BACK ON THE SHIP!! GOOD LUCK ON THE CHAMPIONSHIP GAME!!

  4. Disappointed November 24, 2019 8:41 pm

    E if you go back and read you’ll see that I said lahinaluna was a great team… and should’ve won… but what’s upsetting is how demoralizing Roosevelt lost to them. Our boys didn’t deserve that … and a lot of it had to do with coaching and coaching decisions….

  5. Observation November 25, 2019 7:37 am

    I did not see the game, only read the blog reports as they came over real time here on HPW. It is the same two teams (many of the same players from last season, given the number of seniors), albeit a few new players transferred in. Same coaching staff on both teams from last year. I would have assumed the learning experience from last season would have meant Roosevelt would have been more prepared to play Lahainaluna but that did not seem the case. I may be missing something but it seems Roosevelt played less prepared than they were last year. Or, maybe Lahainaluna learned and were better prepared for Roosevelt. No doubt that Lahainaluna was the better team, but to take a shellacking as they did is very surprising.

  6. Hawaiian Hammah November 25, 2019 8:20 am

    I was at the game and the fumbles cost them. They were playing well enough to hang in there, but the turnovers put them in a hole that they couldn’t get out of. The we’re running the ball well behind TJ and Adam and Lahinaluna looked like they had no answer for that. But the fumbles… Yikes!

  7. Ride or die November 25, 2019 9:13 am

    It honestly was the turnovers. That’s it. Offensively we were doing ok, but fumbling 6 times is unacceptable. Defense did a great job first half keeping them in check. Lahainaluna played great, forcing 6 fumbles is amazing. Idk if I can say it was coaching though. You can always say should’ve would’ve could’ve after the fact.

    @bill hull mmmm maybe you have a point though. BUT that player was being utilized all season. Nothing was said when we were winning? And I did see that Facebook live your referring to lol

  8. DISAPPOINTEDASWELL November 25, 2019 9:27 am

    I totally agree with the fact that Roosevelt lost it’s identity to poor coaching decisions completely off the walls hype for only TWO kids on a team that mainly been together since their first year of high school given the transfers did become a part of an ALREADY SOLID ROUGH RIDER TEAM FROM DAY ONE they came from nothing to something and for the coaches to implement that only certain kids made the team who they already were was just devastating to these young men. Let’s state some facts here, Lahainaluna is indeed a great team no doubt about their ability to work together as one and here we have a talented Roosevelt team that was basically and unfortunately torn apart by their own coaching staff so much talent wasted throughout this whole season because a FEW coaches believed that they would be nothing without TWO not the WHOLE TEAM but TWO kids that no doubt are very talented themselves but come on Roosevelt you had every opportunity to change the outcome of the game but chose to keep doing what now everyone can see is that it was what the coaches wanted not what was BEST FOR THE TEAM! To all the Rough Riders seniors who have been there since day one for one another HATS OFF TO YOU GUYS FOR GIVING US ALMUNI THE BEST 4 YEARS OF HEARTFELT MEMORIES & congratulations to Lahainaluna as well for earning your spot at where you are. Roosevelt will especially miss watching these group of young men play together some been together since kindergarten others met along the way but one things for sure ROUGH RIDERS WE LOVE YOU!!! Mahaloz family aloha!

  9. Ride or die November 25, 2019 10:42 am

    I think I know who one kid is, curious on the second? Without giving a name how about a hint lol

  10. Bang bang rider gang November 25, 2019 11:38 am

    I going send my son Kaimuki already, hopefully Tautofi no resign.. Dissapointed with these coaches smh 😉

  11. ??? November 25, 2019 1:21 pm

    @ Bang bang rider gang
    If football is that important Why not send your son to an Open division school ? Why go to another DI school where talent drop off is pretty drastic?

  12. ??? November 25, 2019 1:22 pm

    Sorry DII..

  13. Ride or die November 25, 2019 1:32 pm

    Bang bang
    Nobody’s begging you to stay

  14. TD November 25, 2019 2:38 pm

    Roosevelt coaches did a great job and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Disgruntled parents or players will always blame the coaches after a loss. Five fumbles lost in the first half is a remedy for losing and I can safely say none of the coaches fumbled the ball. Great season Riders.

  15. IRRAZ November 25, 2019 4:33 pm


    #3 is great but he did not play running back all season. #21 did. Both did well. Coaches stopped using #21who was having a great season… why the change???

    #20 fumbled on a muff punt that the coaches once again made a change personnel wise… it’s usually #4. Keep in mind that this happened in the Kaimuki game.

    #4 fumbled twice playing once on offense… something he hasn’t done much of this year.. They were doing great with #22, #42, #9, and #80 so why all of a sudden a change..

    A team has something called mojo and chemistry and that’s something that develops… changes late in the season have part to do with how athletes perform due to being prepared. Best way to prepare is game experience… if kids don’t get that that’s when errors occur. If coaches don’t adjust in game to how kids are performing sorry but that’s the coaches fault. Offense was rolling with the run… then the run game just stopped and they go to a spread… why don’t you run a bootleg or fake the run… not just go away from it.

    Players make mistakes…. but it’s up to the coaches to put the team in the best position to win and the players in the best positions to succeed. That includes preparing them.

    Again Lahainaluna is a great team and deserved to win but this loss was demoralizing for the Riders.

  16. Bang bang rider gang November 25, 2019 5:57 pm

    The coaches aren’t any better in those divisions haha. Honestly that’s what is the joke of Hawaii high school football. Crappy coaching and very few and hard to find coaches that are game and life changers

  17. U know who November 25, 2019 6:12 pm

    It’s unfortunate that the peanut gallery has something to say. If you can help us then come to the field and give your expertise to make this program better. I would gladly X and O with anyone just saying. Tell me when you like
    Meet at the school and I’ll be there.

  18. Brown Nose Taytay Heeeeeeeyyyyyy November 25, 2019 6:21 pm

    I think you’re disgruntled TD & Ride or Die you clearly love a laugh let’s have one on you there’ll be openings for coaching positions coming up next season you can apply for a position or be the team Mom haha k bye

  19. My name is Koki November 25, 2019 7:51 pm

    Wow you serious! At least before blast these Coaches at least tell them first how u feel. I just trip they make mistakes just like any other coaches on any team. But you forget the million good things they did an only remember the couple
    mistakes they made. The time away from there families an friends. The countless hours helping these boys, then you turn into one keyboard Coach. I trip I going admit was rough but that’s the way it is sometimes. If you not happy you should go! an to take personal shot at the players an Coaches at least write your real name an talk to them about the way u feel an man up. I trip

  20. TayTay November 25, 2019 7:53 pm

    I can safely say of course none of the coaches fumbled the ball again tryna put it on the kids as if the coaches & not the defensive coaches they are solid let’s get that straight as well weren’t to blame for the performance of their players or more so for their decision making & change ups with the players first off it’s sad that everyone has to see these types of discussions about coaches but it’s time to shed some light on the reality of it all & that is that Roosevelt handed their players to the wolves by making poor selfish decisions to only rely on certain players during this game #21 should’ve stayed running the ball #4 should’ve stayed only on defense & once he wasn’t able to make a score for the team they should’ve handed the ball over to the full back to power it in but of course not let’s give the opportunity to the same individuals who the opponent already had known that’s what was going to happen because Roosevelt only relies on the same ones over and over clearly not utilizing their talent rather giving them chance to watch their team lose in such a drastic was because their coaches want to play their silly game tactics with their own team. Truth be told don’t always believe what you read or see on social media go and take some time to get to know these young men on and off the field you’d be surprised at how much of a waste Roosevelt has been to a lot of their players.

  21. ...... November 25, 2019 10:04 pm

    @irraz…suddenly everyone is a coach aye? Lmaoooo you play madden I’m guessing😂😂 you just said it….the players couldn’t perform…how many adjustments can they make where it felt like every adjustment the KID would fumble it. How many fumbles does it take to where the kids are responsible? Stop babying these kids ya weenie. You can only prepare so much in a 6 days time frame. Bottom line is the kids couldn’t execute. Every adjustment that was planned they probably couldn’t execute hence the fumbles🤪 your comment is demoralizing to yourself making comments like you knew these coaches weren’t making adjustments. Like you can read minds now? You were on the field knowing what was going on? I😂😂😂😂everyone is OC or DC nowadays.

  22. Stop Hatin November 25, 2019 11:15 pm

    Blaming coaches, especially on a message board, is the reason why kids blame others and make excuses, lets see how far that takes them in life….High School sports is about developing men, not wins….wins come with many factors other than coaching. Appreciate your High School coaches out there….if you never were one, you have no idea the demands and sacrifice.

  23. LOL November 26, 2019 9:30 am

    @taytay and irraz…oooooh I’m guessing you guys are world class coaches too with your suggestions… I’m guessing you’re blaming the offensive coaches? How is it their fault? 6 fumbles? Have you ever stopped to think that maybe they tried to make adjustments but the kids couldn’t execute. If you’re not on the field you don’t know what’s really going on. The coaches can only do so much at the end of the day it comes down to…can the kids perform and 6 fumbles tell us no they couldn’t. No matter what team you are if you fumble 6 times to the defending state champs that falls on the kids not coaches I’m sorry😂@ bang bang or whatever no one is asking your son to stay I bet send him away. Try D1 see if he plays LOLOLOL😉

  24. Laughable November 26, 2019 9:40 am

    Before you blame the coaches…parents stop and look at your kid. Hold him accountable and make him take responsibility what could he improve on. This is why your kids will never grow up if you can’t hold them accountable for a hs sport. The real world is worse bud good luck with that. As a former hs athlete I never once blamed the coach because guess what…they weren’t on the field. It’s sad that parents show their true colors when the school loses but show fake support when it’s good. Time to let go of their hand.

  25. ILoveHawaii November 26, 2019 10:03 am

    First, that has to be the longest run-on sentence in HPW history. Shout out to TayTizzle, you did it yo.

    Maybe it was a combination of things.

    Lahainaluna is a sandbagging team that doesnt belong in Div 2.
    Coaches were completely outcoached.
    Players did not execute.
    Playing at opponents home field.
    Key players injured.

    On that day, the Lunas were just better in every category. No shame in that.

  26. Rider November 26, 2019 10:12 am

    @TayTay how were these coaches a waste on the players. These coaches flipped the program around and progress every season. Went from not making playoffs to making states. Definitely not where they wanted to end up but a season to definitely be proud of. Don’t see how you can talk about the coaches on a personal level unless you’re there on the field listening to what’s being said. A lot of what you said holds no weight and if you or anyone else really felt some type of way about #4 playing running back, you guys had three weeks to voice your opinions about that since the oia championship game. But nah no one wanted to speak up only talk behind the scene.

  27. Inthistogether November 26, 2019 10:17 am

    Several years ago I rudely questioned my father-in-law after a loss about his play calling while he was the OC for my son’s local Pop Warner team. Instead of being defensive or punching me in the mouth like he should’ve, he smiled and patiently replied…if you plan on coaching youth sports at any level you must be able to accept this fact: “if the team wins its because the kids were good but if the team loses, than its because the coach was junk”. #17, 19 and 22 probably made countless thankless sacrifices and put in an exorbitant amount of time helping to develop and prepare these young student-athletes for life. Sometimes when you lose you really win and sometimes when you win you really lose. Quote from White Men Can’t Jump. Mahalo coaches, players and parents. Great season!

  28. Kawai Kelii November 27, 2019 2:41 am

    Unreal… real men can share and discuss their opinions face to face. They may not always agree but will have respect for one another. The side line coaches and referees will unfortunately never understood the team concept. By identifying players by name or jersey number show the small minds that you have. Your family member and his brothers played their hearts out throughout the season and did what they had to do, only to be embarrassed by your ranting.

    Congrats to the RHS Roughriders and their coaches who have come a long way and will continue to move forward. As the coaches change the culture, they are building young men who are future leaders, coaches and fathers. Go Riders!

  29. CougarNation November 27, 2019 9:57 am

    Funny, how that coach from Roosevelt said have fun watching states, well that was a fun state game lol if any parents what to bring your kids to a upcoming program, Kaiser is where’s it’s at! Young talent, for years to come and good coaching! Roosevelt better hope another school shut down so they can recruit their players! Easy to coach talent but can’t coach up players! GO COUGARS!

  30. Inthistogether November 27, 2019 10:39 am

    #17, 19 and 22 refer to the comment numbers related to this article not the players. Talk about small minds….yikes.

  31. Rider November 27, 2019 11:10 am

    You can tell cougartown is one of those in denial guys who only likes to live in past success because they had nothin to show for this year or last year….😂 but still not educated on the fact rich Miano recruited so he gotta say Roosevelt recruits because they got stomped by Roosevelt and put up a goose egg 😂again maybe next year you guys will lose by a touchdown and not 16 in the first round of playoffs. And if you were so butt hurt by the coach comment about states why not say something to his face you weenie……. I tell you 😂😂😂😂

  32. Truth hurts November 27, 2019 11:16 am

    @cougarnation lmaoooo why do you keep posting the same thing? Kaiser got smashed by Roosevelt without recruiting. The last time kaiser was relevant was the two years Rich Miano coached and recruited players. Since then kaiser been in the trash and on their knees😂😂😂😂 beat kaimuki which was luck on your part because in the playoffs yall got smashed when it counted. Then lost to Roosevelt badly😂😂😂you guys don’t have talent to coach and can’t coach up anything😂😂how did they recruit the st Francis players? Did Roosevelt shut down the school to get them?🤔 The nearest public school to st Francis is either KaLani or Roosevelt, so which school do you think they’ll go to? Defending oia champs or there?🤔 you obviously can’t put two and two together😂😂😂is it the coaches fault if other players want to go there? Bruh learn how to argue and state facts before you go on here😂fact is kaiser hasn’t done anything since rich miano and Roosevelt has been building since, where was kaiser the last 3 years?🤔🤔🤔parents if yall want to stay 3rd-5th place in the OIA D2 kaiser is indeed the place be😌

  33. LOLOL November 27, 2019 1:42 pm

    @cougarnation, that was a fun state game? I’m guessing that’s sarcasm. When did kaisers season end again? Roosevelt just ended their season while yall were packed up since….idk mid October? But really how was it watching better oia schools play?🤔 easy to talk from the sideline when literally kaiser has been on the sidelines for the past few years😂. Easy to say “we’re on the come up” when you start from the bottom every year🤪🤪and to say Roosevelt has talent so it’s easier to coach, doesn’t Kaiser have a D1 bound skilled player? But how’d he do against roosevelt😌

  34. ILoveHawaii November 27, 2019 3:14 pm

    A Roosevelt coach said have fun watching states??
    Oh man, Bachi action.

  35. Ride or die November 27, 2019 3:27 pm

    How would this guy even know if it was a coach that said it?

  36. Ride or die November 27, 2019 3:50 pm

    And cougar town why you mad brooooo
    I hear a lot of jealousy in that comment? You must be one of those disgruntled parents like in this thread hahahahaha either that or your delusional and actually think Kaiser stands a chance next year. They had an ok year but what about 2 years ago when there was no team 🤔. How about the fact that Miano recruited also? Your arguments are idiotic

  37. TM November 27, 2019 6:15 pm

    Roosevelt has to make due without injured starters. Coaches don’t claim to be the best or know it all. Cast the first stone of you are a coach & consistently coach a perfect game. Being a part of a team sport you learn sacrifice, commitment, perserverance, how to push your self, to trust in yourself, your team mates, & LOYALTY!
    You don’t run away because things didn’t go your way- that’s LIFE. Leaving to go play for another school not gonna make or break Roosevelt. True Rough Ridahz know the struggle. This is the 2nd season RHS did good the years before they barely won half their games. All these guys jump on the bandwagon when we winning but when the the boys lose fast you drop them. True blue solid Rough Ridahz always was, is, and will be loyal to the red n gold no matter win or lose!

  38. M. Brighter November 27, 2019 9:12 pm

    Reading these comments is an f’en joke!!! People should stop trying to relive their glory days through their kids. A lot of you should be ashamed!!! How dare you guys blast the coaches and the players for a game. That’s just disgusting!!! These coaches give up there time to be there for these kids, they help them to prepare for more than just sports, and most of all they are out there instead of “YOU”

    And why blast the kids or call them out?! Those kids give blood, sweat, and tears every day of the week just to play a game they love every weekend. How dare any of us mock them, question them, or their play based on a win or lose.

    I don’t know if everyone else saw what I saw, but didn’t a few key players for Roosevelt have season ending injuries close to the end of the season?! Ummm…wouldn’t that account for all these possible changes that happened to Roosevelt’s line up? Funny thing is nobody was complaining about these changes as Roosevelt kept winning through the playoffs!!!

    If anything the only thing that should be being said by parents and spectators is congratulations on a great season both coaches and players of both teams. If anything these kids and coaches had to have done a great job through out the year to even had made it this far!!! It’s just sad that this season is going to end in a negative way because of selfish comments like the ones I have read above.

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