Loss of Ah You, Kaniho doesn’t slow Kahuku’s defense

Kahuku defensive tackle Zion Ah You (38), left, and defensive end Tuia Tupuola (99) worked to bring down Kamehameha running back Reino Bush (15) on Friday. Photo by Jamm Aquino/Star-Advertiser.

No. 6 Kamehameha outgained No. 2 Kahuku 234-231 in scrimmage yards Friday night.

Yet, it was Kahuku that came out with a 24-7 victory at Aloha Stadium.

The Red Raiders were able to ride the momentum of their 24-0 first half that was, not surprisingly, spearheaded by their defense and special teams.

A punt block, a fumble recovery and an interception turned into 17 points. In addition, Kahuku (4-1, 1-0 OIA Open) also put together a patented, smashmouth, 80-yard TD drive.

It looked like it might turn into a rout at halftime. But not so fast.

A change at quarterback for Kamehameha (2-3, 1-3 ILH Open) did wonders. Kiai Keone, mostly off of play-action, came in for Christmas Togiai and led the Warriors to one touchdown and nearly one more late in the contest. Throughout the second half, the chains were moving for the Warriors.

On the other side, the Kamehameha defense began to shut down Kahuku, but those final 24 inspired minutes by the Warriors were just not enough.

Red Raiders junior linebacker Aaron Fonoimoana-Vaomu was in on all three of those game-changing plays. He blocked the punt, stripped a ball carrier before a teammate recovered, and intercepted a Togiai pass. All three plays led to points.

Kahuku running back Toalei Lefau (44) tried to power his way past Kamehameha linebacker Akalea Kapono (9) for extra yards. Photo by Jamm Aquino/Star-Advertiser.

Tausili Fiatoa was also a wrecking ball for the Red Raiders. He had one sack and three other tackles for loss.

“Aaron is a tough kid,” Kahuku coach Sterling Carvalho said. “He has a motor. He plays one speed and that’s basically how our defense is. Tausili is one of our defensive captains and is always solid. Every night we can count on him to make plays.”

Carvalho would have liked a better second half from his boys.

“We just need to keep improving,” he said. “There are things we gotta do on both sides of the ball to make sure we don’t have second halves like this. It’s early in the season. We just gotta get better each week.”

Kahuku running backs Wes Alo-Maiava and Toalei Lefau combined for 37 carries and 129 yards behind the bulldozers up front for the North Shore boys.

“It was more or less the same game plan we had against Punahou (a 41-28 win at home on Aug. 11),” Carvalho said. “We have two great backs and an awesome offensive line. We wanted to play Kahuku football tonight — establish the line of scrimmage and let Wes and Toalei run the ball.”

Kahuku is without two defensive starters — linebacker Miki Ah You (out for the season with a knee injury) and defensive back Kaonohi Kaniho (expected to return from a knee injury).

Abu Maafala, the Kamehameha coach, is still wondering what he can do to instill in his boys that they can truly compete with the best in the state.

Kamehameha defensive backs Tiger Peterson (7) and Paliku Kamaka (13) gang-tackled Kahuku’s Duke Heffernan. Photo by Jamm Aquino/Star-Advertiser.

“It was a tale of two halves,” he said. “The way we practice is the way we play. It starts with me. We’ve got to get that fixed and find the ways. We can do it. We proved it in the second half. Things were moving. We just gotta stick to that and keep it moving.

“We have good players, too. That’s the hard part. The No. 1 thing is to keep them confident. In the second half, they figured out they can play with these guys and they responded. I’m hoping we see them (the Red Raiders) again. That’s a really good football team. We have another big one next week against Farrington and they’re just gonna pound the ball. If our players believe, they can play with anybody.”

The Warriors play the Govs (1-4, 0-2 OIA Open) on Friday at home.

Kahuku is off next week and returns to action Sept. 29 at home against No. 4 Mililani (3-2, 1-0 OIA Open).

In final scrimmage yards Friday, Kahuku passed for 55 and rushed for 176 for 231, and Kamehameha passed for 204 and rushed for 30 for 234.


  1. Notes September 15, 2018 12:25 am

    Kahuku’s offense got a lot of reps in tonight, keep improving and working hard. Good luck to both Kamehameha and Kahuku the rest of this season.

  2. Norhtshore September 15, 2018 5:32 am

    Ever since the Punahou game, there hasn’t been much improvements on the offense or the defense. The quickness and crisp hitting, blocking and play calling requires a lot more work. There were times that the defense was slow in getting ready and the offensive line couldn’t sustain their pass block and play calling from the side lines were too slow. Can’t be trying to run through the middle majority of the time especially when they play a team that has a quick defense like St Louis. Luckily Kamehameha’s defense wasn’t as quick and wreaking as St Louis. Can’t be depending on brute strength or athleticism because that’s how a well synchronized machine like St Louis will beat them offensively and defensively. Coach Carvarlho says it’s still early in the season and things needs to be corrected but when there’s no improvement after 5 games, it’s a sign of poor coaching. Sooner or later the season will be over and making excuses of making corrections will not put them in the playoffs. Quickness, crisp blocking, running, tackling and intelligent play selections by a team is a sign of good coaching. It was just a mediocre game against Kamehameha..luckily they came up winning. Coaches need to get their act together…get the offense synchronized…quick and ready to go and defense hungry and ready to play every down…not always looking at the sidelines for further instructions or confused as to what to do next. These are things that I have observed from watching Kahuku. I know they can be a force because they have the athletes but it will be up to the coaches to get them playing to St Louis’s type of football.

  3. ??? September 15, 2018 6:18 am

    Miki Ah You out for the year HURTS Big Time.

  4. Coach C September 15, 2018 7:12 am

    Wow,Ah You out for the season? Plus Vimahi and Soliai-Howlett and Kaniho out for the Kam game. That’s 4 all states right there.

  5. Rrforlifebaby September 15, 2018 8:21 am

    Totally agree on the coaching. 5 games in and they still look sloppy. I know they all work hard, but the coaches need to reassess. On the plus side, Big Red still dominated and lots of kids are getting playing time.

    Like that Keone kid at qb for the Warriors.


  6. Notes September 15, 2018 8:43 am

    The offseason is where you get better, in-season is where the coaches put the plays together and you execute it. The fact that Kahuku keeps having to resort to basic running plays (every year since the beginning of time) tells you something about how coaches AND players spent the offseason, expecting a high flying offense right now is unrealistic. To be specific, yeah you may have gotten stronger, faster, quicker…but did we work on route running, timing, reading defenses.

    Its always the passing game that is behind but the running game and defense is what brings home the championships. Dont complain, get out there and help the team in the off season.

  7. Notes September 15, 2018 8:49 am

    @norhtshore- St. Louis has QBs and WRs with D1 offers so dont expect Kahukus passing game to be crip like theirs.

  8. fbfan September 15, 2018 8:55 am

    northshore, well said!

  9. Too Meke 2 September 15, 2018 9:05 am

    No. 6 Kamehameha outgained No. 2 Kahuku 234-231 in scrimmage yards Friday night is not dominating.

  10. anywaaaays!! September 15, 2018 9:25 am

    Kahuku POUNDED Kam in ALL phases of the game. Yardage means nothing when the ILH agenda can’t even get on the scoreboard. We beat punahou. We played as tough as we can against a Saint Lulu team backed up by the refs. We smoked a Kam team that managed to move the game from our home field to aloha stadium with ILH refs. You can’t stop us. When people hate, we become great! RRFL!

  11. Howdahell September 15, 2018 9:55 am

    Kahuku’s head coach needs to figure it out. Sloppiest offense i’ve seen in years.

  12. Rrforlifebaby September 15, 2018 9:57 am

    @ too meke 2….you’re funny.

  13. Jimmy H September 15, 2018 10:06 am

    Kam already lost to Punahou and Cambell…a decent win by Kahuku at best. Every team has hurt players so let’s not act like Kahuku is at a disadvantage. Kahuku’s field sucks…so as much games away from that pile of garbage is best for every one. Those kids deserve a better field. And don’t blame any one, but yourselves for such a crap field. Every other school managed to figure it out. Kahuku needs to find their own solution.

    If the parents/alumni and administration were not so ridiculous, maybe Kahuku would be able to keep a HC for more than two years allowing the offense to develop a system that would put them over the top despite lending out premier athletes to the ILH schools.

  14. anywaaaays!! September 15, 2018 10:56 am

    Easy for you to talk crap about our community behind a screen, Jimmy. Come out to La’ie and see what happens. RRFL!

  15. Nala September 15, 2018 11:07 am

    Jimmy H…..ufa

  16. Northshore September 15, 2018 12:56 pm

    Notes: “St Louis has QBs and WRs with DI offers so don’t expect Kahuku passing game to crip like theirs.” It takes good coaching to develop players to attain DI status. These are all high school level athletes and athletes playing for St Louis didn’t develop their talent overnight. The problem with the coaching staff at Kahuku is to understand that they’re not coaching at the JV level anymore, They need to step up their game plan and change their philosophy…acknowledging that they are now competing at a higher level. The competition is much greater, much faster and they must instill “quickness” and solid all around fundamental techniques… solid pass blocking, good pass patterns (doesn’t have to always be the bomb) sustaining the pass blocks and more play action pass plays and avoid trying to run through the middle especially when the opponents defense stacks the middle. It’s all about playing “smart” football. If you should have a chance to watch college football…watch UCF…they play with quickness and ready to go football, not providing the opponent’s defense time to slow down. They were the only DI college football team that was undefeated last year.

  17. Notes September 15, 2018 1:16 pm

    @northshore – Cal Lee is not spending hours a day 7 days a week year round Coaching 100 kids, he only has them 4 months of the year, the other 8 months the kids are training and being coached up by many other coaches. Why dont you donate your time and coach up the kids in the offseason so Kahuku coaches can be handed D1 quality athletes to win Championships.

  18. Coach C September 15, 2018 1:26 pm

    Notes. Why not say good game Kahuku. 4 All state players out. 2nd and 3 string did ok. Went up 24-0 then cruise. Got to save up for Conference Mililani. This match up was to develop the subs. The win has no value on the OIA record. Too bad Kam couldn’t take advantage of the switch to Aloha.

  19. Too Meke 2 September 15, 2018 3:00 pm

    James, aka “anywaaays” is still pretending he’s from Kahuku when we all know he resides in Waialua and also went to school there.

  20. Too Meke 2 September 15, 2018 3:06 pm

    Rrforlifebaby, not trying to be funny. Maybe we have different definitions of dominate.


    1) Winning by 17
    2) Getting less total yardage than the other team
    3) Not scoring for over 2 straight quarters (and the entire second half)
    4) Being outscored in the second half

    are not signs of dominiating a team.

  21. Hawaii born September 15, 2018 3:36 pm

    So funny seeing people still complaining from kahuku, saying kamehameha made them change where the game is at and use ILH refs, lol come to lake and see what happens lol that’s funny, isn’t laie where the mormon temple is…so what would happen, oh wait I forgot , a highly religion based community but with no fruits as you can see here. Many people from this community..the community I live in tend to preach a good word when necessary but as you can see at football games and here, there true colors show, I’m a member and it’s sad to see how people in the kahuku community act, we supposed to share the love of the heavenly father but many times you can see football is more important then what heavenly father desires for our families. Go ahead keep representing your family, lour church and community in the ways you’ve been, with hatred and negativity, I guess you’ll all just repent tomorrow then start again monday… SMH, our fellow elders do there best to share gods love why cant we do the same..

  22. Good Story September 15, 2018 5:49 pm

    @Hawaii born
    Ummmm…cause we get Free Agency? Save your preaching for yourself.

  23. Northshore September 15, 2018 6:05 pm

    Notes: Let’s face reality. My negative comments on how Sloppy Kahuku played against Kamehameha is a fact and many people with football savvy that witnessed the game would agree with me. Normally when a team gets beat, the fans tend to put the blame on unreasonable excuses. Just because Kahuku won doesn’t make it a solid win and I felt that it wasn’t a solid win simply because of how they executed. Although Kahuku won, they didn’t play with enthusiasm or performed to what most of us expect after playing 5 games. The defense and special team saved the game. the offense needs alot of work and it’s sad that there hasn’t been any improvement. Too much confusion, too slow and you can’t only use the same four plays throughout the game. All in All, it wasn’t like the ole Kahuku teams from former years that perform like we are accustomed to. Hopefully they’ll be much improved in 2 weeks from now.

  24. Rrforlifebaby September 15, 2018 7:59 pm

    Hmmm, let me see:
    1) Big Red won by 17, (Big Red lost by 16 t St Louis),
    2) Big Red had less yardage…..I guess turnovers and special teams had nothing to do with that.
    3) and 4)……..look at the final score, Warriors still didn’t score enough to even make the game close.
    The Warriors got physically pounded. Give them credit for playing hard, but they still couldn’t keep up with a Big Red team that is the most off we’ve seen in awhile. I really hope our coaches get it together because it would be a shame to not make it back to the title game.


  25. 88 September 16, 2018 9:51 am

    NorthShore is right! I don’t know whats going with the team but i hope they figure it out and turn it around soon.

  26. Awrite!! September 16, 2018 2:13 pm

    Not sure what you guys whining about. You all got Reggie and Siuaki removed because they couldnt produce an offense with passing plays, Every single title Kahuku won was because of Defense/Special teams, Kahuku got the W against Kam last week with Defense and Special teams, why are we all complaining?!?!

    This year they are working to balance the O and do more passing now you all screaming to go back to the “bread and butter” run game?!?!?! Maybe shuuuuut yo bi-polar mouffs and let the coaches coach, you cheer.

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