No. 1 Kahuku wins one for the late David Vimahi

Moments after a win over Mililani and a post-game haka, the Kahuku Red Raiders had their minds on the late David Vimahi, a longtime fixture and coach who died earlier in the week. "We love you, Auntie Lori," they said. Paul Honda/

The loss of coach David Vimahi could have stonewalled the Kahuku Red Raiders.

Instead, the top-ranked football team in the Star-Advertiser Football Top 10 rose to the challenge with a 55-20 victory over No. 3 Mililani on Saturday night at John Kauinana Stadium. At 5-0, Big Red is alone atop the OIA Open Division standings. Mililani took its first loss after three wins. The visiting team in white uniforms and red helmets spoiled Mililani’s homecoming, but it wasn’t easy despite the final margin.

“The most important thing is we wanted to do it for coach Dave. That was a heavy heart we had during this week with his passing,” Kahuku coach Sterling Carvalho said. “He was my director of recruiting. Auntie Lori is my director of operations. That family plays a huge part of our Kahuku football program. His passing is a big loss. We miss him a lot. Our hearts go out to his family and Auntie Lori. We just love them and whatever we can do to support them.”

David Vimahi was a fixture at Kahuku sporting events even after son Enokk graduated and matriculated to Ohio State, on and off the football field. He provided the music as a DJ, keeping the gym bumping at Kahuku basketball games in pre-pandemic times.

“The last thing he told us was to be 1-0,” coach Carvalho said.

Big plays were all over the field for Kahuku, and often it was Kainoa Carvalho involved. He was 2-for-2 on field goals, 5-for-6 on PAT kicks, and scored on touchdown catches of 70 and 16 yards. He also had 107 return yards on kickoffs and punts. The 10 receptions for 194 yards were game highs.

“It’s a great team win. We all executed on all three phases of the ball. We enjoyed every second of it,” he said. “Off the start, we knew we got ‘em. Our coaches put us in a good position to win and we all executed our jobs.”

Waika Crawford stepped in when starting quarterback Jason Mariteragi left during the second quarter after a roughing-the-passer penalty. Crawford’s elusiveness was a big factor against a tenacious Mililani pass rush. Crawford finished 11-for-16, 174 yards with five TDs. One TD pass to Carvalho came out of the elephant set.

“I know Kaikai never stops on a route. Whenever I’m scrambling, I know I can always look for 11 because he’ll find a way to get open, so I found that and I delivered,” Crawford said.

With starting quarterback Jason Mariteragi injured, Waika Crawford stepped in and threw five touchdown passes for No. 1 Kahuku in a 55-20 win over No. 3 Mililani. Paul Honda/
Kahuku’s offense is in hyper-aerial mode, but Kainoa Carvalho is a throwback weapon as a kicker, returner and receiver. Paul Honda/

Defensively, Kahuku came up with four takeaways against Mililani’s potent offense. Trojans’ quarterback Emana Tarape was on point for much of the first half, but eventually, Kahuku closed those passing lanes and brought enough pressure to disrupt that early momentum. It was 6-all early in the second quarter, all on field goals.

Kahuku came up with three interceptions of Tarape, who began the season as a backup to Kini McMillan, who suffered a knee injury last month. Two of them were by Brock Cravens Fonoimoana in classic tip-drill fashion.

Liona Lefau, one of the state’s most heavily recruited players, started at linebacker and continued his offensive rampage. He hauled in a 13-yard touchdown pass from Crawford moments after starting QB Jason Mariteragi was injured on a roughing-the-passer play.

“It was great man, the crowd was into it today,” said Lefau, a 6-foot-1, 210-pound junior. “My goal as a wide receiver is just to add another weapon to what we already have. We have athletes. I just want to contribute in any way possible when it’s game time.”

Kruze Keanu, another two-way standout, caught an 8-yard TD pass and also snagged an interception.

“Our athletes make plays. That’s what we had to do, get the ball into the hands of our athletes. When we started to get up, we needed to slow down the clock and you know we can run the ball,” coach Carvalho said.

Kahuku went from an empty-backfield formation early in the game to a mix of shotgun and elephant sets once the lead was 27-13 entering the second half.

“Now teams are going to have to prepare for us,” Carvalho said. “What are we going to do? Hat’s off to these boys. They come week in, week out and work hard. That’s the fruit of their labors right here, just working hard and doing the best that they can.”

One intriguing fact: With both defenses chasing receivers up and down the field, Kahuku could have kept playing the aerial game in the second half rather than chew up clock with its sledgehammer elephant package. Instead, Kahuku played its hand perfectly, and Mililani’s quick-strike potential couldn’t keep momentum going. However, if, if, if Kahuku ever decided to go full aerial assault in a shootout type of game, it doesn’t seem like Big Red would ever run out of gas in the tank.

Is it possible Kahuku is the best conditioned football team in the state?

“We hope so,” Lefau said. “We are only going to get better. We need to work towards little to no mistakes out there.”

At John Kauinana Stadium
Kahuku (5-0, 5-0) 6 21 7 21 — 55
Mililani (3-1, 3-1) 3 10 7 0 — 20
Kah—Kainoa Carvalho FG 35
Mil—Makel Paiva FG 27
Kah—Carvalho FG 27
Mil—Paiva FG 38
Kah—Liona Lefau 13 pass from Waika Crawford (Carvalho kick)
Kah—Carvalho 70 pass from Crawford (Carvalho kick)
Mil—Lando Werner-Celes 5 pass from Emana Tarape (Paiva kick)
Kah—Kruze Keanu 8 pass from Crawford (Carvalho kick)
Kah—Clyde Taulapapa 6 run (Carvalho kick)
Mil—Werner-Celes 57 pass from Tarape (Paiva kick)
Kah—Carvalho 16 pass from Crawford (Carvalho kick)
Kah—Taulapapa 8 run (kick failed)
Kah—Jamerus Tai Hook 20 pass from Crawford (Taulapapa run)
JV—Mililani 32, Kahuku 28.

Individual statistics
RUSHING—Kahuku: Jason Mariteragi 2-23, Clyde Taulapapa 15-51, Kana Loa Kaluna 5-25, K. Carvalho 3-7, Kingsley Ah You 3-4, Crawford 3-(-12). Mililani: Tarape 5-(-5), Nehemiah Timoteo 9-70, Jaylan Johnson 1-8, Kapono Ho‘okano-Sallas 2-(-1),

PASSING—Kahuku: Crawford 11-16-0-174, Jason Mariteragi 9-14-0-123. Mililani: Tarape 14-29-3-183.

RECEIVING—Kahuku: K. Carvalho 10-194, Ah You 1-8, Keanu 1-7, Lefau 4-53, Kaio 3-15, Tai Hook 1-20. Mililani: John Herold-Namu 6-87, Werner-Celes 4-69, Raymond Roller 1-7, Gavin Hunter 1-7, Timoteo 1-4, Ho‘okano-Sallas 1-11.


  1. 88 November 14, 2021 12:31 am

    I hate to say it buuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuut, I TOLD YOU SO…..

  2. Good Story November 14, 2021 12:50 am

    Ummmmmmm….ahhh, never mind.

  3. Tan Tan November 14, 2021 12:58 am

    Go Big Red!!

  4. KHS ‘04 November 14, 2021 5:09 am

    Good job Big Red! Hats off to both teams, and a speedy recovery to Mariteragi! Keep up the great work and keep grinding!

  5. Hau'ulaBoy96717 November 14, 2021 8:13 am

    Where’s the haters???? Crickets……

  6. ILH November 14, 2021 8:33 am

    What was the reason leading 47 to 20 very late in the 4th Qtr., and still throwing the ball, on top of that, after scoring a touchdown to make it 53 to 20 they went for a 2 pt. conversion, no class, just remember this, the road to the State Championship is going to have to go through the Saint Louis Crusaders, even though you are not OIA champions yet, Mililani to many unnecessary penalty’s and not disciplined.

  7. John soller November 14, 2021 9:24 am

    ………do you smell what the rock is cooking……..?

  8. 76 November 14, 2021 9:33 am

    In response to ILH….same as Cal Lee’s reason.

  9. Happy RR4L for over 5 decades November 14, 2021 10:08 am

    Wonderful win for the boys, the coaches, the school, the communities. So sad to say Aloha to David Vimahi.
    Sorry, for them, to see the nasty li’l whiners and boo birds are back sniping anonymously once again. Get a life!
    Kahuku school and it’s extended community provide all its students and families a beautiful environment to live and prosper in. You folks just please stop at our shrimp trucks then keep motoring out of our “ lands of milk n honey”, thank you.

  10. Tuli November 14, 2021 10:39 am

    St Louis 2 team and Iolani would most likely beat all 4 of the teams Kahuku just played. That’s how bad OiA football is now except for Kahuku

  11. Old School ILH November 14, 2021 11:10 am

    David Vimahi, may he rest in peace. I know Enoki. Good to see the diversity in the Red Raider attack. What is Director of Recruiting mean? Just curious.

  12. Eddie K November 14, 2021 11:20 am

    Actually the second string QB for Kahuku needed to throw. That’s what they do. Also seen alot of el elephant package(successful) and running games. No discipline on the Miliwaianaekalihihalawamailinanakuli High team. I mean coach York getting old? He would have been down on the players in the old days. Those players also did that in other games.

  13. ILH Fan November 14, 2021 11:26 am

    For anybody who didn’t watchthe game last night , Kahuku was given new set of downs everytime Mililani stopped them . I feel and some point the refs just needs to let the kids play . Last night was very poor officiating at crucial points of the game . Hats off to Kahuku , they will face Mililani again and will be a different game .

  14. 88 November 14, 2021 11:40 am

    Haven’t been good 4-5 years? The last four years Kahuku has made it to the State Championship game 3 times. Stop posting nonsense cause it just reaffirms to everyone your dumb@$$ness…lol

  15. To da hale November 14, 2021 12:03 pm

    I’m still curious of how many of Mililani’s actually live in the district (and I’m not talking about living with aunties, uncle’s, friends, etc).

    I recall Felipe taking about Mililani players from da west side or ewa beach.

    Dominating win for kahuku who are now the team to beat in the OIA.

  16. To da hale November 14, 2021 12:05 pm

    *meant to say: how many of Mililani’s “starters” live in the district

  17. Tan Tan November 14, 2021 1:38 pm

    @ really
    Since Kahuku is you want to call out that Kahuku is only known for football and shrimp trucks. What’s your team known for?

  18. Tan Tan November 14, 2021 1:47 pm

    Mililani get the dirtiest players in the State especially when they losing 😂

  19. MJtheGoat November 14, 2021 2:22 pm

    Sad that Mililani football is now known by their recruits…not just any old recruites but dirty ones at that.

  20. Hau'ulaBoy96717 November 14, 2021 2:37 pm

    @really, Jack Johnson, John Florence, Who is J.O.B., tons of pro surfers, singers, song writers, entrepreneurs, chefs and restaurant owners.
    So their are plenty of things for us to be proud of. You can be jealous all you like. You are coming on an article about football, so of course we will be pounding are chest. The problem is you have nothing to pound your chest about, so you get jealous when we do. Get out of this chat if you can’t handle it. I bet your alma mater is neither of the schools. You just come to the comment section to start isht.

  21. OIA fan November 14, 2021 2:55 pm

    Congrats Kahuku. Even with the 2nd string QB. Very impressive. Just need to see how Campbell measures up.

  22. ItIsWhatItIs November 14, 2021 3:59 pm

    I gotta agree…. Why go for 2?
    It made no sense unless you were trying to send a message to someone. Either way not cool. But the Raiders looking good. Thoughts and prayers to the program and family of your lost coach! Always tuff to lose a mentor 🙏

  23. HailFromDaNorth November 14, 2021 4:13 pm

    Congrats boys! Way to do it for Coach David. Remember always have those 3 F’s. Faith, Family, and football! The Red Raider way! #RR4L

  24. stacey November 14, 2021 4:32 pm

    Kahuku with a passing game? stand by

  25. 88 November 14, 2021 5:03 pm

    The message is you play dirty you get a beating you, your teammates, your coaches, your school, your neighbors and family in attendance and watching from the mainland will never forget…. 😂

  26. Hilo Heights November 14, 2021 6:38 pm

    Congrats boys, you guys played shell of a game.. It was very impressive win.. Now finished the season strong and take that momentum into states.. Good job coaches..

  27. OG RRFL! November 14, 2021 7:28 pm

    Let all the ILH kahuku haters hate. the tears must taste super salty. recruit harder and maybe you can play on the same field as us. RRFL!

  28. Big boyz November 14, 2021 9:03 pm

    I would put Mililani Campbell and Waianae against st lulu 2 team even give Iolani 10 point spread everyday but that’s just wishful thinking and maybe kahuku was working on same of there packages late in the game against a pretty good defensive for later down the road with there 2 string quart back give Mililani same credit

  29. Kaimiikeamepono November 15, 2021 12:00 am

    For those who enjoy using a derogatory name to refer to the Interscholastic League of Honolulu champion, realize that when you use that name, you are inviting the same disrespect to be shown to your school and team. The same could be said for those of you making the uncharitable remarks about others who you consider to be outside of your community. Are those of you who do this so insecure and concerned about what others think about your team, and not content with your team’s success, that you can’t resist the temptation to show how ungracious you-a member (supposedly) of a community of “faith”?-can be? If you really are a member of a community that highly values “faith”, aren’t you supposed to be living your faith, and therefore growing in the grace and knowledge of the one who has made your faith possible? Don’t you have an equal regard for those of faith who are of the school, team, and community of your ILH brethren, as you have for your self and your Koolauloa community? Or is your “faith” compartimenalized into a one day a week exercise you go through the motions of in order to satisfy your self that you are a member in good standing? In all that you do and say, aren’t you to be the salt of the earth, and a light unto others who shall see it, and give glory, praise, and honor to your Heavenly Father? Please, he ho’omana’o, think about it!

  30. HailFromDaNorth November 15, 2021 12:03 am

    Keep ya heads up Mililani! We need teams like them to compete, irons sharpens iron! I like what Rod York is doing out there. Recruiting or guys are being drawn out there so they can compete that’s all good. We all make each other better, so these kids can make it to the next level. But did I also see a Manutai last name out at Mililani? That name runs deep through our community, no matter I like to see kids going out and balling, but just remember #RR4L lol jk. I don’t know but you guys, but I’m just happy to see Hawaii high school football back! Heeeeeweeeekooo!

  31. ILoveHawaii November 15, 2021 7:49 am

    Good win by RR’s.

    Even with those transfers, RR’s made them look like boys amongst men.
    That RB looked liked a grown a$$ man (kala mai for the language).

    God bless to the Vimahi Ohana.

  32. Good Story November 15, 2021 8:14 am

    This is not church…and for all anyone knows, we could all be trolls. Dont take this forum seriously, and any comment by anyone of us does not represent the community we rep. If it offends you, just read the article…we enjoy the stupid banter.

  33. 88 November 15, 2021 8:47 am

    @ilovehawaii the only way this Kahuku team loses is if the Head Coach keeps calling these head scratching plays when we get in the red zone. In that situation you are right about Coaching. The score in the 1st quarter should of been 14-6 instead of 6-6. All that did was give Mililani hope. That type of play calling could come back to bite BigRed in @$$. Aaaaaand who ever is coaching the Oline over there at Mililani needs to be recognized for his great work.

  34. Coach Perspective November 15, 2021 8:54 am

    Reason you go for 2…to get to a 35 point lead, which triggers the mercy rule so you don’t prolong the game. Very simple. Keep players healthy.

  35. ILoveHawaii November 15, 2021 9:02 am

    88 –
    I know right?

    Its problematic when you succeed/win even when bad calls are made.
    I dont think that will be an issue this year since it looks like you guys may have better pieces than any other team.

    It sure is nice to see all the bandwagoners again.
    Btw, that #11 is a match up problem, especially when the QB is scrambling.

  36. 88 November 15, 2021 9:20 am

    The Crusaders use to have 11 #11’s on the field but this year for some reason they don’t. Dont know if it’s because they haven’t had time to gel as a team with all the new kids or what but that is why after watching the scrimmage against Kamehameha I said BigRed is the team to beat this year.

  37. OIA Fan November 15, 2021 1:03 pm

    @ILH Fan, I guess you didn’t really watch the game carefully because this was one of the best officiating I have seen in a while. They really didn’t pick on one particular team as they called correct penalties on both sides. The only thing is that the refs weren’t going to allow any nonsense after the whistle have been blown because the jv game had a fight which eventually would’ve been a fist fight after the game if it wasn’t for Mililani just going to there locker room instead of shaking hands at the end of the game. The refs weren’t going to tolerate any nonsense in the varsity game. So as you said Kahuku was given a new set of downs but it was because of personal penalties like pushing after the play and even punching a guy. Mililani players being ejected in back to back games reflects on the coaches. It wasn’t no bs calls. Instead of blaming the officials you should blame Mililani’s Coaching Staff for not disciplining there players and implementing a better mindset when there backs is faced against the wall instead of trying to take the game beyond the whistle with unnecessary actions. I hope to see a better Mililani team in the playoffs.

  38. Solomona November 15, 2021 2:13 pm

    “This is not church” reveals a common misunderstanding and ignorance of what church is and means, and what those who are the church are supposed to be. Church is the English word translated from the Greek word iglesia, Greek being the original language the New Testament of the Hemolele Baibala(Holy Bible) was written in. Iglesia means called out ones, it does not mean a location or structure specifically purposed for worship. So church are those who are called to come out of the ways of this world, this age of the government of men who misrule their fellows, under the evil influence of the adversary of mankind and their Creator. The church are meant to be a shining light and example for their fellows-especially those who are not part of the church, or are being called-no matter where or when. The idea that “this is not church” is exactly what the adversary would have the church believe when in a time or place like this forum; this is exactly the kind of place for the church to be in, to counter the wrong ways of thinking and behaving, the ways influenced by the adversary-of vanity, excessive pride, lack of self control, disregard for goodness and kindness and politeness, ways of thinking and acting that have resulted in the kind of society and government we have now. A society in which security and safety are constantly of concern for many, where even in this forum people are reminded to be considerate of others and refrain from personal attacks-but that happens nevertheless. Just as I am free to read (or not read) the commentary that accompanies the articles, so any one else is free to not read any particular post-including and especially this one

  39. Jacob Makaiwi November 15, 2021 2:39 pm

    I’ve never known Coach David and I’m not from the North Shore, but my dad and him were good friends growing up in San Francisco together. Small world, since they both moved to Hawaii at some point in their lives. My dad said the last time he saw David Vimahi he heard a booming voice say “DALY CITY IN THE HOUSE!!!!”

    My dad was shocked hearing the news. He’s usually always happy, but this really hurt him. My dad kept saying how bummed out he was for his friend. David must have been a great man. Aloha to the Vimahi ‘ohana and to Coach David. Looks like you endured to the end brother.

  40. Roughrider November 15, 2021 3:22 pm

    For those wondering about the scoring, my opinion is that that this was taken from Saint Louis(Cal Lee’s) play book, if you look at there past 50 + to 0 and the first string playing, to me nothing wrong if that’s there plan, also it works for them when their looking at nationals rankings, you need that. I look at the 2 points will qualify them for the mercy rules and run the clock so doesn’t give Mililani time to score cause Mililani can score quickly. Go luck to both schools, OIA playoffs the States. Stay safe to all athletes.

  41. 88 November 15, 2021 3:32 pm

    Probably the same reason the blogs were quite those 4 straight years Punahou was winning the ILH….😂

  42. Hau'ulaBoy96717 November 15, 2021 3:44 pm

    Ahhhh duhhhh? !? ! !? @really, why? Cause there wasn’t articles written about us when we was struggling. So we start winning and they write articles. Then we start commenting. Are we supposed to go on your schools articles and post? No, only jealous people go on to another schools article to post.

  43. Big boyz November 15, 2021 3:45 pm

    Or it might be we have same thing to talk about ?dah we might alway be able challenge for a oia championship but we also realise that we don’t alway have the talent or depth to complete for the open crown this year we do what you fail to see it’s not just showing up at t big game it’s also been able too compete on the same level as your opponent unless you like watching blow out because no one remember those games so we get a well rounded team that WE believe will give st lulu a game worth remembering ye we kinda get a little excited on the north shore we might not have much but we will alway have RR nation is that asking to much to allow us to indulge besides that give you a reason to banter the hell out of us we we do lose

  44. RidgeRunnerDD-214 November 15, 2021 4:13 pm

    Just waiting on “Toomeke” to come back out 😄

  45. ILoveHawaii November 16, 2021 10:05 am

    And “Education1st”. 😁

    Also, I’d like to think that people can think and do whats right with or without Church.

  46. ??? November 16, 2021 11:18 am

    ,” Kahuku coach Sterling Carvalho said. “He was my director of recruiting.
    Paul, are you able to get a better explanation on this statement?

  47. 88 November 16, 2021 11:48 am

    @??? Not all kids receive D1 offers at Kahuku. What Coach Vimahi did was help other players on the team and kids playing other sports get information on D2, D3 and Jr Colleges. Because he played at a JC and later moved on to the D1 level he had connections with a lot of coaches not to mention alumni from Kahuku and other schools who are now coaching all over the mainland.

  48. Pakelika November 16, 2021 12:48 pm

    To add to what 88 wrote about what David Vimahi did as recruiting director, all students of any high school other than Kamehameha who are of aboriginal Hawaiian ancestry may apply to Kamehameha for post high school educational financial aid. This might be in addition to a scholarship or other financial aid. This is a way in which Kamehameha is extending its reach and wealth to kako’o and kokua (support and help) the many Kanaka haumana (students) who are not enrolled at the school-which is a majority.

  49. ??? November 16, 2021 7:44 pm


  50. Paul Honda November 17, 2021 12:23 am

    At the time, Coach Carvalho was busy (heading to the bus) and so was I (deadline), so there was no need to ask for details.
    But I knew what he was referring to. I’d seen some info on Twitter and Instagram earlier in the season.

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