No. 2 Kahuku is still king in OIA Blue

Kahuku running back Enoch Nawahine got past Campbell's Jeremiah Tauai (9) and Nathaniel Thompson (44) during the first half on Friday in Ewa Beach. The Red Raiders beat the Sabers 45-6. Jamm Aquino / Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

In six games against Hawaii oppoents, the Kahuku defense has given up just two touchdowns — one against Aiea and one against Moanalua.

Other than that, it’s all zeros for the four other Hawaii offenses the Red Raiders’ defense has faced, including No. 7 Campbell on Friday night. Although the Sabers did score points on Kahuku in the Red Raiders’ 45-6 victory, it was Campbell’s defense that put the points on the board against Kahuku’s offense.

“Our defense played well and our special teams played well,” Kahuku coach Makoa Freitas said after the second-ranked Red Raiders (7-1, 7-0) wrapped up the Oahu Interscholastic Association Blue title with a 45-6 win on Campbell’s homecoming night. “We basically shut them out. The six points were against our offense.”

It should be noted that the Kahuku defense also gave up two touchdowns to Bingham (South Jordan, Utah) in their only loss of the season, 17-0 in Las Vegas.

On Friday, the Sabers (5-3, 5-2) were shut down cold. With Nalu Emerson, Miki Ah You and Samson Reed leading the way for the Red Raiders, Campbell was held to 27 total yards from scrimmage — including minus-17 rushing.

Kahuku’s offense, meanwhile, didn’t really light it up, but got enough to get by — 248 scrimmage yards that included only 68 on the ground.

Freitas came right out and said afterward that the offense has to perform better if the team is going to make a dent in the playoffs. He was likely still feeling the bitter aftertaste of five turnovers, including four lost fumbles.

Emerson had a gigantic performance with two interception returns for touchdowns and a fumble recovery that led to a touchdown. Ah You and Reed had a sack apiece, and Ah You added an 87-yard kickoff return that led to Duke Heffernan‘s 20-yard field goal.

“Emerson, Ah You and the whole defense played well,” Freitas said. “We played well on special teams, too.”

Heffernan, who also had a 31-yard TD reception from Sol-Jay Maiava, also kicked six extra points.

Maiva went 13-for-20 for 180 yards with one interception.

Campbell coach Darren Johnson, who is a former Kahuku quarterback and assistant coach, will probably take until Sunday to figure out how his Sabers didn’t take more advantage of those turnovers.

Only Pokii Adkins-Kupukaa made Kahuku pay for its mistake. He ran back one of his two fumble recoveries for a 38-yard touchdown that made it 14-6 in the first quarter.

“It’s a new season next week,” Johnson said after the loss. “We gotta worry about next weekend and get this one out of our system.”

The Sabers are the third seed from the OIA Blue and will play the sixth seed from the OIA Red — either Kailua, Castle or Kapolei. That opponent will be determined after Saturday night’s Kailua/Mililani regular-season finale.

Kahuku gets a first-round bye, as do Mililani, Waianae and Leilehua.

“Kahuku’s still the best team in the OIA right?” Johnson asked. “We should have capitalized on their mistakes and we made major mistakes. That’s what film is for. We’ve got to point out what we did wrong and get better and keep building.”

Freitas, too, will be taking a long look at how to shore up the Red Raiders’ offensive mistakes. The whole North Shore community is behind them and will be disappointed if they don’t make it to a third straight appearance in the top-tier state championship game.

“We’ll try again,” he said. “It’s our responsibility as coaches to get them ready to play better. We’ll get better.”


  1. RematchBinghamWithSol-jay September 30, 2017 6:51 am

    u can see the difference with Sol-jay in there.. they beat BINGHAM with Sol-jay at qb instead of backup.

  2. HBoy September 30, 2017 8:15 am

    Go Big Red. Need to get better, clean up mistakes and get ready for playoffs. Good job Big Red and good luck DJ and the sabers. Happy playoff

  3. September 30, 2017 8:27 am

    kahu blocking no good for run game, i afraid da pnut butta jelly no mo bread fo butta

  4. Education First September 30, 2017 1:55 pm

    This shouldn’t surprise anyone. When was the last time Campbell beat Kahuku?

  5. Hau'ulaBoy September 30, 2017 2:40 pm

    Sabers beat Kahuku 4 years ago, Mr. Know it all. Not so long ago, now was it?

  6. Recruit dis September 30, 2017 3:17 pm

    Easy Campbell is no where even close to what Bingham is. We all know the real test is against mililani. There the only team in the oia that can expose the secondary. Time will tell.

  7. Hau'ulaBoy September 30, 2017 4:05 pm

    The Seconday that just had three picks? The secondary that had two pick six? Ohhh that secondary, thats starting to gel and growing into the best D in the state. Thats the one. RR4L._.

  8. Hono Boyy September 30, 2017 6:17 pm

    Aye that’s what they said last year when crusaders whupped on that secondary!!! No get cocky boyy..

  9. Redrum September 30, 2017 7:41 pm

    Why do people wanna compare Kahukus defense to last year? This is a different season different team! Red raiders did get beat last year by a good crusaders group and the best QB! Not gonna even compare cordeiro to tagovailoa. Tagovailoa was a different beast which is why he’s playing on the #1 team in college ball! Last years state championship Kahuku wasn’t getting enough pressure on him which is why he was able to make the plays he did! This years kahuku squad the front 7 are showing more blitzes and getting in and disrupting the offensive backfield on runs and passes. Coach sola works with the defense all year long and is a great strategist when putting together a scheme against any offense. He’s a coach that these kids work with from a young age to develop their skills and football iq! Defense wins championships everyone knows that! Last years team was a good bunch, but this year has more potential and depth at every position! I think the offense is starting to click with soljay back at the helm! He was starting to find his groove in the second half last night and was more calm and read through his progressions. It believe it will be another matchup with red raiders vs crusaders for the state championship! We will see at the end who’s the better team! Good luck on both teams on their journey there!

  10. TheTruth September 30, 2017 8:15 pm

    Kahuku’ defense is getting better and better each game…More discipline, faster, smarter and STRAIGHT UP DANGEROUS!!! Kahuku’s Offense was looking impresive with throwing the ball, the WR’s just need to catch every ball that touches their hands. The run game will come when needed, I feel they need to allow Nawahine to get outside and show his speed instead of always sending him up the middle. He’s a beast, and with Kahuku passing game getting better, the run game will be NAHTZ!!!

  11. Education First September 30, 2017 8:41 pm

    Hau’ulaBoy September 30, 2017 2:40 pm
    Sabers beat Kahuku 4 years ago, Mr. Know it all. Not so long ago, now was it?
    Wow one time. That is such a great point. So everyone have just been shocked that Kahuku lost then right? That was my point. I apologize that you have to take things to literal and not understand the true message. I guess when your cousins tell you they are “hungry like a bear” you really think they are bears? Haha, you are so dumb.

    How do you do it? I forgot, you are one of the kids who contribute to some of the worst test scores in the world.

  12. Recruit dis September 30, 2017 8:44 pm

    Kahuku’s defense is no where near last years one. They maybe at that level next year but definitely not this year. Last years defense was bad ass especially the secondary. Just so happen Tua had probably his best game of the season against the top defense. This years St. Louis offense is probably better as a team compared to last year especially with all those wide receivers and the defense is way better then last years. We will definitely find out in the playoffs. Can’t wait!

  13. Recruit dis September 30, 2017 8:46 pm

    You really gauging that secondary against Campbell. Let’s see how they do against a real passing offense like mililani.

  14. Hau'ulaBoy September 30, 2017 9:50 pm

    Thats all you got? You are so dumb? Really? Your too funny. Ha ha ha. You throw cheap insults and act soooooo smart. Then you come back with ” your dumb “. Too funny, sart guy. RR4L._.

  15. Hau'ulaBoy September 30, 2017 9:59 pm

    Typo: Smart guy.

  16. Redrum September 30, 2017 10:14 pm

    @Recruit dis lets see if Gabriel can get his passes out quickly with that Kahuku front 7 in his face all game! Even if Trojans go with the short swing/flat passes the red raiders Db’s can come up and make plays! Kahukus defense plays disciplined football besides a few encroachment/offsides penalties from being too hyped, but when it comes to their assignments, they execute!

  17. Recruit dis September 30, 2017 10:38 pm

    @redrum that’s why I wanna see that game so we can see who really is the best in the oia. We all know that’s the top two teams .

  18. Hau'ulaBoy September 30, 2017 11:10 pm

    My cuzzies, they are bears. Ha ha ha.

  19. Dafun October 1, 2017 11:48 am

    Sooo how is kahuku’s teak Being challenged if literally all the OIA teams suck because kahuku and Mililani? Compared to St. Louis who plays teams in the top 5 throughout their season and have so far had the toughest season out of anyone in the state…

  20. Dafun October 1, 2017 11:48 am


  21. 88 October 1, 2017 12:12 pm

    Dafun if Kahuku was to play St. Louis schedule you would still get the same results. Only difference is the other teams would not be scoring as much or even at all. Thats why a merger needs to be made.

  22. Recruit dis October 1, 2017 1:32 pm

    88- maybe the same results but they would play way tougher defense that would really test them. Especially if you play the same teams 2 or 3 times now that’s a real challenge.

  23. Awrite!! October 1, 2017 5:46 pm

    Recruitdis- why are you complaining? You sound like the Lee brothers that had the same complain when they lost to Kahuku in 2015….”Kahuku has a weak schedule and comes into the playoffs healthy..”

    but when STL won in 2016 they flip flopped their complaint…”Kahuku has a weak schedule and we knew it would come back and bite them”.

    What it all comes down do is one game. If you cant win one game then dont make excuses because the ILH with their harder competition should supposedly be better prepared to play the weaker OIA teams RIGHT!

  24. 88 October 1, 2017 8:18 pm

    What tougher defense? I know you ain’t talking about Kam and Punahou. Now that s funny.

  25. NEXTmanUP October 1, 2017 9:41 pm

    As the Announcer for every highschool game would say “Let the players play, let the coaches coach,let the officials officiate, and let the fans cheer!” Defend what team you must… but i will say, when any hawaii high school team plays kahuku and beats kahuku that’s all anybody will remember, cause its like winning the state championship! No one will remember the state game more than kahuku losing. Make no mistake the last thing any team in the 808 thinks of is playing kahuku. -RR4L

  26. Recruit dis October 1, 2017 10:38 pm

    88- they better then any other defense in the oia not named kahuku I can guarantee you that.

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