No. 3 Punahou gives up first TD in otherwise masterful performance at No. 8 Kapolei

Punahou celebrated a touchdown after a pick-6 by Alaka'i Gilman (11) in a 44-13 drubbing of No. 8 Kapolei in August 2019. The Buffanblu were ranked No. 35 overall in the country by Max Preps' computer rankings. Photo by Cindy Ellen Russell/Star-Advertiser.

The streak has ended for Punahou’s surprisingly effective defensive unit.

After going three games without permitting a touchdown, the third-ranked Buffanblu were ahead 24-0 late in the first half at Kapolei when Hurricanes running back Jayven Reyes scored on a 5-yard run. Punahou had shut out Kailua and Farrington, and Kamehameha scored only on a safety and a field goal as the Buffanblu racked up a 3-0 record.

Punahou is now 4-0 (3-0 ILH Open) after Saturday night’s 44-13 win over No. 8 Kapolei. The Buffanblu limited the Hurricanes to 212 yards of total offense, so there was no pouting about the end of the streak.


Alaka‘i Gilman had one of Punahou’s two defensive TDs, almost mirroring what his team did last year in a win at Waianae. The senior returned an interception — he tipped the ball, bobbled it and controlled it en route to a 49-yard pick-6 — to open the lead to 17-0 in the second quarter. When he practically threw down a would-be defender, it was eye-popping.

“I just saw the quarterback’s eyes. I saw the tight end. I tipped the ball, made sure I caught it,” Gilman said.

Gilman, who has committed to Washington State, praised his teammates. That included defensive back Jonah Henry, who returned a pick 27 yards for another Punahou defensive TD.

“Everybody’s going to know who he is. He’s a baller,” Gilman said.

Punahou’s secondary did a superlative job covering Kapolei’s playmaking wide receiver, De’Zhaun Stribling. The senior has scholarship offers from Hawaii and San Diego State, and finished with just three receptions for 19 yards.

Conversely, Kapolei kept its attention on Punahou senior receiver Koa Eldredge, who patiently ran his routes with extra attention from the secondary. That opened up opportunities for his teammates, and freshman QB John-Keawe Sagapolutele delivered a lot of laser-beam strikes to his pass catchers, in perfect stride. He finished with 217 passing yards and a TD pass, along with two first-half interceptions.

“Everybody was doing their job and we really just clicked as an offense today,” Eldredge said. “John went out here and scored 40 points against a really good Kapolei team. He’s a freshman, he’s young, but he’s slowly starting to get that experience.”


  1. KAPOLEI Community August 25, 2019 12:20 am

    In KAPOLEI you have too many chiefs(coaches) that think they own the village. For years, Kapolei always has talented players. But nothing improves in football.
    When you see something that needs adjustments, don’t you make improvements so that you can bring hope for the rest of the team that’s been practicing hard. I see many talent that sits on the sidelines but are yet to see the field. How many mistakes does the quarterback have to make for the coaches to see it and recognize it, in order for changes to happen? It’s like an instruction manual, if you don’t follow the instructions carefully, it will never work properly.

  2. HailFromDaNorth August 25, 2019 6:36 am

    John-Keawe Sagapolutele is the real deal! At 9th grade! It’s crazy cuz his younger brother is a beast too, but he gonna be a crusader lol. I Watched John-Keawe from metro days and that kid is awesome. Hawaii is filled with talent! Although I rep the red and white. I love watching these boys ball out!

  3. MAKAKILO COMMUNITY August 25, 2019 10:38 am

    Doesnʻt the QB lead the state in passing?

    Kapolei played against the TOP 2 RANK TEAMS IN THE STATE back to back games loaded with D1 RECRUITS and TALENT. Remember those two ILH open teams recruit. Only Kamehameha doesnʻt.

    Do Your research before you badger a kid. Thats the first points Punahou gave up In 4 games this year as the article said. So the Punahou QB threw 2 picks should he have come out of the game per your instruction manual? I Donʻt like parents who call out Coaches and put down a kid.
    Stop hiding behind your post and talk to the coach directly.
    Kapolei QB threw only one pick in the first 3 games and that was a tipped pass by the receiver. Check the stats.
    One bad game and you downing him and the COACHES. SUPPORT YOUR SCHOOL AND IT’’S PLAYERS. It takes a team to win. Offense players Skill/Line and the entire Defense.
    Donʻt start a cult with the team.
    If you donʻt support your coaches than LEAVE YOUR SCHOOL AND TRANSFER.
    Remember this Is the OPEN DIVISION, every week Is a challenge.
    Kapolei has great Coaches who donʻt get paid, with no kids playing of their own. Coach Hernandez and the staff actually care about these kids and their future. Not like some schools that have multiple players, but still have guys going both ways getting beat up and injured. Check yourself!

  4. notes August 25, 2019 11:09 am

    it’s so sad to see how the punahou and the university of cal lee made it to the point where even public school communities are bashing their own kids for not performing well against recruited super teams that are basically pay to play. end the open division. withdraw from this sham of a state tournament and hold a new state tournament with only public schools across the state the way football is supposed to be played.

    Let the cal lee play punahou and kamehameha 10 times in a season and they can crown themselves champions of their semi pro league. they can call their championship the recruit bowl

  5. 9|6|7|6|2 August 25, 2019 11:10 am

    always nice to see North Shore boys do their thing. regardless of the school their at. Alaka’i Gilman & Solatoa Moea’i. before they became Sons of Oahu, they were Sons of LAIE _\,,/

  6. 9|6|7|6|2 August 25, 2019 11:16 am

    notes – sole, aikae!!! how many times must you be told on here, that even us Kahuku fans are already over the recruiting thing. Private Schools recruit, big deal. It has been done for decades. dealt with it. they have the athletes they have. we have the athletes we have. strap up and bang between the white lines!!! go cry in a corner somewhere.

  7. Bulldogs August 25, 2019 11:45 am

    Makakilo community- I agree with you I hate when people attack coaches and players. When their kid no play.

    Notes- Yes they should make there own championship game because they allowed to recruit. Time for a change still play oia teams for regular season…

    96762- by them recruiting all these years and OIA playing them only going make them better get ready for college.

  8. Lou August 25, 2019 12:19 pm

    Yes get rid of this OPEN bs. As you can see, StL. get’s so far ahead, they can afford flagrant hits. Teams that have 2 way players are getting hammered. Some teams cannot afford or support a 90 man team. Have an OIA open league add 2 teams, Leileihua ,Waipahu or Moanalua. That would be a 8 team league. Perfect. The the OIA play StL. for State.

  9. ??? August 25, 2019 1:51 pm

    You say get rid of Open division because STL -Punahou too good and 2 way players getting hurt on OIA teams. All you guys agree ILH recruiting is UN-FAIR advantage.
    Why have an OIA-ILH state title game at all?
    Just keep it separate!

  10. notes August 25, 2019 9:22 pm

    EXACTLY. ILH football needs to be split from the public schools permanently. annul all the past state records where an ILH team won. they can have their own super bowl and call it the recruit bowl. meanwhile, the public schools can play for the REAL state championship

  11. Da Recruit League and Bowl game August 26, 2019 12:07 am

    Recruit Bowl???
    How many OIA teams would qualify to be in that bowl playoff?
    Let’s see, the obvious are MILILANI and CAMPBELL.
    I’m sure there would be other OIA schools that would qualify to join the recruit league.

  12. HI School fan August 26, 2019 5:07 am

    Wow keep an eye on Punahou #15 6’2 Junior DB. He stayed with Stribling the whole game. Coach Miano sounded surprised!! Where did he come from.

  13. j94 August 26, 2019 8:14 am

    Lol at this mentality blaming the ILH. If Kapolei pulled the upset these comments would change significantly. Competition makes everyone better and exposing kids to quality teams and giving them the experience against quality teams with good coaching won’t help just cause they recruit won’t help? You gotta be kidding me. Some Kids transfer between OIA teams. Let’s get out of this whole recruiting bubble and OIA vs ILH bubble. You can’t blame a kid for being offered a better education and national exposure. It’s not like these kids are taking illegal benefits like some top profile recruits in the country coming out of high school just to go to a big time college in the SEC

  14. HLI August 26, 2019 3:00 pm

    Kapolei was bigger than Pun. Seriously.
    Farrington was bigger also.

    Its the coaching. What else could it be??

  15. Slugbug kapolei August 26, 2019 9:13 pm

    ILH schools aren’t the only producing D1 athletes on this island. Stop pretending like ILH is the only path to college football for these kids it’s not. It’s a mindset for these OIA kids and most are brainwashed into thinking they are not good enough because they don’t go to a private school.

    The open division is needed! The teams need to compete. Stop being participation trophy recipients!

  16. Oahu August 27, 2019 11:03 pm

    Punahou Offense line was way bigger. It starts In the trenches.

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