Onside kick helps Waianae take control

Castle’s Blayzen Napoleon carried the ball in the first quarter of Friday’s game against Waianae. Cindy Ellen Russell / Star-Advertiser
Castle’s Blayzen Napoleon carried the ball in the first quarter of Friday’s game against Waianae. Cindy Ellen Russell / Star-Advertiser

While Waianae’s emphasis on the ground game was expected, a surprise on special teams helped the Seariders establish control of Friday’s game at Castle.

After marching 76 yards in 16 plays in a seven-plus minute scoring drive on their first possession, the Seariders kept the offense rolling by recovering an onside kick.

“We just noticed something they did so we tried to capitalize on it,” first-year Waianae coach Walter Young said.


The gamble was rewarded three plays later when running back Javen Towne scored the second of his four touchdowns in Waianae’s 36-20 win to improve to 2-1 overall and 2-0 in the OIA Red.

Towne finished the night with 98 rushing yards and pushed his touchdown total to seven through three games. Ezekiah Moniz-Hopeau led the Seariders with 130 yards on 16 carries and caught a touchdown pass from Jaren Ulu.


“Just run hard and gotta thank my line,” Moniz-Hopeau said.

Nicholas Keliikoa was also a productive part of the running back rotation with 47 yards in 13 carries and the Searider backs followed the offensive line on 64 total carries and picked up 326 yards.


The Seariders’ ball control kept the pressure off of the Waianae defense, which was on the field for 43 total plays and just 15 in the first half. When they were called upon, the Seariders limited the Knights to 172 total yards and managed to hold speedy Castle receiver Jeremy McGoldrick to two catches for six yards and a touchdown.

The Seariders (2-1, 2-0) close August with a drive to Wahiawa to face Leilehua (0-2, 0-1) next Friday.

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