Picks by Kapea, Benjamin help Waipahu protect ’94 Block’

Waipahu linebacker Zeondre Benjamin (5) puts a big hit on Iolani wide receiver Carter Kamana (21) during the first half of . Jamm Aquino / Star-Advertiser

The 94 Block is more than just Waipahu’s district.

It’s the gold-painted cement block, with the number attached on front, that represents a turnover chain for Waipahu’s “Humble Hammahz”, as a T-shirt revealed.

Deacon Kapea wore it well in victory, and it was well earned. Waipahu’s 20-19 semifinal win over perennial powerhouse ‘Iolani propelled the Marauders into the final of the First Hawaiian Bank/HHSAA D-I State Championships. Waipahu will have a chance to win a state crown for the first time since 2011, when it lost to ‘Iolani in the D-I state final.

The visiting Raiders led 19-7 at the half despite a fairly solid effort by Waipahu’s defense. Kapea and Zeondre Benjamin, who had his seventh interception of the season in the third quarter, never lost their cool.

“It’s about readjusting and I made sure our team wasn’t getting down on itself. We stayed in this game to the end,” said Kapea, who had finished with three interceptions. “It’s the heart.”

He now has nine picks for the season, and it all began with Waipahu’s pass rush. It ended with Waipahu’s ability to run the ball after halftime.

“We told our offense, ‘Don’t drop the ball, pound the ball, run the time and be smart’,” Kapea added.

The vibe after the game was exuberant. Kapea admitted it felt almost like winning another championship.

“We will prepare next week just like we prepared this week. Come back focused,” Kapea said, “and be ready to ball.”


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