Rough Riders stick with the run game

Roosevelt celebrated after its 33-0 win over McKinley to open the OIA Division II season. Photo by Christian Shimabuku/Star-Advertiser.

Picking up right where they left off from last season, the Roosevelt Rough Riders stuck with what they knew on Friday night: running the ball.

It was the basis of their 33-0 season opening victory over McKinley at Ticky Vasconcellos Stadium, with the team totaling 228 rushing yard on 50 carries.

When the Rough Riders chose to deviate from their running game, their passing game proved to be equally effective. Quarterback Shastyn Kekahuna finished 5-for-6 with 110 passing yards, including touchdown passes of 40 and 34 yards.

“We just ran the ball until they could stop it, and then we just threw,” Kekahuna said. “Nothing special. It was a confidence booster for our season.”

Six passes might be more than what Roosevelt head coach Kui Kahooilihala intended.

“We said coming in that we weren’t going to throw the ball, but our offensive coordinator saw some things with their defense,” Kahooilihala said. “Basically, we just want to run the ball and take the clock down.”

Meanwhile, McKinley is still seeking its first win since 2013. Roosevelt will get a step up in competition when it visits Pearl City next week.

“As long as our kids can take care of the details and focus on their assignments, they’ll be fine,” Kahooilihala said. “We’re not quite there yet, but our coaches and kids understand that we’ll be there.”


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