Waianae plays lights out in a 47-6 upset of No. 8 Leilehua

The lights went out at Raymond Torii Field moments after Waianae's 47-6 win over No. 8 Leilehua, but the Seariders were still feeling electric about their first win of the young season. Coach Matt Murakawa praised his coaches and players, lights on and lights out. Paul Honda/phonda@staradvertiser.com.

Life in the Open Division can be tough.

The Waianae Seariders know that well and made sure the Leilehua Mules understand how tough it is. Leilehua’s debut in OIA Open Division was a 47-6 loss at Raymond Torii Field on Saturday night as Waianae’s Kolu Quisquirin-Sabagala rushed for 129 yards and touchdowns of 6 and 48 yards. The 5-foot-10, 230-pound senior had only 15 carries along with one reception for 19 yards as offensive coordinator Bobby George spread the wealth.

Junior quarterback Tarent Moniz-Babb was in fast-twitch mode from the start with quick passes and smart reads in Waianae’s RPO game. Moniz-Babb was 17-for-21 with 212 yards and touchdown passes for 32 yards to Chayce Gomes and 89 yards to Emmanuelle Carter.

Carter finished with five receptions for 115 yards and Gomes had six grabs for 55 yards. Seven different Seariders had at least one reception, and Waianae’s pass-run ratio was fairly even with 24 rushes.

Defensively, the unit was much more active and aggressive after a learning experience in last week’s loss to Mililani.

“The most improvement you have is between your first and second game. From a coaching standpoint, offensively and defensively we kept our foot on the pedal more. If we have an advantage we want to score as much as possible,” first-year head coach Matt Murakawa said.

Waianae’s defense came up with five interceptions, including two by Alvin Kalahiki IV. The junior safety/cornerback took one of them to the house on a 37-yard snatch and return. Alvin Tai Tin, Shayd Borabora and Dustin Pave also came up with interceptions. Pave dropped a pick near mid-field early in the game, but got his second chance in the second half, returning a deflected pass 40 yards to the end zone.

“Alvin is a quiet guy. He leads by example. His dad (Alvin Kalahiki III) coaches on the JV. Alvin is ‘Bruddah Boy.’ It’s really cool,” Murakawa said. “He’s always been a good player, a solid player for us. He’s actually a safety, but one of our corners got hurt last night. He had a problem so we had to roll Alvin down. That’s the kind of guy he is. He’s a player’s player. The lights come on and he plays.”

Speaking of lights, after the game, the stadium lights went out as Waianae sang its alma mater, and with the entire field pitch dark, the Seariders ran to their locker room as instructed. However, with power out on the Leeward Coast due to a transformer issue, Leilehua’s bus was not able to leave immediately after the game.

The main road reopened before 11 p.m. and the Mules’ bus left Waianae’s campus around 90 minutes after the game ended.

Waianae’s scintillating performance included a dynamic series of plays by Nainoa Nagum. He blocked the PAT kick after Leilehua scored on its initial drive. A moment later, he returned the kickoff 81 yards for a touchdown. He spent much of the night covering the Mules’ talented wide receiver, Keawe Andres, stride for stride. Andres finished with three receptions for 59 yards.

“Andres is their go-to guy, so if you can kind of control him, I don’t think he made any big plays. Then you force the other guys to make plays. That’s what you want on defense,” Murakawa said. “Nainoa is an excellent, natural cornerback. That’s how he plays at practice every day. He’s really aggressive and that’s what we want. His coverage! That’s how he is. He’s a junior. He’s a playmaker type guy.”

Murakawa took the reins after coach Mike Fanoga departed during the summer. Murakawa is a former Searider player, a 1980 graduate and a math teacher on campus. After the Mililani game, defensive coordinator Ryan Lancaster put his unit into a different mindset.

“We didn’t sit in a zone, we attacked more,” Murakawa said. “Our guys played more aggressively. We were soft on the corners last week, and coach Ryan cleaned that up. That’s how we want to play, take the ball away, get them in bad situations.”

Waianae’s front seven set the tone early, closing the gaps quickly on Leilehua’s ground game. The Mules finished with 56 rushing yards on 28 attempts.

“The whole D-line in general. Jamal Plunkett, Joeziah Clifton, Kelsun Feleti. Our outside ‘backers Chanceston Molina, Ola Medeiros,” Murakawa said. “You could see the result of pressure when we brought the extra ‘backer. (The quarterback’s) eyes were down and as the game went on, his eyes were down more, and we’re dictating the pace of their offense.”

Perhaps the most interesting element of Waianae’s win is that Quisquirin-Sabagala didn’t need to be a bell cow type of running back. With the passing game excelling on quick, high-percentage strikes, Quisquirin-Sabagala was often more of a decoy. Waianae also employed occasional hurry-up tempo with their running back as the focal point.

“Kolu is like the heart and soul of our team. We go as well as he does. (Offensive coordinator) Bobby (George) has a balanced offense. He’s going to take whatever they give us. That’s kind of been the knock on us before, we only run the ball, so we wanted to balance that out, so I think we have. But we did run the ball effectively,” Murakawa said.

Waianae finished with 346 yards of total offense, including 134 on the ground. Moniz-Babb had three runs of nine yards or more, and was sacked just once while the Seariders opened a 20-6 lead. Leilehua got to him for a couple of 3-yard losses in the final 16 minutes.

“I think last week (Mililani) got ahead of us and when you do that you can take chances and the game speeds up,” Murakawa said. “We got into a rhythm today and he did too.”

At Raymond Torii Field
Leilehua (0-1, 0-1) 6 0 0 0 — 6
Waianae (1-1, 1-1) 14 6 13 14 — 47
LEI—Xander Muyot 1 run (kick blocked)
WAI—Nainoa Nagum 81 kick return (Kolu Quisquirin-Sabagala kick)
WAI—Quisquirin-Sabagala 6 run (Quisquirin-Sabagala kick)
WAI—Alvin Kalahiki IV 37 interception return (kick failed)
WAI—Chayce Gomes 32 pass from Tarent Moniz-Babb (kick failed)
WAI—Quisquirin-Sabagala 48 run (Joshua Santiago kick)
WAI—Emmanuel Carter 89 pass from Moniz-Babb (Santiago kick)
WAI—Dustin Pave 40 interception return (Santiago kick)
JV—Leilehua 14, Waianae 13.

Individual statistics
RUSHING—Lei: Cole Northington 12-25, Malachi Tupai 1-4, Muyot 5-9, Jett Cabal 1-(-2), Pono Arindain 6-11, Kollin Tellain 1-0. Wai: Kolu Quisquirin-Sabagala 15-129, Tarent Moniz-Babb 8-4, Ezekiel Taguchi 1-1.

PASSING—Lei: Muyot 6-14-3-70, Arindain 4-15-2-88. Wai: Moniz-Babb 17-21-0-212.

RECEIVING—Lei: Keawe Andres 3-59, Brayden Furtado 3-40, Northington 2-(-3), Timothy Ewa 1-48, Cabal 1-14. Wai: Emmanuelle Carter 5-115, Chayce Gomes 6-55, Akoni Halemano 2-17, Santiago 1-4, Christian Sansano 1-1, Quisquirin-Sabagala 1-19, Zayah Vincent 1-1.


  1. Dafun October 24, 2021 12:07 am

    Anyone else on here confused why there’s no write up about St. Louis destroying Punahou, yet there’s a write up immediately about 2 teams that don’t even come close to either St. Louis or Punahou in terms of skill? Because I definitely am. Seems super anti St. Louis on here as always

  2. RidgeRunnerDD-214 October 24, 2021 7:32 am

    There’s 25 other schools playing football on O’ahu. I would hope HPW would put out articles that gives us readers an insight into the overall state of high school football around the island. Not every story has to be an homage to your beloved crusaders in order to stroke your ego.

  3. ??? October 24, 2021 8:34 am

    You can’t be serious? STL has been getting the top headlines since the late 80’s, what more do you want?
    You recruit the best Hawai’i athletes, you have 2 legends as coaches, you always carry 80 or more players where most teams struggle to suit up 25, etc….”You Killing Me”

  4. Eddie K October 24, 2021 11:33 am

    A 41 point win is not a UPSET. Or 69 point win..wow

  5. Eddie K October 24, 2021 11:45 am

    A 3 lost team does not deserve coverage. Chevan,bench, Tua bench, Marcus bench.
    The Waianae Seasiders comments only.

  6. Dafun October 24, 2021 1:23 pm

    Well when waianae gets blown out the week before do they really deserve coverage? That’s not a good football team

  7. HailFromDaNorth October 24, 2021 1:48 pm

    Cry baby! Ok, here you go! Saint Louis Shuts out punahou after playing them for a 3rd time!

  8. Honestly October 24, 2021 8:59 pm

    Let be honest! Winning is all about coaching. St. Louis wins because of the coaching staff. Smart school administrators are those who recognize this. Did you know that it is easier to find a new principal than it is to get a good football coach. Just look at the Kahuku Red Raiders who have a wealth of athletics. Every time Kahuku wins a football State Championship, the coach gets fired. Note that she also tried to change the Red Raiders name. Now the Punahou administration is trying to do the same thing. A perfectly good coach gets fired for reasons beyond his control. The boss is ultimately responsible, not the workers. Who is responsible for the Punahou last place finish? Should we change the name from Buff and Blue to Black and Blue? As was said 70 years ago, “winning isn’t everything, it’s the ONLY thing. Honest!

  9. HBoy October 24, 2021 10:50 pm

    Winning is not only about coaching, although it is a major factor. It also has to do with the players and their buy in to the system(s) that are being utilized, the support of the administration (school/DOE in this case), good equipment/facilities and support from fans.

    Sports ultimately should be teaching youth life lessons that will prepare them for their future in school, work and family life. Many lessons are learned from wins and losses and as coaches and parents we have the responsibility to help those young student athletes navigate those challenges as they arise. Regardless if you were on a championship team or on a winless team, opportunities still await you and life surely does not end if you are not an all-star.

    I am personally grateful OIA sports is finally going and I am able to watch my children and others play. Lets cheer them on and pray for no injuries to any student athlete.

  10. ILoveHawaii October 25, 2021 7:50 am

    Dafun = The Karen of Hawaii Prep World

    “Excuse me, can I speak to the manager?”

  11. Haha October 26, 2021 1:57 pm

    @Honestly, Wait a minute? Did you not comment in the AJ Bianco article that you thought the ILH has the best players, coaches, and administration in the state with no issues hands down? with Dafun saying how I “figga” the OIA is a better league. Now I “Honestly” see, “Dafun” is all gone when it’s not going your way. Don’t worry, you forgot one thing to blame in your comment, the pandemic. @Dafun, just remember blowout or not, #1 at the end of the season is still #1. HMMM, could the OIA is just be getting started? “Honestly” ask your self.

  12. Dafun October 27, 2021 3:57 am

    OIA is definitely not coming close to either St Louis or Kamehameha it’s funny how you guys have this vision that they di

  13. Good Story October 27, 2021 11:42 am

    Why is it that jus because Kamehameha beats St Louis, now you all think the ILH is that much better.

    Maybe, Kamehameha is just the best of a mediocre ILH.

    I think Mil or Camp could beat any of those 3.

    Red Raiders though…this is a complete team all around. Haven’t seen one like these in a while. THAT is saying something.

  14. TrueDAT October 28, 2021 3:15 pm

    STL football has the best coaching? Lol kidding me anybody can coach that team and win!! Remember when Cal & Ron lee went to Kalani? Lol they LOST & lost bad!! Players & talent wins games!!! I RESPECT those that stay home & represent their community!! Instead of hoping on a bandwagon like STL!! full of wannabeez!!!

  15. Dafun October 28, 2021 4:19 pm

    That’s what you guys say every year and now look they can’t even compete every year lol.

  16. Good Year October 28, 2021 7:26 pm

    Das what everybody says every year. We just tend to be right more than most.

  17. Dafun October 29, 2021 2:45 pm

    Hopping on a bandwagon like STL? I grad from there so no bandwagon. Also on Hawaii prep world they give public schools the benefit of the doubt most of the time. For instance Waianae should not even be in the top 10 or leilehua. We all know that there are other schools not even in the open division that would beat both of them

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