Waianae runs its way to another big win

Waianae running back Rico Rosario leaped over a Kapolei defender for extra yards in a 35-14 win on Saturday night. Photo by Jay Metzger/Special to the Star-Advertiser.
Waianae running back Rico Rosario leaped over a Kapolei defender for extra yards in a 35-14 win on Saturday night. Photo by Jay Metzger/Special to the Star-Advertiser.

Turns out it was all just a tease.

That Waianae four-wide passing attack on display in the second half of a season-opening win against Kamehameha was stashed away Saturday night in Kapolei. Instead, it was back to the traditional Seariders’ triple-option rushing attack that left Kapolei gasping for air.

In a matchup of teams ranked in the top five in the state, the fourth-seeded Seariders established themselves as the biggest threat to Kahuku’s OIA crown with a 35-14 thumping of No. 5 Kapolei.

Junior Rico Rosario, whose 23-yard touchdown reception on a screen pass was one of two highlight plays for the Seariders, rushed for 117 of Waianae’s 313 total yards on the ground.

Kade Ambrocio rushed for two touchdowns, including a 57-yard scamper on a crazy option toss from QB Jaren Ulu, who had multiple defenders draped all over him, and Javen Towne added 51 tough yards on the ground as Waianae’s multiple looks gave Kapolei’s defense fits, especially as it wore down in the second half.

“We felt we were going to be all in to stop the run but they are big and physical and do a good job,” said Kapolei coach Darren Hernandez, who dropped to 4-10 against the Seariders while at Kapolei. “Our defense sees June Jones‘ passing offense every day so we were hoping they would pass more, because we see that a lot … all in all it was very disappointing for us.”

Waianae ran 72 plays on offense with 56 rushing attempts and dominated the time of possession late. The defense forced two quick three-and-outs by Kapolei to start the second half allowing Waianae to pound away for most of the third quarter to take a 28-14 lead.

Kapolei quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa finished 22-for-47 for 234 yards and two touchdowns but was only 8-for-21 in the second half.

Waianae got to him for three sacks and never let Tagovailoa get comfortable in the pocket.

“We did what we had to do,” Waianae coach Walter Young said. “Kapolei has a good offensive line. Sometimes we twisted them, we rushed four, we brought some pressure, we tried to keep them on their toes.”

The win gives Waianae the two most impressive wins of the early season. Eight days ago, the Seariders knocked off then-No. 4 Kamehameha when Ulu threw a 54-yard touchdown pass to Isaiah Freeney with less than two minutes remaining. Unlike the back-and-forth tilt against Kamehameha, Saturday’s game against Kapolei was never in doubt in the fourth quarter.

Waianae enjoyed a 418-212 advantage in total yards and won despite throwing two first-quarter interceptions near the end zone.

Ambrocio, who returned a kickoff 99 yards for a TD against Kamehameha, capped off Waianae’s first drive in the second quarter with a TD and then had the long touchdown run on the option play to put Kapolei in big-time trouble.

The Seariders have backed up the confidence they showed prior to the start of the season with two marquee wins already on their resume.

“Honestly I think we have a good team going into this year with a lot of returnees,” Ambrocio said. “It all starts with working at practice and everything we do in practice we bring to the game.”


  1. Aku Bird August 14, 2016 3:42 am

    All the pre season zzw9media hype about Kapolei with June & Taulia & their Defense. Waianae man-handled them like rag dolls. It’s the same old Kapolei ( Big & Soft)…

  2. 87 August 14, 2016 7:52 am

    Aku ake! didnt you read the article Kapoleis defense was waiting for Waianae to run the JJ offense so they could stop it.

  3. TooMeke August 14, 2016 7:55 am

    I like it. Back to Waianae and Big Red.

    Smash mouth run and shut down D.

    Everybody else in OIA playing for 3rd place.


  4. What u smok'n August 14, 2016 8:22 am

    So Hernandez was hoping that a smash mouth run team would throw the ball more like JJ? Now you know why you have 0 championships.

  5. Alpha August 14, 2016 8:31 am

    Is it safe to say that kapolei was ranked too high too early??? Their ranking is good example of over hype. Taulia is awesome but don’t help when his wide outs don’t catch.

  6. Petey August 14, 2016 8:45 am

    Last week Waianae showed a lot of spread formations and passed the ball a lot vs Kam. Last night they ran the ball 56 times! great job of keep away and physical domination! Can’t wait for Waianae and Kahuku.

  7. Chloropicrin August 14, 2016 10:51 am

    Last week they had to Soread it out cause of Pauole and Aleki wrecking havoc.

  8. Norman Kaaihue August 14, 2016 11:20 am

    Great win. Next up Moanalua. One game at a time. Good smash mouth football. Family Pride Tradition. IMUA TEAM WAIANAE!!!!

  9. anywaaaays!! August 14, 2016 12:10 pm

    Big red is on the decline with its yearly exodus of players to the mainland and ILH, its manifesting itself by their small roster size. This may be their last year in the upper echelon of Hawaii High school football. Waianae and Kapolei aka Westside aka 2nd city, is the future. Sorryboutit

  10. Aku Bird August 14, 2016 12:20 pm

    Have you seen Kahuku’s roster? I dont know what decline you talking about? Once again, their huge and physical…

  11. Bulukex August 14, 2016 12:40 pm


    You obviously don’t know Kahuku like we do. Their JV is tearing it up and the Laie Park big boys teams are winning championships as well. Yes a few players leave to other schools but we’ll be fine. Do some homework first buddy.

  12. Hauula93 August 14, 2016 12:43 pm

    @anyways… Stop smoking your pipe and open your makas…Kahuku is going to always be at the top and you gotta come to the beast of the EAST to get that trophy. We got 8 trophies in 15 years… we going NOWHERE….

  13. Chloropicrin August 14, 2016 1:01 pm

    There are some schools that will never be short on talent and size, they are Kahuku, Waianae and Farrington.

  14. red x August 14, 2016 2:47 pm

    Waianae front seven maybe the best unit this year and possibly the best defense. Will see tho…

  15. Tutu Kane Ale August 14, 2016 5:00 pm

    For Kapolei Country, June Jones gave you all the highest of expectation whereas Kapolei offense will run wild with Darren’s dream team yet Waianae thought differently whereas they wanted to prove June Jones clip board is obsolete and grandfathered; rude awakening for Kapolei to end up with lopsided score difference.

  16. What u smok'n August 14, 2016 5:00 pm

    @anyways, calm down we all know waianae is coming back after a few decades of being stagnant. I know you west siders got some pride but like hauula said the Koa head sits on the east side and if you want it you gotta go through the BEAST of the EAST aka Kahuku Red Raiders.

  17. Chloropicrin August 14, 2016 5:13 pm

    @annnywaaays is a Kapolei Troll, that’s probably K-Town, the one that said Kapolei’s O will roll through Waianae D. Haha.

  18. Bulukex August 14, 2016 5:32 pm

    Our roster is small because we do cuts now and many players who didn’t meet the mandated 3.0 GPA by coach Tata from last year had to sit out. They’re not even allowed to travel with the team. Keep dreaming, we got Talent for years coming through

  19. Unko Alvin August 14, 2016 6:54 pm

    I was planning on waiting for Labor Day weekend yet me having given a work schedule change like I’m back and OK for now; couldn’t wait to add my honest and technical inputs to Kapolei High School and football families especially The Athletic Director whereas it’s
    only fair that you issue an athletic recall whereas to remove and replace June Jones QB’s Winning Concept Play Book; it has been written and sold that it’s would be guaranteed to
    win football games but truthfully the teaching and learning objectives for winning football players are only incomplete and with grandfather flaws; sad that most of your coaching staff are well experience yet your coaching staff are only perfect in “how it should be” and that’s not what it’s all about;…Darren, it’s time for a honest attitude check among coaches,…good luck.

  20. "UNITY=STRENGTH" August 15, 2016 8:19 am

    O-line try to control line of scrimmage set a time window for your QB and try stick to that he should be able to make the play by then but be realistic exspecially at practice. Offense starts with there O-line spread offense starts with making plays at first (crucial) starting a rythum then the rythum becomes something else.

  21. Chloropicrin August 15, 2016 7:29 pm

    Kapolei’s roster is inflated, as usual, some of their players didn’t look their size, as what was listed on the roster.

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