A perfect storm produced an outcome that figures to resonate beyond Saturday’s round up of high school football scores.
Facing an overmatched McKinley team, Waianae stayed on the ground to generate 453 yards in a record-breaking 90-0 win at Roosevelt’s Ticky Vasconcellos Stadium.
The Seariders stayed relatively basic in the running game, didn’t attempt a pass and played their entire roster by the end of the second quarter in the OIA Red game. Ten Waianae players had carries in the game, none with more than five carries, and nine scored at least one touchdown. The Seariders also returned two interceptions for touchdowns in the first half.
While Waianae coach Walter Young wanted to see his team execute what they’ve practiced, the final score left him conflicted following the game.
“We’re just running base plays. It’s not like we were trying to do fancy,” Young said, “We didn’t throw the ball once the whole game.
“You gotta be proud of them that they came and did what we’re supposed to do. But scoring that much points and making the game like that, it’s ugly.”
Waianae took the opening kickoff and Jurick Valdez, who had eight carries for 56 yards entering the game, carried the ball on the Seariders’ first two plays and scored on a 25-yard run on the Seariders’ second play from scrimmage.
McKinley ran two plays when Waianae scored again on Austin Keliinoi-Westbrook’s 35-yard interception return.
McKinley went three-and-out on its next three possessions and short punts gave Waianae possession at the Tigers’ 21, 15 and 25 yard line. Waianae ran just five plays in scoring three touchdowns and led 35-0 with 3:32 left in the first quarter.
Zachary Kerr scored on a 35-yard interception return early in the second quarter and Waianae continued to run the ball up the middle while stretching the lead to 63-0 at halftime. Six of Waianae’s seven possessions in the first half began in McKinley territory, four inside the Tigers’ 30.
The second half was played with a running clock and Waianae ran nine plays, four going for touchdowns. Jorell Pontes-Borje got to the edge and raced down the sideline for a 90-yard touchdown run. After Waianae’s third interception of the game gave the Seariders possession at the McKinley 30 with about four minutes left, Solofua Grey took a handoff up the middle and faced little resistance to the end zone for the game’s final touchdown.
The disparity in depth and skill level left both teams in an awkward position. As Young said, Waianae stuck with its base running plays, primarily dives up the middle with three runs outside the tackles in the second half.
For his part, McKinley coach Samuel Cantiberos didn’t have an issue with the Seariders’ intentions in the lopsided decision.
“Our job is to stop them, their job is to score,” Cantiberos said. “The game, I thought, was played fair. That’s the way it’s supposed to be.”
Two years after going 5-5 overall and qualifying for the OIA Division I playoffs at 3-3 in the OIA Red, McKinley entered the season in rebuilding mode and led by a new coaching staff following an 0-7 season in 2014. The Tigers remained in Division I and the growing pains have been pronounced in an 0-5 start in which the Tigers have been outscored 327-16. McKinley gave up 73 points to No. 1 Mililani and lost to No. 4 Kahuku 78-0 a week before facing Waianae.
So the confluence of a surging Waianae program and a McKinley team short on numbers produced the type of score classification was implemented to prevent.
Based on enrollment, McKinley remains one of the OIA’s bigger schools, but is clearly out of its depth in Division I football this season. Cantiberos said the Tigers are missing starters and he respects the effort of those who continue to show commitment to the program.
At the end of another tough night, the Tigers were applauded by the school band and fans lingering in the stands as they headed off the field.
“We’re playing for our program, we’re playing for our community and they understand that and they’re helping making us be a better team by supporting us,” Cantiberos said.