Waianae’s Rosario stands alone at the top

Waianae's Rico Rosario, left, broke the 20-year single-game school rushing mark on Saturday set by West Keliikipi in 1997.

Rico Rosario stands alone at the top of Waianae’s long list of powerful running backs through the years.

The 5-foot-8 senior broke West Keliikipi‘s single-game rushing record that stood for 20 years with a 243-yard performance in a 43-20 win over Moanalua on Saturday night at Ticky Vasconcellos Stadium.

Rosario, who nearly left for Liberty High in Nevada in the offseason, opted to stay on the West side for his senior year of high school. It has been a tough first month for Waianae, which lost its first three games and its starting quarterback in the process, but Rosario picked up the slack on Saturday against Na Menehune.

He finished with four touchdowns on 22 carries and carried Waianae to its second straight win, breaking Keliikipi’s mark of 239 rushing yards set against Waipahu in the process.

“It means a lot,” Rosario said. “It’s a true blessing to beat the record and I’ve got to give a shoutout to my O-line. They have been working hard these past couple of weeks and opened up the holes.”

Rosario, who led the state in rushing with 1,266 yards as a junior, has had a rough start to his season. He missed the opener against Saint Louis and was held to 1 total rushing yard in his first two games against Kapolei and Kahuku.

Forced to play quarterback after an injury to starter Justin Tacgere, Rosario moved back to his natural position at running back and followed up a 93-yard, two-touchdown performance against Campbell with his record night against Na Menehune.

“It feels really great now that I can just lead the team and the offense to doing what we usually do — run the ball and pound the ball,” Rosario said. “We’ve got to get back to work on Monday and focus on the next team.”

Although Moanalua entered the game 0-3, Na Menehune played No. 4 Punahou tough in their opener, trailing 14-7 in the fourth quarter. Three weeks later, Moanalua trailed No. 2 Kahuku 12-6 in the third quarter.

Rosario was headed for a quick night Saturday when Waianae exploded out to a 22-0 first-quarter lead. Interception returns by Kana’i Mauga and Braiden Ayala had the Seariders up big less than nine minutes into the game.

Rosario’s 19-yard touchdown run in the second quarter put Waianae ahead 29-0 and gave him 106 rushing yards on his first six carries.

Moanalua hung tough from then on and responded after falling behind 36-0 in the third quarter with three touchdowns in the fourth quarter, forcing Rosario to come back into the game with Waianae’s lead down to 36-14.

Rosario carried the ball six times and had a 15-yard run to the 2 to break Keliikipi’s mark. After a penalty on Moanalua and a failed run by Waianae, Rosario finished the game with his fourth touchdown run on a 1-yard plunge to give Waianae more points against Moanalua than it had scored in its first four games combined.

Waianae failed to complete a pass in a game for the first time since a 90-0 win over McKinley in 2015. Rosario had 243 of Waianae’s 356 total yards.

“I think we did good. We got mistakes here and there but we can go back to practice and fix those,” Rosario said. “When we play as a team, we can do a lot of great things when we just come out hard.”

After such a tough schedule to start the year, Waianae has a good chance to run the table with five straight wins entering the OIA playoffs with games against Radford, Kaiser and Aiea left in the regular season.


  1. Hau'ulaBoy September 3, 2017 2:08 am

    Congrats to RR on the record. But I remember West when he was at UH, he was the OG best mode. Way to go Rosario. Good luck to you and your team the rest of the season. Hope you guys can play Kahuku in OIA Championship. RR4L._.

  2. Waianae September 3, 2017 9:41 am

    I agree that Rosario is a good player but Moanalua isn’t a good team. If you can get the score to 20 in the first quarter then that means the opponents is not that good of a team. We shouldn’t even consider this as a big win cause we already knew we had the win already in our pockets. If this Rosario kid the golden weapon of the team then where was he when we challenged Kahuku. Why couldn’t he do runs and touchdowns like this game?

  3. Dakota Alualu September 3, 2017 10:44 am

    The people that comment on here did they even ball bro? This kid broke Keli’ikipi’s record plain and simple, doesnt matter the oponent the fact is he earned it fair and square. Hats off to Rosario!! Im sure he is honored to even be noticed along side a local hero like West!! Good job Waianae!!

  4. Westside Mayor September 3, 2017 11:04 am

    Sorry “Waianae” if you’re not a true fan; Rosario had to play QB. If he wasn’t known to be a dual threat, the defenses keyed on him running from the QB position. Hard to go anywhere…keeper right/keeper lef/QB sneak!!! Good to see he can stretch out his legs now!

  5. RootedNotRecruited September 3, 2017 3:49 pm

    Some people are funny.. ummm wasnt this the same Moanalua team that gave punahou n kahuku a good fight?? Waianae was up 29-0 in mid 2nd quarter and started pulling there defense starters at that time.. 2nd half was all second n third string DEFENSE yet commentators was making like moanalua was coming back into the game as if Waianae had in starters lmao.. as if hahaha.. Waianae used Rosario sparingly in second half. frankly he coulda had 400+ rushing if they left him in … props to you Rosario, haters gon hate!

    1. st louis : rosario didnt play and st. louis is a loaded defense and offense , so no shame in that loss

    2.kapolei: .. Rosario came in 2nd quarter against a REALLY GOOD kapolei D , then had to play WB on the fly so what u think kapolei did??STACK THE BOX AND KEY ON ROSARIO .. duh. so ofcourse he never do good.. as if hes a QB lmao

    3.kahuku… well kahuku is kahuku.. a damn good D that was smelling blood with rosario at QB.. Why the coaches didnt put in that 22 guy at qb and let rosario run the ball is head scratching

    If the offensive line can keep getting better and qb can comeback n stay healthy dont sleep on Waianae come playoffs

  6. Kaleo_96792 September 3, 2017 5:23 pm

    @rootednotrecruited got to agree with you

  7. DABIGCHIEF September 3, 2017 7:38 pm

    How can you call yourself “Waianae”. Rico was playing QB in the game against Kahuku. He had to play QB vs St. Louis and Kapolei too. He broke braddah West’s record that stood for 20 years. That deserves a great deal of respect for the kid. Know your facts before speaking.

    Congratulations Rico Rosario and The Waianae Seariders!!!

    Support our Seariders, our Kids, our Home.

  8. Martin September 4, 2017 9:50 am

    It appears that some people are throwing a little bit of shade on this player and the mother and father of this player is defending their son’s performance under alias names.
    Come on, no one really cares or even has time to comment or respond on these stupid articles.
    Why am I? 😂
    Just puting the obvious out there.

  9. RidgeRunnerE-5 September 4, 2017 10:00 am

    I knew Rico would run wild for the second half of the season. Congrats on the record, you should be proud to have a place amongst the many legendary Waianae backs.

  10. Duhhhhh September 4, 2017 11:08 am

    SO WHY are you on here MARTIN if you’re part of the NO ONE CARES CREW and your ALIAS NAME MARTIN. Maybe you’re a NOBODY with a VERY LOW SELF-ESTEEM. And you TARGET and put DOWN minors that ACCOMPLISH their GOALS and DREAMS in their lives. Get a Life Boo Boo just because your DREAMS didn’t come TRUE STOP HATING on KIDS that DREAMS AND GOALS do come TRUE for them. Oh BTW are you part of that HATERS CLUB too. IGNORANCE at it’s FINEST. Good Job “ROSARIO”..

  11. Majin Buu September 5, 2017 8:22 am

    What rootednotrecruited said..

  12. #96792 September 7, 2017 11:04 am

    Let’s not forget that Rico didn’t have the beast O-LINE he has now against Kahuku and kapolei,when the starting center #67 suffered an injury last season,he missed all the playoffs and the first 3 games of this season,did anyone see Moanaluas nose guard? He was strong but,lacked exper

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