Waipahu adds to the trophy case

Waipahu running back Alfred Failauga ran for a touchdown during the third quarter against Castle in the 2018 OIA D-I title game. Photo by Cindy Ellen Russell/Star-Advertiser.

Three weeks removed from dropping a second straight loss, Waipahu raised an OIA championship plaque for the second consecutive year.

The Marauders broke out to a 5-2 start this season and were 4-0 against OIA Division I competition before stumbling to a 50-20 home loss to Leilehua, followed by a 29-5 drubbing by Moanalua at Aloha Stadium on Oct. 5.

It took six periods in the mud at Kailua for the Marauders to regain their footing and they hit their stride in playoff wins over Leilehua and Castle to capture the OIA D-I crown a year after claiming the Division II title.

“These other games there were distractions, something going wrong,” Waipahu quarterback Cody Marques said after Friday’s 32-3 win over Castle at Aloha Stadium. “But this game was actually our full potential and the outcome is wonderful.”

After a mud-soaked 12-6 double-overtime win over Kailua on Oct. 12 to close the regular season, Waipahu dominated a rematch with Leilehua 29-6 in the semifinals last week and rolled past Castle, 32-3, on Friday at Aloha Stadium.

The victory over the Knights also gave Waipahu the OIA’s berth in the four-team Division I state tournament, which opens Nov. 9.

“To be able to win a championship and go on to the state championship, we’re the only team out of division to get that opportunity, that’s amazing,” Waipahu running back Alfred Failauga said after rushing for 177 yards and two touchdowns in Friday’s win.

Shifty between the tackles and explosive in the open field, Failauga ran for 187 against Leilehua last week and averaged 7.7 yards in his 47 carries in the OIA playoffs. He scored on runs of 27 and 58 yards on Friday while Marques passed for 146 yards and two touchdowns, both to Branson Jay Reyes.


After claiming the OIA D-II title last year, “we came here D-I and we showed that we compete,” Marques said. “Now look, we won OIA champs and we’re on to states.”

The Waipahu defense also continued to impress, going 12 quarters without giving up an offensive touchdown. The Marauders picked off three passes on Friday — giving them seven in the postseason — and scored on a takeaway for the second straight week when Manuele Pulusila returned a fumble 30 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter.

“(Defensive coordinator Ron Johnson) and his defensive staff have done an amazing job,” Waipahu coach Bryson Carvalho said. “We just had to stay disciplined.”

Castle was coming off of a 28-14 upset of top-seeded Moanalua and Carvalho said the Knights were
“very impressive and they moved the football.”

“We wanted to make sure we played assignment football and do your job and we were able to do that tonight,” Carvalho said.

The defense fed the offense opportunities and the Marauders generated 374 total yards while running away to a second rout of Castle this season.

“Defense was amazing,” Failauga said. “Without the defense we wouldn’t be the offense we are today.”

After clearing a spot in the trophy case for the latest addition, Waipahu will shift its focus to crafting another reversal when the Marauders open the D-I state tournament, most likely on their home field.


Waipahu traveled for D-II state tournament games the last two years, losing to Lahainalua 52-14 at War Memorial Stadium in 2016 and coming up short in a 53-50 shootout with Konawaena in last year.

“We’re going to celebrate tonight, we’re going to celebrate throughout the weekend. Come Monday I want to make sure our kids are aware we’re 0-2 in state tournaments since I took over,” Carvalho said. “So we want to make sure we turn that around and continue to play the way we’ve been playing the last two weeks.”

Castle senior Senituli Punivai struggled to find running room all night against the Marauders. Photo by Cindy Ellen Russell/Star-Advertiser.

COMMENTS

  1. Good Knight October 27, 2018 7:26 am

    It’s a wrap.


  2. ??? October 27, 2018 8:44 am

    Better luck next year


  3. ??? October 27, 2018 8:45 am

    Officiating is super!


  4. ??? October 27, 2018 8:52 am

    What was the final?


  5. Yayer! October 27, 2018 8:57 am

    Failauga for Governor!!


  6. KnightPride October 27, 2018 9:37 am

    Great Game Castle!!


  7. Coach C October 27, 2018 10:10 am

    Props to Waipahu to manning up. Win D2 last year,moved up to D1. Will they move up to Open? I wonder if the Iosepa boys from Waipahu will transfer back from Mililani? Also the Halawa and Malibu poly boys?


  8. Coach C October 27, 2018 10:15 am

    Haha, spell check Kalihi to malibu. Lol. But other coaches, Eselu and Tautofi are also decimating some districts.


  9. Josh October 27, 2018 10:17 am

    Waipahu!!!!


  10. Knight Time October 27, 2018 10:56 am

    94 Block too tough for Knights. Waipahu peaking at the right time!


  11. Coach D October 27, 2018 11:16 am

    Tranfers are everywhere


  12. Coach D October 27, 2018 11:16 am

    Spellcheck Transfers


  13. Drizzy October 27, 2018 11:18 am

    Elephant Package!!!


  14. HSFBFAN October 27, 2018 11:38 am

    Congratulations to Waipahu! They physically manhandled Castle who looked confused, tentative, slow of feet all night. Waipahu’s defense totally shut down Castle’s offense in both run and passing game. holding Punivai to what, 20 yds? Failunga was too much for Castle’s defense to handle. Props to Castle though for even being in the title game, upsetting Moanalua and winning their last 4 OIA games before losing 2 to the ILH Iolani & Damien. But this championship game, was Waipahu’s night! Total command of the game!


  15. Robocop October 27, 2018 11:58 am

    Props to Waipahu. Win a title, move up a division and win one there too. Great job and very tough team


  16. Rebel October 27, 2018 1:55 pm

    Congrats Waipahu but they should win, their enrollment is Top 5 in state, as for transfers…what the rumors that at Moan, Mil, Kail, Cast, and you know Kahuku, new coaches next year???


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