That fall back to Earth came quick for Waipahu.
The Marauders, who opened the season with a 34-13 upset of Waianae, got stomped by ‘Iolani 55-14 on Saturday.
They had it coming, in a way. A game that was originally scheduled for home was switched to ‘Iolani. It was also at 3 p.m. in the blazing heat.
“In hindight, maybe we should have had some 3 o’clock practices during the summer,” Waipahu coach Bryson Carvalho said. “I don’t know how hot it was, but I was sweating when I got on the field.”
By no means was Carvalho using the heat as an excuse.
“I look at it as a wake-up call,” he said. “The kids and the coaches all feel the same.”
Carvalho said some key players from the secondary were not suited up and that his line on both sides of the ball, while solid, was low on depth.
“We had players on the line going both ways who were severely dehydrated,” he said. “We struggled up front to get anything done. Our initial concern of being shorthanded in the secondary got magnified.
“We also had kind of a messy start. Usually, we can bounce back from that type of thing. But ‘Iolani continued to execute and our guys were just exhausted.”
‘Iolani is a team known for its impeccable execution, so any kind of slow start is not recommended.
“They’re very, very good,” Carvalho said. “And we knew that going in. They’ve won (eight) state championships. They’re well-coached and disciplined, and between the ears, they’re very smart.”
But the loss may be a blessing in disguise. Two years ago, a 36-35 loss to Waialua in the OIA D-II title game served as motivation for last season. Last season’s 53-50 loss to Konawaena in the first-round of the D-II state tournament is serving as motivation for this season.
“I told the boys that it (the defeat to the Raiders) was our worst loss in three years,” he said. “We also haven’t won a D-I game that counted in three years as well. When you get humbled, you rethink how you work. We still need to prove that we belong.
“I see it in the coaching staff and the kids, we don’t want to get embarrassed again. And the competitor in me wants to play ‘Iolani again. Every kid on our team wants do what we can to possibly meet them again.”