Hawaiian Electric Game of the Week
No. 4 Kahuku shuts down No. 6 Waianae, 30-0


HALAWA — Kahuku outmuscled Waianae, 30-0 in both team's Oahu Interscholastic Association Red Division regular season finale at Hawaiian Airlines Field at Aloha Stadium Saturday night.

Kesi Ah-Hoy accounted for four total scores to help fourth-ranked Kahuku improve to 8-0 and 7-0. The Red Raiders clinched the Red Division's top seed and a first round bye in the league's postseason tournament with the win and will host the winner between Kapolei and Castle in the quarterfinal round.

The Red Raiders kept things grounded for most of the night and finished with 259 yards rushing. Ah-Hoy led the effort with 22 carries for 152 yards and three touchdowns.

"That's our DNA," said Kahuku coach Vavae Tata. "That's our makeup, there's no shying away from it. Everybody knows that Kahuku is just going to ground and pound and that's what I wanted to establish and we did it. We started off slow, but we finished on a positive note."

The Kahuku defense turned in another impressive performance and posted their fourth of the year. Waianae (6-2, 6-1) entered the contest with a state-best 284 yards rushing per game, but was held to a season-low 26 yards rushing and saw its six-game winning streak snapped.

"It was pretty tough," said Waianae first-year coach Walter Young, whose team is ranked sixth in the ScoringLive/Hawaiian Electric Division I Football Power Rankings. "They're good. They're always going to be hard to play against if they execute well with all the talent they have."

Pefa Lefau had six tackles and Hirkley Latu had four tackles and two sacks to lead the defensive effort.

"This is a big win for us," said Latu. "Coming into this game there was a lot of hype but our coaches did a good job of keeping us composed. We just performed and executed and came out with the W."

The only negative thing in Kahuku's overall performance was penalties. The Red Raiders were whistled 18 times that resulted in the loss of 154 yards.

"That's horrendous," said Tata. "That's something that we'll work on."

Kahuku got its first score of the game after Aaron Tapusoa dropped Waianae quarterback Jaren Ulu at the Waianae 1-yard line. A short punt gave the Red Raiders possession at the 34-yard line and Ah-Hoy ran it four straight times and finished the drive with a 12-yard touchdown run.

The Red Raiders scored on their next possession and pushed their lead to two scores after Ah-Hoy ran in a 22-yard touchdown to cap a 7-play, 66-yard drive. Kekoa Sasaoka's PAT made it a 14-0 game with 5:14 left before halftime.

A Waianae miscue would contribute to the Red Raiders' next two scores. Kahuku scored on a safety after a shotgun snap went off Ulu's hands and rolled out of the end zone with 4:56 to go in the second quarter. 

The ensuing punt attempt was returned to the Waianae 33-yard line and Ah-Hoy was able to run in his final rushing score of the game from one yard out seven plays later. 

"My performance is just because of my offensive peers, especially the linemen and my fullbacks," Ah-Hoy said. "It's just unselfish players working together like a well-oiled machine."

Kahuku led 23-0 at the break.

The Red Raiders' final score of the night came on Ah-Hoy's 7-yard pass to Noah Magalei with 5:46 remaining in the third quarter.

Alex Quijano had eight tackles and Brandon Hattori had seven more for the Seariders in the loss.

Reach Michael Lasquero at [email protected].

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