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Prep Football Preview
Game of the Week
Kalani Takase | ScoringLiveSeptember 1, 2018, 12:28am
Fri, Aug 31, 2018 @ Waipahu [ 7:30 pm ]
WAIPAHU — Led by a stingy defensive effort and Jayven Reyes' three rushing scores, No. 15 Waipahu cruised to a 35-7 win over visiting Castle before a crowd of about 1,200 fans at Masa Yonamine Athletic Complex Friday night.
The Marauders scored 28 points off of turnovers to notch their second straight win to improve to 3-1 overall and 2-0 in the Oahu Interscholastic Association Division I standings.
The Knights were held to just 130 yards of total offense and fell to 0-4 and 0-3 in league play.
Waipahu's defense notched four sacks, including 1 1/2 by junior linebacker Fiva Tulafale. Manuele Pulusila also recorded a sack and recovered a fumble, as did Jed Marcelo. Zeondre Benjamin and Kealii Barrett each had an interception in the win.
"Amazing job they did today. I'm very, very happy with their efforts. I think in my 15 years here, this is the best defense I've seen," Waipahu coach Bryson Carvalho said. "They are very, very good and I knew that before the season started, but having everybody back and seeing them all play together, it's something special. They're very, very good, so I'm real happy with what they were able to do tonight: force turnovers, played very fast. Upfront, I thought we played very well. We pressured the quarterback a lot, too."
The Marauders on all four takeaways by its defense, including three before halftime.
Castle managed only eight first downs for the game. It was 2 of 9 on third-downs conversions and 0 of 3 on fourth downs.
Carvalho credited defensive coordinator Siva Savini for preparing the unit.
"He does a real good job. His philosophy is ‘swarm and punish' and that's really what we wanted to do — what we want to do every game — and I thought, looking at the game now that it's over, I think that's kind of what they did," Carvalho said. "They swarmed to the football. When receivers did get the football, we wanted to make sure we had defenders around them. We were around the quarterback a lot, too, so I thought they did a tremendous job."
Waipahu's first score was set-up by a Benjamin interception just two plays into the game. The offense turned around and manufactured a nine-play drive that culminated with a 2-yard Reyes touchdown run.
Later in the opening quarter, Austyn Acosta — one of three quarterbacks used by the Knights — had his pass tipped near the line of scrimmage and fall into the hands of Barrett, a 6-foot-3, 271-pound defensive line.
Barrett managed a 28-yard return on the interception to give his team possession at the Castle 40-yard line. Five plays later, Reyes found the end zone from two yards out. Brycen Amorozo tacked on the extra point to make it a 14-0 lead with 10 minutes left in the second quarter.
Two plays into the Knights' ensuing drive saw Pulusila recover a fumble for the Waipahu defense just outside of the red zone. After a couple of penalties and a 35-yard pass completion from Jovan Gooman to Saxon Tote on a double pass, Reyes capped the five-play drive with a 1-yard TD run up the middle.
"That was a motivation for us," Tulafale said of the takeaways. "That's just something we focused on."
Quarterback Cody Marques completed 17 of his 23 pass attempts for 207 yards without an interception. He also rushed for 45 yards on 14 carries. Tote recorded game-highs of seven receptions for 90 yards and Matthew Fiesta added six grabs for 88 yards.
Marques said the offense fed off of the defense's work Friday night.
"Oh, definitely. That gives us choke motivation," Marques said. "We see that the defense is working hard and working hard and we gotta match their energy, we gotta keep going. We try and score every drive. When the defense makes a big play, we gotta make a big play, too."
Waipahu passed for 284 of its 403 yards of total offense. It played without star running back Alfred Failauga, who is expected to miss four to six weeks of action with a broken left hand suffered in a win over Radford two weeks ago. In his absence, Reyes, a junior running back, carried 17 times for 49 yards, but was helped off the field late in the game with an apparently lower leg injury.
Carvalho is optimistic for the best with Reyes' situation.
"It doesn't look like it's a serious injury; he should be okay. He should be back for us next week, so that's something that we prepare for," Carvalho said. "We have a slew of running backs — I mean, some of the guys play different positions — and there's also different formations we have that we can kinda try and hide that a little bit, but we're gonna have to go the next few weeks without Alfred and try and find ways to win and apart opposing defenses without our key back."
Samuel Judd was 6-of-17 passing for 75 yards and Jonah Figueroa hauled in three passes for 51 yards. Figueroa's 95-yard kickoff return midway through the second quarter was Castle's lone score.
Waipahu jumped out to a 21-0 lead and led 21-7 at halftime. The score held until Tulafale's 7-yard TD run that capped a 10-play, 75-yard drive with 7:05 left to play. The score was set-up by Marcelo's fumble recovery four plays into the fourth quarter.
Backup quarterback Joel Auvae closed out the scoring with a 14-yard scamper into the end zone in the closing minutes.
Late in the second quarter, Waipahu junior linebacker Genesis Nakagawa was ejected for a hit on a defenseless receiver. Carvalho said he will review the game film and determine if he will file an appeal to have the ejection overturned. As it stands, Nakagawa is ineligible for the team's non-league game against No. 14 Damien next Friday.
Castle will try for its first win when it visits Nanakuli next Saturday.
The pair were honored last month as ScoringLive's Distinguished Athlete Award winners.
OIA coaches, athletic trainers, officials and athletic directors were honored last Friday.
It did not take long for baseball to find its way back into the life of Tommy Perkins.
The Iolani catcher, Baldwin pitcher was tops on the diamond in Division I.