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Prep Football Preview Special
Prep Football Preview
Game of the Week
Spencer Honda | ScoringLiveAugust 10, 2019, 11:48am
Fri, Aug 9, 2019 @ Waianae [ 7:30 pm ]
WAIANAE — After going nearly tit for tat throughout the first half of play, it was Kapolei staying stout to pull away from Waianae, 28-20, in Friday night's Oahu Interscholastic Association Open Division matchup at Raymond Torii Field.
The Hurricanes led by just one point at halftime and extended their lead at the end of the third quarter on a nine-yard touchdown pass from Noa Bailey to De'Zhaun Stribling for the only score of the second half.
Waianae put up 254 yards of total offense through the first two quarters, but Kapolei's defense clamped down to give up only 51 yards the rest of the way in addition to two takeaways.
"We went to a four-man line on some occasions and we blitzed a little bit off the edge, put more pressure, so that worked for us," Kapolei coach Darren Hernandez said. "It's still Open Division. Every game is a street fight. There's no easy games."
Kapolei finished the day with three interceptions as each one came at an opportune time.
Halfway through the final period, the Seariders were nearing midfield on third down and quarterback Sheldon McLeod lobbed a pass down the left sideline with Kapolei's Issac Sheridan getting the easy takeaway. Waianae's defense came up clutch to get the ball back starting on its own 20-yard line with 1:34 left to play, but McLeod's desperate heave into coverage down the middle ended with Matt Gututala picking it off to seal the deal.
The first interception came at the end of the first half and was the result of Kapolei staying stout to leave Waianae stranded with zero points on the drive.
With the ball one yard into enemy territory, McLeod launched a pass down field into double coverage and into the hands of 6-foot wide receiver Nainoa Machado to the 7-yard line as time ticked down to 30 seconds. On the next play, McLeod rolled right and hit a wide open teammate in the end zone, but the pass was dropped. Three plays later with time expiring, McLeod just lobbed a high up-for-grabs pass in the end zone that was picked off by Kapolei's Zechariah Kanahele-Mone.
"I just wish our offense would have scored, but hey, that's where the ball bounced," Waianae first-year coach Mike Fanoga said. "But I told our offense, ‘let's go back out in the second half and put it in.' Our offense made the right call."
The goal-line stand was especially key after the Seariders failed to convert on a 2-point PAT run attempt following their third touchdown on a one-yard plunge from Kolu Quisquirin-Sabagala.
"The momentum was shifting in their favor and we needed a big play," Hernandez said. "I just told our guys at halftime, ‘play fast, play loose, play happy.' They were winning 21-20 and they looked like they were losing. I said, ‘guys, don't be so hard on yourself.'
"We made some mistakes, we didn't play up to our capabilities," Hernandez continued. "I still think we can play much better than we've shown here. I think we took our foot off the gas pedal too much. We had spurts where we looked really good and then we looked bad so we have a lot of stuff to clean up."
Bailey once again got the nod behind center for the Hurricanes and simply proceeded to outdo himself from a week ago by completing 71.4 percent of his attempts and tossing four touchdowns. Stribling matched his total of 134 yards and two touchdowns from last week's win over Castle and Bula White got in on the action with four receptions for 110 yards and two scores.
"Overall, I was real pleased — we didn't win — but the way we played and came out," Fanoga said. "Our kids showed discipline and they played their butts off so I was real proud of that."
Waianae dropped to 1-1 overall, 0-1 OIA and marked Fanoga's first loss as a head coach. They'll have a week off before traveling to take on Kahuku on Aug. 24.
"Just like in life, you lose a job, you got to get another job. You just move forward. You just got to get better," Fanoga continued. "Now we compete with one of the top teams in the league, we feel like we belong there, but we're not there yet."
Kapolei improved to 2-0, 1-0 OIA and will host Saint Louis (0-0) next Thursday.
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