HHSAA Football
Kapaa eliminates Kaimuki for the second straight season


  



Sat, Nov 23, 2019 @ Vidinha Stadium [ 2:00 pm ]


Final 1 2 3 4 T
KAIM (10-3-0) 0 7 14 728
KAPA (8-2-0) 7 6 22 035
Pass: Jayden Maiava (KAIM) 325 yd 4 TD
Rush: Kahanu Davis (KAPA) 174 yd 3 TD
Rec: Koby Moananu (KAIM) 116 yd 2 TD

LIHUE, Kauai — If the Kapaa football team was going to reach its fourth state championship game in five years, it would need to survive a dogfight.

Kapaa coach Philip Rapozo expected nothing less from the visiting Kaimuki Bulldogs.

Senior quarterback Kahanu Davis accounted for four scores to help Kapaa hold off a late charge by the Bulldogs for the second straight year to come away with a 35-28 victory in the semifinals of the First Hawaiian Bank Division II Football State Championships Saturday afternoon at Vidinha Stadium.

The Warriors moves on to face three-time defending state champion Lahainaluna — who handled Roosevelt, 35-0, in the other semifinal — next Friday at Aloha Stadium in a 1 p.m. contest.

"It's amazing," Davis said of the win. "Senior year back playing the same team. Kaimuki doing their thing as usual. Battling, battling, battling. It's a surreal feeling to do this again. Gotta' love it."

The second-seeded Warriors (8-1) took a 28-7 lead with 7:42 remaining in the third quarter before third-seeded Kaimuki mounted a comeback bid. After both teams combined for 36 points in the third quarter, the Bulldogs (10-3) made it a 35-28 game when Jayden Maiava found Jonah Faasoa on a 23-yard pass play with 8:05 remaining in regulation.

"Just what we expected, a dragged out football game from the OIA," said Rapozo, whose team bested the Bulldogs in the semifinals a year ago, 20-12.

Kaimuki got the ball back after a fumble on fourth down with 5:44 remaining and drove all the way to the Kapaa 23 before the drive stalled. A pass breakup by safety Raphee Khae-Chawat and a fourth-down interception by Jeffery Brown swung momentum back in the Warriors' favor.

"They bend, but they didn't break," Rapozo said of the defense. "This is a great offense that we played against. I'm excited. I love these guys."

Kapaa LB Jeffery Brown celebrates after recording his second interception against Kaimuki.

Kapaa took over with 3:32 left in the game and ran eight plays and got three first downs before taking knees to end the contest.

"Both teams battled it out," said Kaimuki coach David Tautofi. "It came down to what all big games that go to the wire does: mistakes and opportunities. Disappointing ending for us, but so much to be grateful for and much to appreciate in all that game through for our season."

The Warriors got it done with a clock-consuming, powerful running game that had over 300 yards of rushing before the team took knees to run out the clock. Davis ran the ball 21 times for 174 yards and three touchdowns and running back Baba Na-O ran for 136 yards and a 1-yard score.

"That's our game plan, run the ball" Rapozo said. "We know we can run the ball. We knew we had to keep their offense off the field as much as we could. That's why we ran the ball. I thought we executed really good."

Rapozo was right to be concerned. Maiava finished the game with 325 passing yards and four TD passes. Koby Moananu was the top receiver with 10 receptions for 116 yards and two scores, Faasoa followed with seven grabs for 115 yards and Kaulana Kaluna had six catches for 66 yards and a 36-yard TD.

Ultimately mistakes put Kaimuki in a hole throughout the contest.

After the Warriors scored on Davis' 1-yard run with 3:48 showing on the first-quarter scoreboard, Kaimuki tried to get momentum back with a fake punt. The Bulldogs were unable to convert and Kapaa made them pay with a three-play drive that culminated in Na-O's 1-yard TD run to go up 13-0 on the first play of the second quarter.

In the second half, Kapaa was able to score on its opening drive when Davis' threw a 15-yard TD pass to Dreyden Iwamoto. On Kaimuki's first play from scrimmage the next possession, Brown intercepted Maiava to put the Warriors at the Kaimuki 13. Kapaa converted the takeaway into a 28-7 lead with Davis' 8-yard run and 2-point conversion pass to Kahale Kaleiohi.



Reach Michael Lasquero at [email protected].


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