HHSAA Football
Kapaa dominates Hawaii Prep to return to D2 state final


Wed, Dec 22, 2021 @ Farrington [ 3:00 pm ]

Final 1 2 3 4 T
HPA(7-1-0) 0 0 0 00
KAPA(8-0-0) 14 8 15 1451
Nakoa Kimi 12 yd 1 TD
Tre Walker 67 yd
Kapono Na-o 60 yd 1 TD
Jakob Honda 39 yd
Poki Tafea 7 yd 1 TD
Ben Kubo 28 yd

KALIHI — Top-seeded Kapaa turned in its best performance of the season in its 51-0 victory over fourth-seeded Hawaii Prep in the semifinals of the First Hawaiian Bank Division II Football Championships at Skippa Diaz Stadium at Kusunoki Field on a windy Wednesday afternoon.

The Warriors (7-0), champions of the Kauai Interscholastic Federation, set a new season-high for points scored and registered 11 tackles for loss to hand Big Island Interscholastic Federation champion Ka Makani (7-1) their first loss of the year.

Kapaa advances to its fifth state championship game where it will try for the KIF's first state title against third-seeded Kamehameha-Maui (5-2) — who knocked off Kaiser, 48-24, in the second semifinal. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. next Thursday at the same venue.

The Warriors did most of their damage on the ground with 251 yards rushing. Five different players had touchdown runs for Kapaa, who also was succesful on two 2-point conversion rush attempts.

Quarterback Kapono Na-o was the leading rusher for Kapaa with 60 yards and TD on 13 carries. Kian Rapozo, Poki Tafea, Solomone Malafu and Jaysten Pimental also had scoring runs.

The Warriors also scored on special teams when Connor Kitamura recovered a blocked punt in the end zone after Hawaii Prep's first series of the second half.

Kapaa's final score of the game came on a 7-yard reception by Tafea from backup senior quarterback Nakoa Kimi.

The offense's only miscues came on two fumbles in the second quarter, but it ultimately didn't matter as Kapaa posted its first shutout since a 15-0 win over Waimea on Nov. 6. Hawaii Prep was held to just 66 yards of total offense as the Warriors picked off Ka Makani quarterback Tre Walker twice. Malafu and Kala Velasco had the interceptions.

"We've been looking for a more complete game all season long," said Kapaa coach Mike Tresler. "We tried to get our best game of the season in this game, and I think this was our best game so far this season. We did a lot of good things, but the turnovers I'm not really happy about. Everything else was pretty solid."

This is Tresler's first stint as a head coach of a high school football team, but he has been the defensive coordinator for many KIF teams that have reached the state final whether it be with Kapaa or the Kauai High Red Raiders under two different head coaches.

Tresler and the Warriors will hope to do what no other KIF champion has done in the past and bring home the title next Thursday.

"Man, Kauai really needs one," said Tresler. "We're representing Kauai so we're going to do our best. It would mean everything for a lot of people on that island to bring that championship home."

Reach Michael Lasquero at [email protected].

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