HANAPEPE — In a game in which both teams were severely penalized, the Red Raiders were able to grind out a win on the road to stay unbeaten.
Kauai High School’s varsity football team defeated Waimea, 13-6, Friday night at Hanapepe Stadium.
“The feeling is something that I can’t even, at this point, with such a tough win tonight, I can’t even describe,” said Kauai head coach Jason Apilado. “I think I’ll feel it in the morning. But, man, what a game. Waimea, as expected, put up such a great fight tonight.”
Both Kauai and Waimea combined for 34 penalties for minus 295 yards. Kauai (5-0, 3-0 KIF) was the more penalized team, drawing 21 flags for minus 220 yards.
“I actually think we’ve attained (the record for most penalty yards) tonight. I’m not proud of it, but it is my first year. I’ll take that on the chin,” Apilado said. “I heard it was something upwards of 220 yards. And, oh, my goodness. Yeah, we’re certainly going to have to go back and review tape. We’re still drilling the kids on fundamentals. There’s still a lot to be done this season.”
Waimea (1-4, 0-3 KIF) was penalized 13 times for minus 75 yards, most of which were for just five yards.
“Sometimes when you have a young team — you got to remember we only have four seniors, a lot of them are juniors and a lot of them are playing their first season in varsity — big games like this, you get jitters and it gets to your emotions. You have a tendency to lose focus every now and then,” said Waimea head coach Jason Caldeira.
“Does it hurt us? Of course. Every penalty always hurts us, just like it hurt Kauai High,” he continued. “We just got to get better. I believe with more confidence, more reps and more games, they’ll get more confident and those jitters won’t bother them so much. We’ll just get better from there.”
Red Raiders senior quarterback Tyler Oshima threw for both of Kauai touchdowns. The go-ahead score was a 19-yard pass to junior receiver Pono Carvalho early in the second quarter.
Red Raiders senior running back Austin Paresa ran for 160 yards rushing on 10 carries, including a couple of rushes that went for 53 yards and 44 yards.
“Despite all the calls and all the adversity we had to face tonight, it was just enough,” Apilado said. “Huge credit to our defense, our entire team and our coaching staff for sticking together and holding it down to come out victorious in this game.”
Other than getting a couple of field goals in the first quarter, the team’s first points of the regular season, Waimea struggled to do much else offensively.
“We had a few injuries on the line this week. We had a different O-line. We didn’t have enough time, maybe, to prepare better,” Caldeira said. “But they did well for the most part. Their pass blocking was a lot better, but we had a hard time running the ball against Kauai High. They’re very good against the run. They’re a very fast defense.”
Waimea’s defense was the team’s bright spot. Menehune junior defensive tackle Elie Mose had four sacks and a forced fumble, and junior defensive back Kawelo Huddy hauled in two interceptions.
“They were very tenacious,” Caldeira said. “They were flying to the ball. They were very focused. Just very pleased with their efforts on the defensive side. They did a good job of putting pressure on the quarterback. There’s a few mistakes, but that’s what happens in a close game. … They put their bodies on the line, and they did a heck of a job.”
Waimea had its last possession of the game with about two minutes left and started on its own 16-yard line.
The Menehune marched to about midfield but then turned the ball over on downs when senior quarterback Lacin Montemayor threw an incomplete pass.
For Waimea, Friday’s game was its most competitive of the regular season after losing its last two games by at least 30-point margins.
“We’re improving day by day. … We asked for a fight and to play with pride. Win or lose, just play with pride,” Caldeira said. “I think today, they can hang their head high. They (left it all) on that field, and they did a great job. They did their best.”
For Apilado, the road win was a bit off-putting.
Kauai defeated Waimea on the Menehune’s homecoming night, and Apilado is a Waimea High School alumnus.
“It’s my role. It’s my job. I’m the head coach for Kauai High School football. But, yes, a little bittersweet competing against my alma mater and (having) all the memories I have on this field as a former Menehune,” Apilado said.
The Red Raiders will next have their homecoming night. Kauai will host Kapaa (2-2, 1-1 KIF) on Friday at Vidinha Stadium. The junior varsity game will begin 5 p.m. and the varsity game will follow.
Waimea next plays Oct. 6 against Kapaa at Vidinha Stadium.
08:08 WAIMEA Kawelo Huddy 27-yard field goal, 3-0 Waimea
07:26 KAUAI Logan Noice 21-yard reception from Tyler Oshima, Kaylee Alapai PAT good, 7-3 Kauai
02:03 WAIMEA Kawelo Huddy 31-yard field goal, 7-6 Kauai
11:07 KAUAI Pono Carvalho 19-yard reception from Tyler Oshima, Kaylee Alapai PAT no good (miss), 13-6 Kauai
Passing: Tyler Oshima, 9-16, 138 yards, 2 touchdowns, 2 interceptions
Rushing: Austin Paresa, 10 carries, 160 yards
Receiving: Logan Noice, 3 receptions, 54 yards, 1 touchdown
Defense: Austin Oliviera, 5 tackles, 1 sack
Passing: Lacin Montemayor, 8-23, 95 yards, 1 interception
Rushing: Lacin Montemayor, 3 carries, 28 yards
Receiving: Ryan Emayo-Schmidt, 2 receptions, 45 yards
Defense: Elie Mose, 4 tackles, 4 sacks, 1 forced fumble
Nick Celario, sports writer, can be reached at 245-0437 or firstname.lastname@example.org.