From The Heart

LIHU’E – If a friend accepts an invitation to dinner, shows up with nothing,

eats the food, displays a shortage of manners and then frowns on the meal, he

or she probably will not get a request to return.

Don’t look for Calvary

Chapel (Calif.) on the island of Kaua’i anytime soon.

The Eagles put 34

first-half points on the board at Vindinha Stadium Saturday night, to Kaua’i

High School’s 0, with a dazzling array of big plays and passing savvy. Then

they opted to hone their passing game throughout the second half, airing it out

for 136 of their 236 passing yards after the intermission.

Calvary won the

game 54-0, but didn’t make any friends in the process.

“You didn’t see them

running the ball much,” Red Raiders coach Keli’i Morgado said. “They kept

throwing until the end.”

Eagles coach Jay Johnson explained that this is

the first year of a brand-new, pass-heavy offense, one his team needed a chance

to refine.

“It certainly was not my intent to run up the score,” Johnson

said. “In our league (California Interscholastic Federation), we can’t win with

the run.

“So I had to take the opportunity to work on our short

game.”

Regardless of the score – one made possible by the absence of a bulk

of the Red Raiders’ starting lineup – Morgado beamed with pride at his players’

display of heart.

“That’s just something you can’t teach,” the coach said.

“In our depleted state, and down by a bunch of points, our kids managed to keep

their heads up and kept playing hard.

“I was very proud of them.”

Even

with a full roster, defeating the visitors would have been a tall order. The

Eagles came equipped with size – starting quarterback Terry Mermer, just a

sophomore, stands 6-foot-5 and weighs 210 pounds – and speed – sophomore Andy

Avila, scorer of two touchdowns, is the 100-meter dash champion in Calvary’s

league.

“They are a good team,” Morgado said, “There’s no doubt about that.

But playing them really is no help to us. We’re not going to see another team

like that this year.”

Neither of the KIF teams Kaua’i will face – Waimea

and Kapa’a – are likely to throw the ball like Calvary did. More than once did

the Eagles simply confuse a Red Raider team that normally doesn’t see the kind

of complicated pass patterns Calvary unleashed.

Consequently, many of the

Eagles’ completions went for big yards. Calvary connected on five pass plays of

25 yards or more.

But Kaua’i was not without fight. Every time the Red

Raiders came up with a big stop, or forced Calvary to punt, cheering ensued on

the sideline.

“I was so happy to see them upbeat,” Morgado said. “There is

plenty for us to work on. We’ve just got to get our defensive schemes together,

and come together more on offense, but they were very positive.”

A

particularly bright spot for Kaua’i came in the form of junior wide

receiver/defensive back Daniel Fajardo. Though catching just one pass, the

energetic Red Raider seemed to be in on every major defensive stop, and always

around the ball on offense. Junior linebacker Dustin Goias also displayed the

ability to make big defensive plays.

A point of concern did emerge for the

Red Raiders, however. Early in the contest, starting outside linebacker Garrick

Amaki went out with a bum left knee. Doctors guessed it was either an injured

anterior cruciate ligament, or posterior ligament.

“That would be a big

loss for us,” Morgado said. “Let’s just hope it isn’t as bad as it could

be.”

Calvary jumped on the board in the first quarter when Avila returned a

Kaiku Jerves punt 53 yards, weaving between defenders, for a score. Later in

the first half, West unleashed a 75-yard punt return for a score, and the rout

was on.

Kaua’i opens KIF play Sept. 15 vs. Kapa’a at Vindinha Stadium at

7:35 p.m.

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