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Warriors look for upset at their homecoming
Waimea (4-0) at Kapa’a (2-2)
By JASON GALLIC
TGI Sports Editor
Were football a game
of chess, then all of Kapa’a’s pieces would be aligned for a check mate Friday
This is not to say that the Warriors will ultimately be able to
steal the queen, but they at least have their pieces in place.
have been working very hard over the last two weeks and we are ready,” Kapa’a
coach Gordon Muramaru said. “Our boys want to play Waimea, and they are ready
to play Waimea.”
How, one might ask, are the chess pieces aligned?
game against Waimea at Vidinha Stadium will mark the celebration of Kapa’a’s
homecoming. Also, the Warriors had last week off, giving them time to heal and
prepare. But, most importantly, Kapa’a put the year’s biggest scare into the
Menehunes when it took Waimea to the wire in a 14-0 loss September 29 at
In that contest, the Warriors held the Menehunes’ offense
at bay through the first half, stifling the Waimea running game. The Menehunes
were able find their groove a bit in the second half — Jessie Sablan ended up
with 120 yards — but the message had been sent that the Kapa’a defense
possessed the ability to stymie Waimea’s attack.
The Warriors’ effort was
the final straw for the Waimea coaching staff, who, collectively, used the
off-week following the Kapa’a game to re-charge its ground
Significantly fired up, the Waimea offense blasted out of the gate
last week against Kaua’i, peeling off 365 total rushing yards.
Jessie Sablan ran for 159, freshman Jordan Dizon another 80 and senior Josh May
pitched in 61.
“I thought we did a good job with our running game last
week,” Waimea coach Jon Kobayashi said. “But, realistically, we understand that
Kapa’a is going to be a tougher battle.”
For the Warriors to have a chance
at pulling the upset, their1 defense will again have to find a way to
neutralize the Waimea ground game while keeping the Menehunes’ sneak-attack
passing threat at bay.
But Kapa’a also will need a monstrous effort from
its offense. Waimea held Kaua’i to -9 total yards last week, and seems to have
gained extra fire as the KIF regular season winds down.
The Warriors were
able to slow down the Waimea defensive pursuit in the second half of the teams’
last meeting, but the offensive line will need a full-game effort Friday.
Should they get it, running backs Dahson Gonzales and Kalani Miyashiro will
then be allowed time to work out of the backfield.
“They found our weakness
in that last game and hit our perimeters really hard,” Kobayashi said. “Their
offensive coordinator (Mackey Doi) did a great job of finding our weakness and
Kobayashi has said repeatedly that he rates the Kapa’a duo of
Gonzales and Miyashiro as equal to, if not better than, his own stable of
“They are very tough, strong running backs,” Kobayashi has said.
“They are quick, and as good as any backs on this island.”
defensive horses are relatively adept at stopping the run.
Should a back
penetrate the defensive line, he stands to run into the ever-impressive
linebacking duo of Brandon Perreira and Larry Mata. Consequently, the Warriors
chance at victory may hinge on their ability to mix a successful aerial attack
with their ground game.
Sophomore Dustin Mundon has shown the necessary
confidence to hang in the pocket and wait for plays to develop. Friday night,
he will have to be accurate and decisive for his club. The onus then will fall
on the receivers to make catches.
“We understand that, on this island, the
one goal throughout the season is to beat Waimea,” Kobayashi said. “We try not
to get all excited, but rather just go out and execute our game
Staff Photo by DENNIS FUJIMOTO, Staff
gonzales (with ball) carries against Kaua’i earlier this season. The tailback
will need a big game vs. Waimea if the Warriors hope to pull off the
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