KAPA’A – The Kapa’a Warrior football revival is right on schedule. That includes all of the essentials: development, improvement, outlook and resolve.
Forget about the 2-0 preseason record. Forget about the 34-14 win over Honoka’a last weekend and forget how they will face 3rd ranked Kamehameha this Saturday – one week after the ILH powerhouse devastated the Waimea Menehunes 42-7.
Warrior head coach Wes Kaui says his team is where it needs to be at this point in the season. For now, that’s what matters most.
“Any time you win it feels good,” said Kaui of the Honoka’a win last Saturday. “Our team has proved it is where it needs to be in terms of development…our offense, defense and our special teams are consistently improving. Right now I’d say we are right on target.”
Of course, improvement is the key word.
“Every game there are things we improve on and places where we fall short.”
Against Honoka’a, extra point attempts and red-zone execution were looking up, but eluding penalties fell short.
“We made a lot of mental errors in that game. Clipping penalties, offsides, things like that,” said Kaui. “But we definitely improved in the extra point category and we did well in the red-zone.”
The Warriors scored five touchdowns Saturday, three of them within the red-zone, one on defense, and the other on an electric 50-yard pass reception. They converted four of five extra point attempts, a vast improvement from the week before when they failed to convert any in a 26-14 win over King Kekaulike.
The Warrior’s first score came on a three-yard touchdown run from quarterback Dustin Mundon. Devon Machado would chip in two more from within the 20-yard line – runs of 4 and 7 yards. And the other scores were from Kapa’a playmakers: a 30-yard interception return from linebacker Aaron Macabeo, and a 50-yard touchdown pass from Mundon to Jonny Poe Hooikaika.
The Warriors amassed just over 300 yards of total offense, split halfway between the ground and the air.
Will that be enough for a crisp, efficient and athletic Kamehameha?
“I’m looking forward to gaining experience and learning from a team like Kamehameha,” said Kaui. “Our players will learn from their players and we as coaches will learn from their coaches. It will be a good experience.”
What will Kaui tell his Warriors before they leave the locker room on Saturday?
“It doesn’t matter what the score turns out to be, if you play hard and play your best, you can all walk off the field with your heads up high.”
The Warriors will play Kamehameha in Honolulu at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday. The game will conclude all preseason match-ups before the Kaua’i Interscholastic Federation regular season gets underway. The first game will take place at Hanapepe Field Sept. 13 between the Waimea Menehunes (1-1) and Kaua’i Red Raiders (0-1).