LIHUE – The Kapa’a Warrior football team voiced its ability to play, but the Waimea Menehunes spoke louder with its ability to adjust – and with Jordon Dizon’s ability to run.
Despite a slow start in the first quarter, the Menehunes (2-0) erased a 6-0 deficit with 23 unanswered points to top the Warriors (0-1) 29-6 Friday at Vidinha Stadium.
Waimea’s Dizon again recorded a dominant performance. The junior rushed for 195 yards and 3 touchdowns (season total: 7 TDs, 2 games) to lead the Menehunes.
The two offenses had similar numbers. Waimea had 262 total yards – 40 yards passing, while Kapa’a notched 210 yards – 48 yards passing.
Menehune quarterback Jon Palacio completed 3 of 9 passes for 40 yards and 1 interception. Kapa’a’s Dustin Mundon was 2 for 7 for 44 yards and no interceptions.
Kapa’a running back Devin Machado had 13 carries for 73 yards.
With nine penalties – one which brought back a lengthy kick return by Dane Koga for a touchdown – the Menehunes were fortunate the Warriors failed to capitalize.
Kapa’a’s four turnovers in the second half – one on an interception from Menehune Jay Parinas who ran it back 32 yards for a third Waimea touchdown – stifled any opportunity for a Warrior comeback.
But by no means did the scoreboard tell the true story. Kapa’a was resilient throughout. In the first half, they had the Menehunes clamoring for yards. Kapa’a forced Waimea to punt three times in its first four possessions.
In the Menehune’s second possession mid-first quarter, the Warrior defense stuffed Dizon just short of the goal line. Kapa’a capitalized with a lengthy drive that led to a blistering 31-yard touchdown run from running back Nalu Hawelu.
The Warriors were able to shut down the Menehune offense on the ensuing drive, but the Menehune defense answered back. Lineman Nalu Mata (2 sacks) downed Mundon in the end zone to put two points on the board for Waimea.
With less than two minutes in the half, Dizon revived Waimea from its early slump. Following two carries for 41 yards, the junior running back finished the drive with a 15-yard TD run to give the Menehunes a 9-6 lead at the half.
The Menehunes rolled in the final two quarters.
Dizon returned in the third to blast the Warrior defense for 49 yards, his second end zone appearance of the night.
In the waning moments of the third quarter, Parinas picked off a Kai Lopez pass and ran it back 32 yards to put Waimea up 23-6.
Dizon would finish the scoring in the fourth with his third rushing touchdown, which followed a Warrior fumble picked up by Menehune WR/DB Tyson Fernandez.