LIHUE – For two years the Waimea Menehune have remained unbeaten in the Kaua’i Interscholastic Federation regular season, and they weren’t about to end the run at Vidinha Stadium – not on Kapa’a High School’s homecoming night, not in front of guest-band Pearl City High, and surely not in their last game of the year.
The Menehune, who clinched their 11th KIF title last week in a win over the Kaua’i Red Raiders, overcame the penalty-prone Kapa’a Warriors 28-3 Friday night in Lihue.
Waimea (6-0) capitalized on two Kapa’a mistakes – a failed punt and a fumble in its first two possessions of the game – with 14 early points. The Menehune led 21-0 before the second period.
Running back Pomaikai Chang Wo, who rushed for 116 yards on 25 carries, scampered for two of the Menehune first quarter TD runs. Teammate Ryhan Parbo, who rushed for 55 yards on 9 carries, scored the third TD on a breakaway 29-yard run.
Overall, the Menehunes amassed 301 yards of offense – 212 yards on the ground.
Quarterback Jon Palacio completed 7 of 13 passes for 95 yards and threw one touchdown. Menehune strongman Austin Alquiza caught his first TD pass of the season from two-yards out in the third quarter.
The Warriors, who committed 14 penalties for well over 100 yards, amassed 257 total yards of offense – 102 rushing and 155 yards passing. Kapa’a also committed three turnovers, including two interceptions.
The Menehune opened the game with a 65-yard drive that ended with a 5-yard TD run by Chang Wo.
The senior running back would meet the end-zone again moments later. Menehune Austin Arthur landed on a fumble on the second play of Kapa’a’s first drive, and it led to a 2-yard Chang Wo TD run to put Waimea up 14-0 early in the first quarter.
A bad Warrior punt snap gave the Menehune good field position with just over one minute left in the first quarter. Running back Rhyan Parbo immediately capitalized on the Warrior turnover, running 29-yards for a TD on just the second play of Waimea’s drive.
The Warriors would regroup in the second quarter, marching 86 yards down field capped by receptions of 28 and 31 yards by Frank Rivera, but the Menehune would stuff the Warriors on the one-yard line, and Kapa’a would remain scoreless in the first half.
The Warrior offense continued to struggle in the second half, and the Menehune continued to score.
Following two costly penalties, Waimea again found itself with good field position – this time well within the red-zone. Austin Alquiza would capitalize moments later, catching a 2-yard TD pass from Palacio.
The Warriors were able to get on the board on the first play of the fourth quarter.
Following a 26-yard reception by Johnny Poe Hooikaika, Ross Mahuiki Cummings converted a 37-yard field goal to avoid a shutout.