The defenses didn’t budge in the first half.
The Kapa‘a and Waimea offenses found little breathing room in the first 24 minutes of action at Vidinha Stadium on Friday night.
The teams combined for just 73 yards of offense and five turnovers.
For most of the third quarter, the Warriors and Menehunes didn’t let up their defensive pressure.
However, Waimea eventually took the biggest break of the game late in the third quarter and the Menehunes’ ground attack finally took over in helping Waimea pull away and beat Kapa‘a 20-0.
With the loss, the Kaua‘i football team (3-0 in the KIF) claimed the KIF Division I title and will advance to the state tournament.
Late in the third quarter, Waimea running back Po‘okela Chang-Wo wiggled his way through solid blocking for a long punt return inside the Kapa‘a 50-yard line.
Three plays later, John Palacio found receiver Justin Estes for a 42-yard pitch and catch to put Waimea (2-1 in the KIF) inside the 5-yard line.
Chang-Wo scored from three yards out to help the Menehune open a 7-0 edge.
Chang-Wo added a 43-yard run midway through the final quarter to set up Jordan Dizon’s 11-yard scoring run that helped Waimea go up by 13 points.
Dizon played sparingly on offense as he saw action late in the second half of play.
Chang-Wo rushed for 128 yards on 26 carries to lead all rushers.
For the game, Waimea rushed for 176 yards on 34 carries.
Palacio rushed for a 24-yard touchdown run with little time left in the game to finish the scoring.
Through the first half of play, both offenses fumbled twice, Palacio tossed an interception and the teams combined for 11 penalties totaling 90 yards.
The biggest offensive play of the half occurred in the second quarter when Kapa‘a (0-4 in the KIF) quarterback Bronson Yadao found a streaking Brian Merkel across the middle of the field for a 22-yard strike.
Yadao helped the Kapa‘a passing attack total 151 yards on 10 completions.
Chang-Wo had the best run for Waimea in the first half, a 15-yard scamper.
Kapa‘a passers hit on just 3-of-9 passes for 20 yards while Waimea, without the services of Dizon, had just 24 yards on the ground in the first half.
The Menehunes host Kaua‘i on Friday at Hanapepe Field beginning at 5 p.m. with the JV contest.