LIHU’E — The stadium announcer was excited. Parents were excited. Grandparents were excited.
At stake Sunday was a chance for the JPW (Junior PeeWee) Kapa’a Eagles to blemish the undefeated record of the JPW Hanapepe Colts.
The teams collided, and a late-game fumble recovery by Eagles’ Leevi Bethel effectively stymied the Colts’ drive downfield to finish the game in a 0-0 stalemate. That crucial play came with just five seconds showing on the clock.
Earlier, the Colts had managed to capitalize on a breakdown in the Eagles’ defense as signal caller Keoni Ana unleashed a pass to Niko Delos Reyes for a 31-yard paydirt strike with less than a minute to play in the opening quarter.
But yellow laundry sullied the play as the touchdown was called back on an ineligible receiver penalty giving the ball to the Eagles on downs.
Both teams exchanged crashes with the Colts being able to squeak open their offensive against the stingy Eagles defense.
That led to an exciting goal line stand by the Eagles in the third quarter as the Colts’ workhorse Mikeo Rita led a drive inside the Kapa’a 10-yard line where the Eagles stood their ground.
Turnover exchanges heralded the final quarter as Kapa’a’s Austin Thronas pounced on a loose ball only to have Hanapepe’s Rita intercept a Keane-Shane Agoot pass.
Agoot was later sidelined by an injury as Hanapepe drove to the Kapa’a 31-yard line with five minutes remaining only to run into a stone wall Eagle defense that eventually forced the ball loose from Colt QB Ana who tried to salvage a broken play.
With five ticks to go, and the ball deep in their own territory, Ka’awa Solomon, replacing the injured Agoot, took to the airways to Brandon Kaui as the buzzer sounded on the empty connection.
Kapa’a continued to mark mile-stones Sunday, as a parent watching the Kaua’i Soccer Association games at the North Vidinha fields noted that the Midget Eagles chalked up their first TD of the season despite dropping 32-6 to the Colts.
Kekoa Prem got the honors for the Kapa’a Midget score with 8:18 remaining in their game as he pulled in a Dalton Thronas aerial for an 11-yard score.
Thronas tried to engineer another aerial for the point-after, but came up empty in the loss.
The JPW win sets the stage for Kapa’a’s meeting next Sunday, Oct. 30 when they host Koloa in a 9 a.m. kickoff.
Darren Acoba and Kai Dela Cruz combined for scores as the PeeWee Lihue Patriots continued to control that division with a 28-0 shutout over the Eagles, Sunday.
Isaac Ramboyon added a three-yard score for the 22-0 halftime bulge that came with Taran Tani going 2-for-3 point-after kicks.
Travis Koga pounded out a 65-yard score in the third quarter for the final Patriot score, setting the stage for their series this Saturday, Oct. 29, when they host the Kekaha Association starting at 10 a.m.
Northshore will host Hanapepe in the Saturday evening series starting at 4:15 p.m.