The Kaua‘i High School football team won its fifth straight Kaua‘i Interscholastic Federation championship Friday night, despite not playing a single down.
“How nice, right?” said second-year head coach Derek Borrerro. “It doesn’t happen that often. I think this is the first time for us.”
The undefeated Red Raiders (6-0 overall, 4-0 KIF) were on their bye week and have two more games left in the regular season. But Friday night’s 10-10 tie for Waimea and Kapa‘a made it impossible for another team to win the title. Waimea (4-2-1, 2-2-1 KIF) and Kapa‘a (1-5-1, 0-4-1) only have one game left, which doesn’t allow for either team to beat Kaua‘i’s record.
Even if Kaua‘i was to lose its remaining games, it would still have the best record.
“The mentality is we have to finish off strong,” Borrerro said.
If this team goes undefeated, it will be the Raiders’ first since 2006, the same year they received the No. 1 ranking in Hawai‘i High School Athletic Association’s Division II and shared history with King Kekaulike of Maui by being the first Neighbor Island schools to reach a state championship final.
Kaua‘i could thank former-Raider coach and current Kapa‘a head coach Keli‘i Morgado for the title. Morgado turned the Raiders into a championship team during his tenure there and had his new-and-improved Warrior team not forced a tie with Waimea, the Menehune still would be in the running for the championship.
The problem now for the Raiders is the long wait until the state championship tournament. The regular season for the KIF ends Nov. 7. The tournament starts Nov. 21, with the sites of the first-round games not yet determined. The state championship title game is set for Dec. 5 at Aloha Stadium.
At last year’s tournament, the Raiders lost to another Raider team, the eventual state champs of ‘Iolani.
Currently, Kaua‘i leads the league in scoring, averaging 38.5 points per game and holding its opponents to only 7.5 points per game. The Raider offense is directed mainly behind junior quarterback Trey Shimabukuro, who in four games played, has thrown 15 touchdowns.
In Kaua‘i’s last game, Shimabukuro threw for four touchdowns, only playing the first half. Senior wideout Sheldon Sakai leads in receiving with 418 yards total, averaging 104.5 yards per game. He also leads the team in touchdowns scored with five.
Fellow receiver Canaan Bernard has four.
Chris Honorato leads the defense with 14 solo tackles, seven assisted.
For the past two years, Kaua‘i has hosted at least one of the tournament games at Vidinha Stadium. In 2006, Kaua‘i defeated O‘ahu Interscholastic Association Division II champs Waipahu High School 17-6 at Vidinha to earn a spot in the title game.
Last year, third-ranked Kaua‘i defeated Roosevelt High School 40-9 at Vidinha in the first round. The Raiders went on to face ‘Iolani in the semifinals where they lost 35-21.
This week, Kaua‘i hosts Waimea at Vidinha Stadium for the Raiders’ homecoming. Kaua‘i has not lost at home in four years.
The junior varsity squad will start off the night at 5:30 p.m. The varsity game will follow.