Thursday, Sept. 28, 2023 |
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LIHU‘E — The defending champs had the last word in the spring slate as the Kaua‘i Red Raiders held their Red and White scrimmage, Saturday night at Vidinha Stadium.
It was a night of new beginnings for the eight-time defending Kaua‘i Interscholastic Federation champions, with a new head coach and new starting quarterback — who also share the same name.
Head Coach Corey Aguano and the Raiders showed some of the aerial attack they hope to continue when the season gets underway later this summer, relying heavily on the arm of incoming junior quarterback Trey Aguano.
“All in all, I was pretty pleased for where we are at right now,” Coach Aguano said after the game.
His son Trey finished the night with a pair of touchdown passes, both times finding wide receiver Randin Napeahi. The first was on a 49-yard bomb in the second period (the first period played by varsity) and the second came in the sixth period on an 18-yard pitch and catch. Each were right on the money and Napeahi showed good concentration hauling in not only those two, but other passes sent his way throughout the night.
Those scores highlighted a 31-14 win for the Red team, which was the combined tally between three periods of just junior varsity play and three of just varsity action.
“They performed pretty well,” Coach Aguano said. “Our passing game looked pretty good. We’ve got to work a little bit on our blocking and our running game.”
Coming into the game, the coach said he was curious to see the team’s continuity and how they played together. After watching the six quarters of action, he said he was happy with that result.
“The thing we have to work on the most is getting these kids’ grades eligible,” he said.
The team goes back into weight training and conditioning next week with an eye on the preseason in August. Beyond that, Aguano thinks the KIF regular season will be a challenging one, having gone out and watched both the Kapa‘a and Waimea spring games the past two weeks.
“It’s going to be a tight season,” he said. “Everybody looks real good.”
The JV started the night and played the first, third and fifth periods, each having a 12-minute running clock in the controlled scrimmage action.
Quarterback Kelson Andrade was under center for both squads and showed good poise and comfort in the pocket. He scored the game’s first touchdown for the White team on a keeper up the middle with 1:38 left in the first for a 7-0 lead. He then found Pono Bukoski with a 30-yard pass for the Red team, which ended the opening period.
Varsity took over, playing the second, fourth and sixth periods with a 15-minute running clock in each.
The first Aguano to Napeahi touchdown came with 12:20 to play in the second, evening the score a 7-7. Keoki Pantorilla and Kory Uemura each caught key passes later in the period, leading to a 22-yard field goal for Caitlyn Rapozo and a 10-7 Red lead.
Rapozo was a perfect 6 for 6 on extra points for the game, plus knocking down her one field-goal attempt.
Back to JV action, Andrade hit Bukoski for a 34-yard touchdown, rolling out to the right and firing over the defensive back for the score to give Red a 17-7 lead.
The very next play, Reggie Macfadden took an Andrade swing pass 60 yards for a White touchdown, making it 17-14 after three periods. Macfadden showed good open-field skills, as well as tough running between the tackles.
Austin Oshiro took a hand-off and ran in five yards for a touchdown, making it 24-14 Red, mid-way through the fourth. Aguano later hit Napeahi for their second touchdown strike for a 31-14 lead with 1:55 to play in the fourth.
Both sides held down the opposing offenses throughout the final two periods of play and the Raiders sent their fans home with a good showing.
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