Kaua‘i wins despite turnovers

Cory Aguano won his first game as the head coach of Kaua‘i High School Saturday night, but it wasn’t in a fashion that he would like to make a habit of.

The Red Raiders came out on the winning end of a turnover-riddled game against King Kekaulike High School, winning by the score of 27-0.

Although the Raiders won by a hefty margin, Aguano wasn’t happy with his team’s six turnovers.

“Offensively we shot ourselves in the foot too many times,” Aguano said. “It wasn’t clicking tonight. We just made some stupid mistakes and our timing was really off.”

Kaua‘i quarterback Trey Aguano struggled early, throwing two first quarter interceptions, but he found his rhythm late in the second half when the Raiders were up by 7.

In the final minute of the first half, Aguano completed passes for 12 and 16 yards before hitting Mason Manera for a 34-yard touchdown on a slant route.

Aguano finished with four interceptions on the day, but it was the flashes of good — like on that scoring drive — that make it more upsetting for Cory Aguano.

“He and the receivers just weren’t on the right page today,” Cory said. “He wasn’t throwing the ball like he normally does. It’s frustrating because we know what he can do.”

Trey finished 16-31 for 147 yards and two touchdowns on the day. His first score was thrown to Kory Uemura in the first quarter.

While Kaua‘i may have struggled holding onto the football, Kekaulike downright couldn’t do it. The visitors from Maui eclipsed the Red Raiders on the turnover front with 7. Kekaulike lost two fumbles and quarterbacks Keanu Kamanu and Kalakau Miller combined to throw five interceptions.

Kekaulike had its struggles, but coach Aguano attributes a lot of the turnovers to his defense.

“When our offense is struggling like that it puts more pressure on our defense,” coach Aguano said. “But they stepped up and played a really great game. My hat is off to them and the defensive coaches.”

Alvin Honorato had two interceptions for Kaua‘i while Grant Basquez, Kaimana Wilson and Austin Oshiro each had one.

Another standout for the Red Raiders was the leg of kicker Caitlyn Rapozo. Rapozo missed an early field goal try from 37 yards out, but she connected on a 34-yarder as time expired in the second half and then wowed the crowd with a 42-yarder that split the uprights in the third quarter with plenty of room to spare.

On the ground Keoki Pantorilla  rushed for 85 yards on 14 carries. Aguano added 52 yards rushing an a touchdown.

Manera had the most success catching the ball. The receiver carved up the Kekaulike defense with 8 catches on 103 yards and a score. Dreyke Smith-Butac had 5 catches for 34 yards. He also added 14 yards on the ground

Despite the poor play, coach Aguano will take his first win as the head coach of the Red Raiders. But come practice Monday afternoon, he knows his team has a lot to improve on.

“We’re going to work on our timing a lot,” coach Aguano said. “But that’s why you get these games. We’re glad it’s preseason.”

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