LIHU‘E — Kapa‘a JV quarterback Fresno Masaniai picked up a one-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter to clinch a 14-7 win over Waimea, Saturday night at the Vidinha Stadium.
The troops waged a physical defensive slugfest, neither side willing to give up scores to the other following an opening series score.
Kapa‘a set up its first possession when Shain Davis pushed for a first down on Waimea’s 48-yard line, and following more defensive skirmishes, Davis took the slant road right for a 40-yard touchdown to open the books at the 5:57 mark.
Jonathan Paleka graced that score with the point-after that stood until the second half.
Another defensive exchange followed when Waimea’s Peterson Lahip plucked a Masaniai airball only to have Kapa‘a’s Leevi Bethel reclaim the pigskin on a fumble recovery.
More turnover exchanges highlighted the second quarter when Waimea quarterback Job Delos Reyes lost the ball to Denmark Aladin on the Menehune side of midfield.
But Delos Reyes redeemed that loss, claiming a fumble recovery on his own 37-yard line to stifle the Kapa‘a drive.
Waimea couldn’t keep the corral doors shut, however as Dennis Matsushima picked up the loose pigskin on the very next play.
Stumbling through turnovers and penalties, Kapa‘a came the Waimea 5-yard line before Menehune Javan Torres intercepted a Masaniai aerial with seconds remaining in the half.
Waimea finally found the scoreboard in the third quarter when Delos Reyes lit up the boards on a 3-yard scoring charge with Brock Tacata knotting the game, 7-7 on the point-after boot at the 5:36 mark.
Kapa‘a drove the ensuing kickoff series to the Waimea 19-yard line before losing the ball to Tacata who recovered a fumble to stifle the drive.
The Warriors opened the final period aided by a penalty against the Menehune which moved the ball to the Waimea one-yard line where Masaniai, instead of charging up the middle, pivoted on a move to the left and touched paydirt behind solid blocking.
Paleka graced that score at the 8:27 mark which stood until the buzzer.
With the win, the Kapa‘a JV Warriors will face off against Kaua‘i, also victorious against Waimea, Saturday at Vidinha Stadium.
Opening kickoff is at 2 p.m. with the varsity game starting not earlier than 4:30 p.m.