Warriors beat down Nanakuli in opener

LIHUE —The Kapaa High School Warriors put up 56 points while allowing just 12 to the Nanakuli High School Golden Hawks Friday night at Vidinha Stadium.

In the first preseason game of the 2013 Kauai Interscholastic Federation football season, Kapaa had no problem getting points on the board in bunches. An impressive feat against the Golden Hawks of Waianae, Oahu, a team that was on the heels of a semifinal berth at the 2012 Hawaii High School Athletic Association Division II championships.

“What I wanted to see is if we could match their athleticism,” said Kapaa head coach Kelii Morgado. “On film and watching  them last season, they fly around and play fast football. That was my big question — I thought we did well so I am pleased with that, but keeping it in prospective that even though they were a semifinal teams last year, they lost to Lahaina and Lahaina is a whole other level.”

The Warriors showed depth at the quarterback position throughout the night, using Fresno Masaniai, Turtle Kuhaulua and Rudy Agoot effectively behind center.

Masaniai got the majority of the reps and did not disappoint — he was involved in the Warriors first three scores of the game. The first, a 67-yard scamper on the ground, then another keeper from 11 yards out, which was followed by a 25-yard touchdown pass to Kaikea Sonoda to put the Warriors up 21-0 midway through the second quarter.

Masaniai showed the ability to keep plays alive with his legs when protection around him broke down, which often led to a big gain for Kapaa.

Following Masaniai’s lead, both Kuhaulua and Agoot also found the endzone while quarterbacking for the Warriors.

“What a luxury — you are lucky if you get one effective quarterback,” Morgado said. “They all have their own skill set that they bring and they are all pretty good at it. Fresno did a lot of things, he made things happen. Also the offensive line, who is very young, gave him time to throw and that was a questions mark of mine, so that was good to see.”

Just as impressive as the Warriors’ offensive attack was its defense. The defensive bent but rarely broke and contained the Nanakuli offense for the majority of the night. Golden Hawk quarterback Chazz Troutman was one of the few bright spots on the offensive side of the ball for Nanakuli, often pulling the ball down and running, which was the best source of Nanakuli’s offense.

“We had to play assignment defense,” Morgado said. “We had to corral the ball and I thought for the most part we did that. We had a few break down and that cost us — but overall we did well. You expect to make a ton of mistakes in the first game. We made our share, but I’ll take it. I am pretty pleased with how we played.”

With the win the Warriors now set its sights on Lahainaluna High School as the team will make the trip to Maui to play on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. at Maui War Memorial.

Lahainaluna knocked Nanakuli out of the HHSSA Division II championships in 2012 before dropping the title game to Iolani School.

In junior varsity action, Nanakuli knocked off the Warriors 37-21. The Warriors did get a solid game from Junard Mata and Leslee Aki in the effort.

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