Red Raiders whip Menehune, 35-13

HANAPEPE — The Kauai High School Red Raiders took advantage of two turnovers and a muffed punt return against the Menehune of Waimea High for a 35-13 victory Friday night at Hanapepe Stadium.

Reggie McFadden led the Red Raiders with 63 yards on 14 rushes and one touchdown, while quarterback Kelson Andrade finished nine of 12 with 108 yards, two touchdown passes and a rushing TD.

Kauai goes to 2-0 on the season in Kauai Interscholastic Federation action, while Waimea falls to 0-2.

Kealii Aguiar, Menehune coach, thought their first half effort was the reason for their loss.

“If we played the first half like how we did the second half, maybe it would have been different,” Aguiar said. “All of our turnovers led to their scores.”

The Menehune committed their first turnover of the game in the first quarter in a hand-off exchange between quarterback Kiliona Russell-Moe and Destin Miguel. The Red Raiders recovered near midfield, setting up Kauai’s first scoring drive of the game.

Andrade got things rolling on 2nd and 12 from the Menehune 46-yard line, connecting with receiver Pono Bukoski for a 13-yard gain. Andrade tacked on 16 yards on the ground in the next two plays to bring the Red Raiders to the Waimea 16-yard line.

 Getting the Menehune to commit an encroachment penalty, and a combined six rushing yards from running backs Kyron Rapacon and McFadden, the Red Raiders set up on the 5-yard line for a 3rd and four.

Andrade hit Kalawaia Judd on the following play for a 5-yard touchdown. Bukoski drilled the PAT to give the Red Raiders a 7-0 lead with 5:49 left in the first quarter.

Kauai’s defense quickly forced Menehune to punt, and the Red Raiders took over on their own 39-yard line. They drove to the Waimea 34-yard line, and on fourth and six Andrade found Kanoa Iwasaki for a 26-yard gain.

Three plays later, Andrade scored on a 7-yard run with 58.3 seconds left in the first quarter. Bukoski connected again with a PAT to push the lead to 14-0.

Later, the Red Raiders punted the ball on fourth down from their own 48-yard line but recovered the ball on the Menehune 7-yard line after the ball made contact with returner Acetyn Emayo’s foot.

Kauai’s McFadden punched it in on the ground for a 7-yard touchdown on the next play and Bukoski hit the PAT, bringing the Red Raider lead to 21-0 with 7:27 left in the second quarter.

In the second half, Russell-Moe’s opening pass was intercepted by Kelii Efhan, who nearly returned the interception for a touchdown and was dragged down at Waimea’s one yard line.

Two plays later, Kryon Rapacon punched it in with a three-yard rush for the Red Raiders fourth touchdown with 11:49 remaining in the third quarter. Bukoski stayed perfect, hitting the PAT to give Kauai a 28-0 lead. Waimea then put together its best drive of the night behind two big passing completions totaling 37 yards from Russell-Moe.

Camat-Toki finished the Menehune attack, which started from their own 44-yard line, with a 25-yard touchdown run with 2:49 left in the third quarter. Brock Tacata hit the PAT to bring the score to 28-7.

But the Red Raiders responded with a 8-play, 55-yard score, capped when Andrade hit Judd again from the 12-yard line for a score with 11:53 in the fourth quarter. Bukoski hit the PAT again, pushing the score to 35-7.

Menehune got on the board again behind Camat-Toki’s 44-yard rush from the Red Raider 45-yard line, Miguel went into the endzone for six from the 1-yard line. The Menehune failed to convert a two-point conversion, bringing the score to 35-13 with 9:28 remaining in the game to wrap up the scoring.

Head coach of Kauai, Tommy John Cox, said his defense did well but added they need to stay consistent throughout.

The Red Raiders and Menehune both finished the game with 260 total yards on offense.

The Menehune were led by running back Camat-Toki, who rushed for 114 yards on 12 attempts and a touchdown. Quarterback Russell-Moe went six of 15 for 80 yards on the game.

In junior varsity action, Waimea blanked the Red Raiders, 29-0.

The Red Raiders will have a bye week next week when the Warriors of Kapaa travel to Hanapepe to take on the Menehune.

Next week’s game will be Saturday at Hanapepe Stadium and will begin with JV at noon and varsity to follow at 2:30 p.m.

• Tyson Agbayani, sports writer, can be reached at 245-0437 or tagbayani@thegardenisland.com.

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