Raiders paint Hanapepe Town red

HANAPEPE — Kauai High School had already clinched last week the 2013 Junior Varsity title, after five wins in five games. But the icing on the cake came Saturday, when the Red Raiders varsity routed the Waimea Menehunes on their home field Saturday.

And during Waimea’s Homecoming Queen celebration to boot.

The Red Raiders rolled 37-0 against the Menehunes at Hanapepe Stadium finishing 6-0 in the regular season.

“These kids worked hard, they deserved everything they got,” said Tommy Cox, head coach for the Red Raiders.

After a scoreless first quarter, the Red Raiders put a touchdown on the board six seconds into the second quarter.

The Red Raiders recovered a loose ball on the ensuing kickoff, taking advantage of a Menehune mistake. Less than two minutes later, the Red Raiders scored another touchdown.

Then two minutes later,  the Red Raiders scored again. The Menehunes had fumbled the ball in their own end of the field, 18 yards from the end zone. Jhustin Balisacan capitalized on the opportunity by receiving a pass and powering his way through to the Menehunes’ end zone.

The mistakes compounded for Waimea.

With 21 points on the board in less than four minutes into the second quarter, the Menehunes fumbled again.

The fumble, however, didn’t count, as the referee ordered the raiders to kick off the football again. It didn’t matter; right after that, the Raiders intercepted a long pass by the Menehunes’ quarterback.

This time the Red Raiders couldn’t score a touchdown, and on the fourth down opted for a field goal — 41 yards.

It was no problem for Alec King-Martin, who is in the charge of the “deep ones,” and makes them consistently, he said.

As he nailed the football straight through the uprights, the Red Raiders’ fan erupted louder than in any of their team’s touchdowns. Some lady screamed, “NFL already.”

With two minutes and 35 seconds to go in the second quarter, another fumble from the Menehunes put the Red Raiders in a good position to score. And that’s what they did, with Balisacan taking the football to the end zone.

The Raiders missed the kick for the extra point, but led 30-0 approaching half-time.

The clock was still running, and the Red Raiders had the momentum — and Kelli Efhan intercepted a pass from the Menehunes 30 yards from the end zone.

With 53 second left to the second half, Balisacan again scored a touchdown to bring the score to 37-0 at halftime.

After the Homecoming Queen Celebrations, the game resumed, and the Red Raiders continued their dominance.

During the second half the Menehunes improved — they were able to cross the midfield a couple times — but were never a threat.

In the fourth quarter, the Menehunes got as close as five yards to the Red Raiders’ end zone, but the football was intercepted and they would remain scoreless.

Cox credited the victory to the preparation by team players and coaches.

Menehunes head coach Kealli Aguiar said he needs to work on his team’s cohesiveness for next season. He said 18 players will return, and some guys will come up.

“We’re going to have a solid group of kids,” Aguiar said.

Despite repeated losses this season — their only win came in a preseason game — he said he credits the players and the coaches for never giving up.

Red Raiders middle linebacker James Bukoski said it was good to win during Waimea’s Homecoming Queen Celebration. He said the turnovers helped to lift the offense’s spirit.

“Honestly, all of us are good friends, we are really close to each other,” said King-Martin, explaining his team’s success.

• Léo Azambuja, staff writer, can be reached at 245-0452 or lazambuja@thegardenisland.com

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