HANAPEPE — Coach Derrick Borrero said Sunday age doesn’t matter, it’s still exciting!
Borrero and his coaching staff worked the Lihue Patriots Junior Midget team to a 6-0 win over the Kapaa Eagles JM to claim the division title during the final regular season Kauai Pop Warner Football League games at Hanapepe Stadium.
Christian Manera cheated the Eagles of a potential touchdown early in the fourth quarter, plucking a Teili Fonua pass at the end zone to start a drive for their offense that ended when Lihue quarterback Aukai Albao crashed through the final seven yards with 2 minutes, 33 minutes remaining in the game.
The touchdown broke a 0-0 stalemate between the two defensive teams.
Ekolu Rivera blocked the point-after kick for the 6-0 lead.
Six seconds later, Noah Tangalin put the lid on the victory when he snared a Fonua pass on the Lihue 42-yard line where the Patriots ate up the clock.
• The KPWFL featured an all-champion slate on its regular season finale as the undefeated Mitey Mite champion Koloa Redskins opened the action early, defeating the Lihue Patriots MM 29-0.
Jaymison Kaohi ran for a 3-yard touchdown and pulled in a 3-yard touchdown pass from Chet Pimsaguan to lead the attack.
Kaohi opened the books in the first quarter at the 4:17 mark with quarterback Bronze DeCosta adding to the margin on a 13-yard breakout with 1:16 showing in the first quarter.
DeCosta graced his touchdown by booting the point-after for a 14-0 lead after just one period of play.
The margin stood until the third quarter when the Redskins MM, heading to the Aloha Stadium later this month, scored two touchdowns to trigger the running clock.
Pimsaguan found Kaohi in the end zone at the 5:33 mark, Joey Sams doing the PAT boot for the 22-0 reading.
Seconds later, Koloa found the end zone when Elijah Henderson broke to the right side for a 36-yard run to the house, Pimsaguan doing the PAT run-in for the 29-0 final.
• The Hanapepe Colts Junior Peewee team secured its fourth consecutive JPW title under Kylie Linoz and staff a few weeks ago.
Undefeated, the Colts JPW will be traveling to Maui to participate in the Turkey Bowl on Nov. 30 when Hanapepe will play the Maui JPW champions, said Nancy Kanna, a team mother.
Sunday, the undefeated Colts JPW shut down the Kekaha Titans, 33-0 in an exhibition match.
Wailani Kawahalau scored touchdowns in the first and second quarters to lead the Colts victory, Kawahalau finding the end zone for the first time on an interception runback for a touchdown with just 27 ticks remaining in the first quarter.
Keith Kanna did the point-after run for the 13-0 bulge.
Earlier, Makoa Vanaman opened the scoring at the 2:48 mark on a 37-yard scoring run.
Midway through the second quarter, Kawahalau sprinted nearly the length of the field, settling for a 90-yard touchdown run at the 6:46 mark. Kaimani Harris did the point-after run for the 20-0 reading.
With 3:26 showing in the half, Ishan Ulanday tapped pay dirt on a 40-yard run, the PAT coming up empty for the 26-0 reading at the break.
Kaimani Harris triggered the running clock with 2:04 showing in the third quarter after scoring on a 12-yard run, Bulla Ephan doing the point-after run for the 33-0 final.
• The Hanapepe Colts JPW may have secured the JPW title, but the battle for second place in the division finished with a 12-12 stalemate with no overtime allowed as the Lihue Patriots. Shiloh Louis-Kaneakua Jr. ran for two touchdowns, and Koloa Redskins’ Kawelo Huddy pulled in a touchdown pass and ran for a score in the deadlock.
Following a scoreless defensive exchange in the opening frame, Koloa drew first blood with 2:06 left in the half when the Redskins’ quarterback Kahanu Davis found Huddy in the end zone on a short 3-yard hit, the point-after boot failing for the 6-0 lead.
When it appeared Koloa would take the lead into the half, the Patriots’ Louis-Kaneakua Jr. broke open for his first score, a 47-yard run to stop the clock with a mere 1.5 seconds remaining in the half.
The point-after fell short and both teams took a 6-6 stalemate into the locker rooms.
Coming off the break, Lihue took the lead when Louis-Kaneakua scored his second TD, a 38-yard run with 7:01 showing in the third quarter. The PAT failed for the 12-6 margin.
Late in the game, Huddy found the end zone for the second time following a 13-yard scoring run with 3:38 remaining in the game.
The go-ahead PAT came up empty and the buzzer sounded on a 12-12 deadlock for a tie for second place in the JPW division.
• The Hanapepe Colts MM wrapped up the day with a 16-0 win over the host Kekaha Titans behind a touchdown and two point-after boots from Maka Shigematsu.
Early in the second quarter, Shigematsu, the Colts’ quarterback, kept the ball safe in traffic, charging a yard for the touchdown at the 7:57 mark. He booted the PAT for the 8-0 bulge which stood at the break.
In the fourth period, Gabe Bustillos pounced on an errant pigskin and ran it back 12 yards for the final touchdown at the 2:09 mark, Shigematsu booting the point-after for the 16-0 final.
With the regular season completed, Tina Albao of the Lihue Patriots JM said the team will be traveling to Mililani during the Thanksgiving weekend to play Mililani.
Following that game, the Patriots JM will be hosting Kalani of Honolulu on Nov. 30 during the Harold Naumu Bowl at Vidinha Stadium.
Kapaa Eagles JM will be joining the Koloa Redskins MM at Aloha Stadium during the Nov. 24 goodwill games.
“What a great end to a great season,” said Sherri Ephan, the KPWFL cheer coordinator. “There were some awesome games. I will be traveling to Maui with the Hanapepe Colts JPW to watch Bulla play, as well as visit with my mom and sister who live there.”
• Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or dfujimoto@ thegardenisland.com.