LIHUE — The Red Raiders started its Kauai Interscholastic Federation season on the winning side.
Kauai High School’s varsity football team scored all of its points in the first half to defeat Waimea, 28-13, Friday night at Vidinha Stadium.
“We came out strong. Special teams looked good. Offensively, we moved the ball,” said Kauai head coach Tommy John Cox. “Second half, they shut us down. They made adjustments. They were the better team in the second half. We just did enough to hang on.”
Red Raiders running back Bulla Rapacon ran for 124 yards, including a 38-yard romp for a touchdown in the home win.
“It wasn’t really all my doing. I just got the glory, but I want to thank my (offensive line). That’s what made us win the game,” Rapacon said. “The O-line wasn’t giving up. They stuck to their blocks. They trusted me and I trusted them.”
After Kauai got a three-score lead, Waimea got its first touchdown of the night in the second quarter on a 4-yard run by quarterback Patrick Keamoai-Strickland.
Kauai answered immediately with a 86-yard kickoff return to pay dirt by Damien Butac.
Despite not allowing Kauai to score in the second half, Waimea could not muster enough offense to close the gap.
“I’m proud of the way (my team) fought. We stopped them in the second half and came back tougher,” said Waimea head coach Jason Caldeira. “I though our O-line did a hell of a job blocking. They really stepped up.”
Quarterback Patrick Keamoai-Strickland rushed for a touchdown and passed for another in three quarters for Waimea.
“We have to start fighting from the beginning. We can’t start late,” the Menehune quarterback said.
Caldeira said Keamoai-Strickland did not play the first quarter because of a violation of team rules.
“We like to be fair no matter who the player is,” Caldeira said. “Team rules are team rules. That was a small, minor consequence and I pretty sure it won’t happen again.’
Kauai (1-0 KIF) will play Kapaa (1-0 KIF) on Friday at Vidinha Stadium. The junior varsity teams play at 5 p.m. and the varsity teams begin at 7:30 p.m.
“I think Kapaa is tough on both sides of the ball,” Cox said. “We got our work cut out for us. We’ll see what we can do.”
Waimea (0-2 KIF) will return to Vidinha Stadium to play Kapaa on Saturday, Sept. 20. The junior varsity teams start at noon and the varsity game begins at 2:30 p.m.