LIHUE — The final score may suggest otherwise, but the game was a battle to the bitter end.
Kapaa defeated Waimea 28-7 Saturday night at Vidinha Stadium. The win gives the Warriors (3-0 KIF) a firm lead in the Kauai Interscholastic Federation standings.
“Very physical game, which we expected. We expected Waimea would be a lot better than the first time,” said Kapaa head coach Philip Rapozo. “I’m glad to see that we got battle-tested and how we responded.”
The victory, however, came at a price. A few of Kapaa’s starters were injured and removed from the game.
The most severe of which happened to senior defensive back and backup quarterback Chaz Pacleb, who suffered a rib injury.
Rapozo said he’s not sure how serious the injury is, but hopes to have Pacleb back healthy by Kapaa’s next game.
“They’re thinking it could be a bruise or it could be a crack, a fracture or something,” the Warriors coach said. “We’re hoping it’s just a bruise. He gets some rest. We have two weeks to prepare for our next game.”
Other injured Warriors included starting quarterback Rudy Agoot and offensive lineman Maka Ahloo. Rapozo said he expects them not to miss significant time.
Senior running back Shain Davis was put in at quarterback after Agoot and Pacleb went down. But he, too, would get hurt.
Running back Elijah Gouveia-McCarthy finished the game at QB for Kapaa.
Davis said he suffered from cramps and a lingering ankle injury, but doesn’t expect to miss any time. He had one rushing touchdown in the game.
“I just felt like I need to do what it takes to help the team out. If the team needs me anywhere, I’ll be there,” he said about stepping in at QB. “Nothing is going to stop me on my last ride.”
After playing the first two games heavily running the ball on offense, Waimea (0-3 KIF) opted to pass more frequently this time around.
Menehune head coach Jason Caldiera said he felt he needed to take a chance throwing the ball to give his team a better opportunity at a victory.
“I didn’t want to be conservative. We had to go out there and do what we feel we had to do to give us the best chance,” he said. “(Kapaa defensive coach Mike Tresler), he has an awesome defense. To find a weakness in his defense is nearly impossible at times.”
In doing so, Waimea found some success and scored the first points Kapaa has given up this season with a 20-yard pass from quarterback Patrick Keamoai-Strickland to receiver Kevin Tubon.
Despite the loss, Caldeira praised his team for putting up a much tougher battle than in previous games. Waimea’s defense held Kapaa to six points at halftime.
“After our last two games, (we came out tonight and fought) until the end of the whistle. That’s all we ask,” Caldeira said. “We had a lot of injuries. We were down to a sophomore running back (Cody Taniguchi) … They rise up. They fight. They took a step forward with a level of maturity that I’m very proud of.”
Waimea will host Kauai (1-1 KIF) Saturday afternoon at Hanapepe Stadium. Kapaa will play Kauai on Saturday, Oct. 4 at Vidinha Stadium.
For both, the junior varsity games will begin at noon and the varsity will follow.