LIHUE — The Warriors have yet to taste defeat.
Kapaa High School’s varsity football team defeated Kauai 34-6 on Saturday at Vidinha Stadium.
“Defense and special teams — that’s what is carrying us right now,” said Warriors head coach Philip Rapozo. “Our offense is not bad. We’ve been averaging like 28 points a game. But our defense — that’s our heart and soul right now.”
The Warriors’ defense and special teams were dominant throughout the game, accounting for four interceptions and two touchdowns.
The defense’s performance was capped off with a interception returned 40 yards for a touchdown by senior linebacker Austyne Carvalho-Toloai. He also blocked a punt that was recovered in the Kauai’s end zone by fellow linebacker Mosese Fifita for a touchdown.
“We stayed as a team today and our defense stepped up,” Carvalho-Toloai said. “We have more fire this year. We want it more. We’ve been working so hard since the offseason. It’s all paying off now.”
Kapaa senior defensive back Chaz Pacleb had two interceptions as well.
“Having the right adjustments and doing our assignments,” Pacleb said about being in position for those four interceptions. “We’re a team this year. We’re not just a group of kids. We’re a family. It’s different this year.”
On offense, it was defensive lineman Liki Koli who scored two rushing touchdowns for Kapaa — both from the 1-yard line in the first quarter.
“We put that package in this week in case we struggled a little on offense,” Rapozo said. “We got in close, so we went with the beef.”
Despite the turnovers, the Red Raiders (2-2 KIF) broke Kapaa’s defensive shutout late in the fourth quarter with a 4-yard run by sophomore quarterback Aaron Renaud.
“When we make mistakes, they come back tenfold to hurt us,” said Kauai head coach Tommy John Cox. “This season, we’ve been through so much … These kids, they work so hard every day. We just want to finish the season strong for these seniors.
“With homecoming coming up, they still have something to look forward to. I think that will be a little incentive … We just got to regroup and get back to work next week,” he added.
Kapaa (4-0 KIF) will play Waimea (0-4 KIF) at Hanapepe Stadium on Saturday. The junior varsity games begin at noon and the varsity will follow.
If Kapaa wins, they will become this year’s Kauai Interscholastic Federation champions.
“(Waimea), they’ll be there to play. We just got to be there better than this week,” Rapozo said. “Just keep working the way we’ve been, keep focused and we’ll be all right.”
Kauai will play Waimea on Saturday, Oct. 18 at Vidinha Stadium.