Special teams score twice

LIHUE — The Warriors once again came out victorious.

Kapaa High School’s varsity football team defeated Kauai High, 24-0, Saturday afternoon at Vidinha Stadium.

Despite the win and another shutout on defense, Warriors head coach Philip Rapozo wasn’t too pleased with the team’s performance. Two penalties, one holding on offense and one illegal blindside block on an interception return, cost the Warriors two touchdowns.

“I’m going to give Kauai High their due. I’m not going to say it’s all on us that had to do with what happened,” he said. “Just too much mistakes. We took two touchdowns off of the board — one on defense and one on offense. That’s 14 points. We just struggled today.”

“Hats off to Kauai High, man. They came and they played well. They were prepared for us,” Rapozo added. “I’m not going to take anything away from them because they’re a much-improved team. And I’ll bet you they’ll be (even more) improved the next time we meet them, which is good for us because we need to be challenged.”

Kapaa (5-0, 3-0 KIF) took advantage of two blocked punts — once in the first quarter and another in the third. Warriors junior linebackers Mana Kupihea and Jason Hawthorne each recovered those blocks in the opposing endzone for touchdowns.

“I see my boys coming in. They blocked that punt. I saw the ball on the ground and I just went for it,” Kupihea said of his touchdown in the first quarter.

Kauai’s offense wasn’t able to put points on the scoreboard, but its defense kept the Red Raiders within range and recorded four sacks and two interceptions.

“I think with (defensive coordinator Todd Tanaka), he dialed in pretty good on their offense. They stuck with the game plan,” said Kauai junior varsity coach Alvin Sasil.

Red Raiders varsity head coach Derek Borrero was not present at the game because of illness. Sasil filled in for Borrero.

“In any aspect, especially in football, there’s always room for improvement,” Sasil said of the team’s performance compared to the 53-0 loss to Kapaa in the KIF season opener. “Then again, if you take away those mistakes that we did — the two blocked punts and the one give away field goal, you minus that and it’s 7-0. So, we’ll look on that. All those mistakes can be corrected.”

Red Raiders senior defensive back Damien Butac had both interceptions for Kauai. He also had two catches for 34 yards on offense.

“I think defensively on pass coverage, we did excellent while we lasted,” Butac said. “We mostly hurt ourselves in some plays and shot ourselves in the foot. Just mental mistakes. We got to (minimize that), and I’m sure the score would be less than that.”

Kauai (0-5, 0-3 KIF) will host Waimea (3-2, 1-1 KIF) on Saturday during the school’s homecoming. The junior varsity game will begin at noon and the varsity will follow.

“Well, homecoming is special for everybody. I’m an alum of this school. But still, it’s all about preparation,” Sasil said about the upcoming game. “We’ll take it day-by-day. We’ll put in a game plan, and we’ll need to follow that game plan and make less mistakes.”

Kapaa will next play on Oct. 3 versus Waimea at Hanapepe Stadium.

1st quarter

10:24 KAPAA Mana Kupihea blocked punt recovered in endzone, Clifton Oliver PAT good, 7-0

2nd quarter

03:24 KAPAA Kurt Napoleon 38-yard run, Clifton Oliver PAT good, 14-0

00:41 KAPAA Clifton Oliver 27-yard field goal, 17-0

3rd quarter

08:29 KAPAA Jason Hawthorne blocked punt recovered in endzone, Clifton Oliver PAT good, 24-0

Stat leaders

Kapaa

Passing: Kurt Napoleon, 14-21, 104 yards, 2 interceptions

Rushing: Kekoa Kaluahine-Cacal, 13 carries, 78 yards

Receiving: Justin DeForge, 4 receptions, 44 yards

Defense: Ola Tatofi, 5 tackles, 3 sacks

Kauai

Passing: Christian Manera, 5-14, 60 yards, 2 interceptions

Rushing: Damien Butac, 6 carries, 18 yards

Receiving: Damien Butac, 2 receptions, 34 yards

Defense: Kilipaki Pili-Mahoe, 8 tackles, 2 sacks

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