Warriors win defensive battle

LIHUE — In a game in which the defenses thwarted the opposing offenses, the Warriors got the edge.

Kapaa High School’s varsity football team defeated Kauai High, 17-0, Saturday afternoon at Vidinha Stadium.

“It’s kind of scary to see how good they’ve gotten in three games,” said Warriors head coach Philip Rapozo said about the Red Raiders. “I’m kind of glad we’re not playing them again this year.”

For the first time this season, the Warriors were held to a single-digit score at halftime, and it was the defense that struck first. Senior defensive back Bryce Dato recovered a Red Raiders fumble and ran 64 yards to score the team’s first touchdown.

The Warriors defense scored again in the third quarter. Senior linebacker Mosese Fifita tackled Red Raiders sophomore quarterback Christian Manera in the endzone for a safety.

“Hats off to Kauai High. It’s not what we did wrong. It’s more about what they did right,” said Warrior head coach Philip Rapozo. “Their defense played exceptionally well. Their offense had us up against the wall a few times. They gave us a game.”

Kauai had two chances in the fourth quarter to snap Kapaa’s defensive scoreless streak.

An 11-yard run by senior running back Damien Butac set the Red Raiders on the opposing 2-yard line. Penalties, however, drove Kauai back. On 4th and goal on the 32-yard line, a pass by Manera fell incomplete.

In the final minute, the Red Raiders found the red zone again. A 12-yard completion from Manera to senior running back Bulla Rapacon set Kauai at the 12-yard line. With seconds left, Manera took one last shot in the endzone, but the pass fell incomplete.

“We had a good week, two weeks of practice. The win against Waimea was perfect to help motivate the boys,” said Red Raiders head coach Derek Borrero. “We were close. When you’re a young team and you make mistakes, things begin to snowball. Before you know it, we were behind the eight ball again. But they did well.”

Warriors junior defensive lineman Kapena Texeira said to keep the scoreless streak intact “means everything.”

“That represents how good we are and how we play,” Texeira said. “We still had some guys hurt, but our assignments just revolve around what they run. If we do our assignments, everybody should be good.”

After the game, Kauai High honored its seniors, as it was their last home game.

“I’m feeling great. It’s a good moment knowing that we played our best and we tried our hardest to leave it out all on the field,” said Kauai senior linebacker Keala Iwasaki, who had six tackles including a sack.

“I got to thank them because a lot of the stuff I’ve been teaching is different from what they’ve done,” Borrero said about the seniors. “They had to deal with a lot of different things. Again, they never folded. They continued to push and press, and gave me the opportunity to coach. I can’t say enough about their attitude and their will.”

Kauai (1-6, 1-4 KIF) will play Waimea (3-4, 1-3 KIF) at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Hanapepe Stadium. Kapaa (7-0, 5-0 KIF) will next play on Oct. 24 versus Waimea in the Kauai Interscholastic Federation season finale.

2nd quarter

08:12 KAPAA Bryce Dato fumble recovery returned 64 yards, Clifton Oliver PAT no good, 6-0

3rd quarter

08:06 KAPAA Mosese Fifita safety, 8-0

05:59 KAPAA Leighton Moniz 17-yard run, 2-point conversion failed, 14-0

4th quarter

04:01 KAPAA Clifton Oliver 29-yard field goal

Kapaa

Passing: Kurt Napoleon, 7-14, 111 yards

Rushing: Leighton Moniz, 7 carries, 29 yards, 1 touchdown, 1 fumble

Receiving: Gabe Keener, 3 receptions, 31 yards

Defense: Mosese Fifita, 8 tackles, safety

Kauai

Passing: Christian Manera, 9-21, 64 yards

Rushing: Damien Butac, 11 carries, 19 yards

Receiving: Bulla Rapacon, 3 receptions, 36 yards

Defense: Keala Iwasaki, 6 tackles, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble, 1 pass deflection 

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