HANAPEPE — Kauai High School’s varsity football team defeated Waimea, 18-10, Saturday afternoon at Hanapepe Stadium in Waimea’s homecoming.
Red Raiders sophomore running back Jaykob Nakaahiki-Young rushed for 193 yards off 24 carries.
“It feels so good to send these seniors off with a W,” said Kauai head coach Derek Borrero following the team’s last game. “They worked hard this week. It was quite an emotional week for the seniors. Every day at practice was their last of everything we did. We were just so happy this game turned out this way.”
Waimea scored 10 points in eight seconds to end the first half. After junior place kicker Justin Fune made a 29-yard field goal, the Menehune forced a fumble in the ensuing kickoff return and recovered the ball on the Kauai 20-yard line.
Instead of going for a second field goal, Waimea took a shot at the endzone. Freshman quarterback Lacin Montemayor found sophomore receiver Dylan Balaan as time expired. Fune converted the extra-point attempt to give Waimea a 10-2 lead.
“That goes to (offensive coordinator Russell Wellington). That was his call. He came up to me and told me to run this play right now, and it worked. Coach Russell, he did a hell of a job. It was a good call on him,” said Waimea head coach Jason Caldeira about the score. “You heard the crowd and the kids, they were jumping.”
Kauai then scored two touchdowns in the third quarter to gain back the lead. Senior running back Damien Butac scored on a 7-yard run and sophomore receiver Noah Hoopii recovered a fumble in the opposing endzone.
Freshman place kicker Jonathan Benitez converted a 23-yard field goal in the fourth quarter to seal the win for the Red Raiders.
Kauai High finished its season with a 2-6 overall record, going 2-4 in the Kauai Interscholastic Federation regular season.
“It’s not first-place, but it was still a huge game. It was all about improving,” Borrero said. “That’s what we’re trying to do as a coaching staff. We’re trying to build a program. Whenever you can win and move in a positive direction, it is good in the area of increasing numbers and sign-ups for next year. … Hopefully we can build from today’s win.”
Though the Menehune couldn’t deliver a win on homecoming, Caldeira said he hopes his team can end the season on a positive note, especially for the seniors.
“I wish we could give them a better farewell on Hanapepe field, but we got one more week left with them, and (then) they have the rest of their lives ahead of them,” Caldeira said about his senior class. “Hopefully, they learned something that they can take with them in their next adventure in life.”
Waimea (3-5, 1-4 KIF) will take on Kapaa (7-0, 5-0 KIF) Saturday at Vidinha Stadium in the last game of the KIF season. The varsity matchup is scheduled for 2:30 p.m.
“Every dog has his day,” Caldeira said about the upcoming season finale. “It’s about who wants it most. We preach that here. It’s who wants it most, and it has to be now.”
09:30 KAUAI Bulla Rapacon safety, 2-0 Kauai
00:08 WAIMEA Justin Fune 29-yard field goal, 3-2 Waimea
00:00 WAIMEA Dylan Balaan 20-yard reception from Lacin Montemayor, Justin Fune PAT good, 10-2 Waimea
08:04 KAUAI Damien Butac 7-yard run, 2-point conversion failed, 10-8 Waimea
00:00 KAUAI Noah Hoopii fumble recovered in endzone, Jonathan Benitez PAT good, 15-10 Kauai
05:17 KAUAI Jonathan Benitez 23-yard field goal, 18-10 Kauai
Passing: Christian Manera, 1-4, 6 yards
Rushing: Jaykob Nakaahiki-Young, 24 carries, 193 yards, 2 fumbles
Receiving: Jhustin Balisacan, 1 reception, 6 yards
Defense: Bulla Rapacon, 5 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 safety
Passing: Lacin Montemayor, 6-11, 49 yards, 1 touchdown, 1 interception
Rushing: Keaka Wisneski, 7 carries, 79 yards
Receiving: Dylan Balaan, 2 receptions, 22 yards, 1 touchdown
Defense: Ranson Pasion, 8 tackles