LIHUE — With the Division II state tournament looming, the Warriors capped the regular season with one more defensive shutout.
Kapaa High School’s varsity football team defeated Waimea, 36-0, Saturday afternoon at Vidinha Stadium.
With the win, Kapaa (8-0, 6-0 KIF) went through the Kauai Interscholastic Federation season without being scored upon.
“Pretty happy about it. Offense did better than last week,” said Warriors head coach Philip Rapozo. “I guess they were more relaxed coming into this game, just knowing that they worked hard for the last two weeks. I’m just happy to come out and get the W.”
“I think we did pretty good. We all did our assignments and our jobs,” said Warriors junior linebacker Jason Hawthorne, who had two interceptions in the game. “We won the turnover battle which helped us a lot. Overall, we did pretty good.”
For the regular season’s last game, Kapaa brought up some players from junior varsity and they’ve made contributions.
Sophomore running back Kalena Harder rushed for 17 yards, had 24 yards receiving and one receiving touchdown. Sophomore defensive back Dusten Ramseyer-Burdett had two tackles and an interception.
“That is awesome. Bringing them up and letting them get their chance, that gives us depth going into the playoffs,” Rapozo said. “That’s the main thing right there. They got a chance and they did things for us. They needed this game to get accustomed to the varsity speed.”
With states to look forward to, however, Kapaa will aim to minimize penalties. The Warriors were penalized nine times, one of which removed a touchdown.
“We cannot have that, especially when you score and it gets called back,” Rapozo said. “That’s kills us. We got to clean that up, man. If we want to be state champs, we got to clean that up.”
Waimea (3-6, 1-5 KIF) was stunted by turnovers, surrendering four interceptions and a fumble.
“We never expected to lose two of our running backs and two of our punters. Injuries have gotten the best of us,” said Menehune head coach Jason Caldeira. “Luck hasn’t been on our side, but it is what it is. We’re always proud to be one of their coaches. They’re resilient.”
Menehune senior defensive lineman Athens Acosta led Waimea’s defense with six tackles, including a sack.
“(I’ll remember) all the tackles and all the fun I’ve had over here,” Acosta said.
Though this year was rough sailing for the Menehune, next year’s team appears to have a lot of underclassmen returning and Caldeira said he looks forward to what is ahead for the program.
“We improved two games better than the year before. We didn’t expect not to have a JV (team). We were stuck the youngest team, probably, in the state,” Calderia said. “We’re very optimistic about next season. … It’s just a level of maturity we have to reach. When we can reach that level of maturity, then we’ll start really being more successful on the field.”
The First Hawaii Bank Football Championships — Division II state tournament begins Nov. 6. Seedings are to be determined.
Having finished the regular season without a loss, Rapozo hopes it’s enough to ensure a first round bye.
“You got to look at the work, not just in the regular season. We beat two good teams in the preseason,” Rapozo said. “I don’t see why not, but we don’t control that. We’re keeping our fingers crossed that we do get the 1 or 2 seed.”
11:14 KAPAA Kurt Napoleon 48-yard run, Clifton Oliver PAT good, 7-0
10:06 KAPAA Leslee Aki 24-yard reception from Kurt Napoleon, 2-point conversion good, 15-0
00:40 KAPAA Kalena Harder 15-yard reception from Kurt Napoleon, Clifton Oliver PAT good, 22-0
04:40 KAPAA Teili Fonua 3-yard run, Clifton Oliver PAT good, 29-0
01:42 KAPAA Kekoa Kaluahine-Cacal 39-yard reception from Teili Fonua, Clifton Oliver PAT good, 36-0
Passing: Kurt Napoleon, 11-24, 82 yards, 1 touchdown
Rushing: Kurt Napoleon, 5 carries, 57 yards, 1 touchdown, 1 fumble
Receiving: Kekoa Kaluahine-Cacal, 3 receptions, 48 yards, 1 touchdown
Defense: Jason Hawthorne, 2 tackles, 2 interceptions, 1 pass deflection
Passing: Lacin Montemayor, 4-15, 9 yards, 4 interceptions
Rushing: Kailen Simao-Castillo, 10 carries, 50 yards
Receiving: Caleb Ephan, 2 receptions, 12 yards
Defense: Athens Acosta, 6 tackles, 1 sack