KAPAA — Wahiawa Division II Junior Mules quarterback Jeromy Castro passed for a touchdown and ran in one of his own for a 20-18 edge over the Kauai Bulldogs Sunday under heavy overcast conditions in Kapaa.
The victory was the sole win for the visiting team from Wahiawa, Oahu, who played four games with Kauai Youth Football teams over a two-day period at the Mayor Bryan J. Baptiste Memorial Sports Complex.
On Saturday, the Wahiawa squads were victimized by the Kapaa teams: 26-6 in Division I and 49-0 in Division II. Division I is for third- through fifth-graders, while Division II is for sixth- through eighth-graders.
Sunday morning, the Junior Mules, Division I, fell to the Lihue Junior Raiders, Division I, 12-6, before redeeming its losses with the 20-18 win over the Bulldogs.
The Junior Raiders struck in the opening minutes of the second quarter when quarterback Joshua Ibaan found Kila Apuna at the end of a 32-yard scoring hit for the 6-0 bulge.
But the Junior Mules defense rose to the occasion late in the first half with a partial block of Savannah Simons’ punt to take possession on the Lihue eight-yard line.
Wahiawa quarterback JT Mayo kept the ball and slanted right for the 6-6 deadlock at the half.
Joshua Ibaan put the Junior Raiders on the board at the game’s two-minute warning with a 60-yard breakout for the 12-6 go ahead.
But with two minutes of stop time showing on the clock, Lihue’s Kahnah Hepa rose to the occasion to defend on a long Wahiawa pass to Dante Lopez to put the game away.
“This was Lihue’s first score for Division I in the season,” said Brad Hiranaka, the Kauai Youth Football commissioner. “On top of that, this was Lihue’s first win. This brings them to a tie with Kapaa where they will meet on Saturday starting at 4 p.m. in Kapaa.”
On the Division II arena, the Lihue Bulldogs battled a 20-6 deficit heading into the fourth quarter. Bulldog quarterback Kahanu Davis kept the ball for a touchdown, and passed to Po‘okela Camarillo for a 75-yard scoring strike to pull to within two points with 2:29 showing on the board.
Davis went up against the Junior Mules’ efforts to run out the clock and intercepted a Castro pass with 1:38 remaining on the Bulldogs’ 38-yard line.
But the hope blew away in the wind as the Junior Mules took possession on the ensuing play with a Castro interception to run out the clock on the 20-18 win.
Wahiawa got its score in the first quarter when David Herden ran the ball in four yards, and increased its lead when Castro hit Chozyn Kamaka on a 35-yard scoring pass in the second quarter.
The Bulldogs answered the 14-0 deficit when Davis connected with Jaistin Medeiros for a 49-yard score with 16 seconds showing in the half for the 14-6 reading at the break.
Castro opened the second half with a 35-yard keeper in the waning minutes of the third quarter before the Bulldogs rallied in the fourth frame.
KYF will host games Saturday at the Bryan J. Baptiste Memorial Sports Complex with the Division I Lihue taking on Kapaa at 4 p.m. followed by Division II Lihue meeting Kapaa for a 6 p.m. kickoff.