Colts win JPW title after shutouts

LIHUE — Ryson Wa‘alani ran for two touchdowns and Rhaziah Tacub-Taniguchi split the uprights on a pair of point-after kicks to give the Hanapepe Colts Junior Peewee a 16-0 win over the Kapaa Eagles Sunday at Vidinha Stadium.

The Hanapepe victory gives the Kauai Pop Warner Football League JPW championship to the Colts following the playoff game.

Wa‘alani struck early, fueling the 69-yard opening possession by securing first downs and capping the drive on a rightside breakout for 54 yards to paydirt with 3:14 showing in the opening quarter. Tacub-Taniguchi’s bullet cleared the bar for the 8-0 bulge.

Following a defensive slugfest and juggling between mandatory plays, Hanapepe got on the board in the fourth quarter when Wa‘alani found paydirt at the end of a three-yard charge through traffic.

Tacub-Taniguchi’s foot upped the score to 16-0 with less than a minute peeled off the fourth quarter.

The Colts forced the playoff game last week after shutting down the Eagles 22-0 behind two touchdowns from Wa‘alani, and one from Kade Erdman in the final period. Tacub-Taniguchi was two-for-three in PAT kicks in that win at Hanapepe Stadium. With the KPWFL title secured, Hanapepe Colts JPW, under coach Lenito Nacnac, will face off against the South Coast Tritons, a JPW team from California’s Orange County league, for the Regional JPW title. Kickoff for that game is at noon Saturday at Field A at Hanapepe Stadium.

The Regional JPW championship will end at Hanapepe Stadium. Teddy Arroyo, KPWFL president, said there is no berth for the JPW at the Pop Warner Super Bowl.

“We have been very blessed,” Arroyo said. “We would like to thank the community for its support for this year’s Pop Warner Football season. We have the Hanapepe Colts Junior Varsity leaving for the national Pop Warner Super Bowl Wednesday. Kauai Pop Warner Football League is also sending the JV cheer squads from the Kekaha Titans and the Kapaa Eagles to Florida where they will be competing at the Pop Warner National Dance and Cheer Competition.”

The Kapaa Eagles JPW, under coach Alvin Sasil, are not done for the season. They face Kalani, a visiting team from Oahu, in a 1:30 p.m. Saturday matchup on Field B at Hanapepe Stadium for the Harold Naumu Bowl.

“This has been a very good season,” Arroyo said. “We appreciate all of the support the community has given us to make it a success. We’re wrapping everything up Saturday at Hanapepe Stadium with the Regional JPW (Division III) championships, and the Harold Naumu Bowl. We tried hard to make it all happen before the Kauai Interscholastic Federation soccer season started.”

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