LIHUE — The Red Raiders won in a nail-biter to kick off the 2017 season.
Kauai High School’s varsity football team (1-0) defeated Kamehameha Schools-Hawaii of the Big Island Interscholastic Federation in a preseason game, 10-7, Saturday night at Vidinha Stadium.
“It’s nice. It’s been a long time since we’ve got a first win to open up the season,” said Kauai High varsity football head coach Derek Borrero. “But if you don’t take care of business and you don’t execute in the first half, it will tend to bite you in the later part of the games. We put ourselves in a position where we’re squeezing out.
“We had opportunities. We dropped some balls. We scored but (then got penalized). But we know there’s potential,” he continued. “It’s a different team. It’s a different car we’re driving this year. It’s built differently. So once we start executing better, I think we’re going to be OK.”
Red Raiders junior place kicker Logan Noice converted the go-ahead field goal from 31 yards out at just more than five minutes left in the fourth quarter.
During the play, KS-Hawaii (0-1) was penalized for roughing the holder. Borrero had to choose between taking the three-point lead or removing the field goal for a fresh set of downs.
He chose to take the lead.
“With what we experienced the last three years, once we got the lead I figured let’s get some points and let’s see if we can protect those points,” Borrero said. “It was nice, but then again we struggled. We haven’t been in this position too often. So, we don’t know how to win. We got to learn how to win.”
Later in the quarter with KS-Hawaii having possession on its 21-yard line, Warriors junior quarter Kaimi Like completed a pass to senior slotback Israel Bowden, and Bowden ran the ball 79 yards to the endzone.
But on that play KS-Hawaii was flagged for a block in the back. Rather than scoring the touchdown, the Warriors were pulled back to their own 44-yard line with a first down.
Four consecutive incompletions by Like gave Kauai High back the ball with less than a minute left.
“Those things are always tough, especially when the call happens on the other side of the field and you don’t really get to see what happened,” said KS-Hawaii head coach Dan Lyons. “But, you know, it was an effort play. And yeah, those things happen.”
Borrero added about the KS-Hawaii’s removed touchdown: “We got a little lucky. That could have turned everything around. I think our corner (senior cornerback Junah Corpuz), he’s new. He’s a hard worker, but there’s a physical mismatch. If you noticed during the end of the game, they were attacking him big time. But, yeah, we got a little lucky at the end.”
Kauai High struck first late in the first quarter with a 42-yard pass from Red Raiders quarterback Christian Manera to senior receiver Noah Ruiz.
KS-Hawaii evened the score in the third quarter with a 12-yard completion from Like to junior receiver Noah Carvalho.
Despite the Red Raiders’ early-score, the Warriors’ defense was able to keep the game close. KS-Hawaii recorded three turnovers and four sacks.
“Good game. It was fun. I think everyone that was in the stands enjoyed it,” Lyons said. “There wasn’t a lot of scoring, but I think there was a lot of good football. It’s the first game of the season. We’re trying to get better. We’ve been able to beat Kauai the last few times we played them, but today they beat us. So, we’re just trying to get better and trying to figure out who we are.”
In the junior varsity game, KS-Hawaii defeated Kauai, 20-7.
In other preseason action, defending Kauai Interscholastic Federation champion Kapaa High School defeated Maui of the Maui Interscholastic League, 24-7, on Maui.
Kauai High will play Saint Francis School of the Interscholastic League of Honolulu at 4:30 p.m. Saturday at Punahou School.
“I think what we need to do is clean it up,” Borrero said. “Hey, even though they’re a good team — a bigger team — if we clean it up, catch some passes, protect the quarterback a little longer, I think we got a good shot at winning the ball game.”
Kapaa (1-0) will host BIIF’s Konawaena on Saturday at Vidinha Stadium. The JV game will begin 5 p.m. and the varsity will follow.
Waimea High School makes its debut and hosts ILH’s Pac-Five at 7 p.m. Saturday at Hanapepe Stadium.
01:57 KAUAI Noah Ruiz 42-yard reception from Christian Manera, Logan Noice PAT good, 7-0 Kauai
03:36 KS-HAWAII Noah Carvalho 12-yard reception from Kaimi Like, Justin Kenoi PAT good, 7-7
05:05 KAUAI Logan Noice 31-yard field goal, 10-7 Kauai
Passing: Christian Manera, 17-27, 192 yards, 1 touchdown, 2 interceptions
Rushing: Jaykob Nakaahiki-Young, 20 carries, 56 yards
Receiving: Noah Ruiz, 8 receptions, 130 yards, 1 touchdown
Defense: Kyle Bissara, 4 tackles, 1 pass deflection
Passing: Kaimi Like, 18-43, 156 yards, 1 touchdown
Rushing: Isaac Ysaguirre, 2 carries, 28 yards
Receiving: Isaiah Chartrand, 5 receptions, 47 yards
Defense: Jashen Mathieu, 7 tackles, 2 sacks