LIHUE — On the school’s homecoming, the Red Raiders came away with a win for a packed home crowd.
Kauai High School’s varsity football team defeated Kapaa, 27-17, Friday night at Vidinha Stadium.
“It feels good. The old cliché, ‘You got the monkey off your back,’” said Kauai head coach Derek Borrero. “Kapaa, that’s a huge hurdle. So, I’m happy with the boys. They work hard. The seniors, they deserve to win a big game like this on a homecoming night. We got plenty work to do, but it feels good tonight.”
Kauai High (3-1, 2-0 KIF) totaled 269 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns to defeat the defending league champion Warriors.
In a three-headed Red Raiders running attack, senior quarterback Christian Manera led with 125 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries.
Red Raiders senior running back Jaykob Nakaahiki-Young had 97 yards rushing, one touchdown and one fumble on 23 carries. Junior rusher Austin Paresa ran for 47 yards on nine carries.
“It’s exactly how I imagined it,” Manera said of winning on homecoming. “It’s a dream come true to play football for a wonderful school, and I’m just trying to soak it all in. It’s such a great moment.”
Playing defensive back on the other side of the ball, Manera hauled in an interception in the third quarter which led to his second rushing touchdown — a 12-yard run that extended the team’s lead to 27-10.
“Especially on homecoming, you just have more energy because you have more of the student-body, and all the parents, the community and the alumni,” Manera. “Playing both ways is such a great thing. It’s really fun. You only go to high school once. So just staying on that field, there’s nothing better.”
Though the win gives Kauai an early lead on the league standings, Borrero said he doesn’t want to get ahead of himself.
“Right now, it’s just a win. I cannot make this bigger than what it is right now,” he said. “I don’t want to get too excited. There’s still plenty work to do. There’s still more to do with the offense and the defense to get it better.
“You saw what they did in the air. Kapaa, they’re unbelievable in the passing game. They’ll just march right down the field and eat you up. That’s the beauty of the spread (offense), the passing game. Coach Rapozo does a great job at that,” Borrero continued. “So, we’re going to celebrate tonight and enjoy the weekend. But we’re going to go back to work on Monday. We got Waimea next week, and they’re always tough.”
Kapaa (3-1, 1-1 KIF) found success in its passing game. Warriors sophomore quarterback Kahanu Davis was 23-36 for 253 yards passing and two touchdowns. Davis, however, also gave up two interceptions — both in the second half.
Warriors senior receiver Kalena Harder caught 10 passes for 103 yards receiving. Junior receiver Lanakila Pagtolingan caught seven passes for 64 yards and two touchdowns.
“No excuses. They were a better team tonight,” said Kapaa head coach Philip Rapozo. “They had a good game plan. They played well. Hats off to Coach Borrero and his team. They beat us fair and square.”
The Warriors, though, were undone by untimely penalties which aided the Red Raiders in two of the team’s touchdown drives.
In total, Kapaa was penalized 15 times and Kauai was flagged 12 times.
“Penalties always hurt. But when you’re in a big, close game like this, it’s going to really hurt,” Rapozo said. “If you’re up ahead, the penalties, you don’t feel it. But in a game like this, when you’re down, you’re going to pay for it.”
In the junior varsity game, Kapaa’s JV Warriors routed the Red Raiders, 34-0.
Afternoon play begins next weekend when Kauai High hosts Waimea (1-2, 0-2 KIF) at Vidinha Stadium. The JV game will begin at noon and the varsity will follow.
06:39 KAPAA Chyson Lagunes-Rapozo 33-yard field goal, 3-0 Kapaa
02:29 KAUAI Christian Manera 2-yard run, Logan Noice PAT good, 7-3 Kauai
06:00 KAUAI Adonis Llego-Pellettier botched punt snap recovered in end zone, Logan Noice PAT good, 14-3 Kauai
03:23 KAPAA Lanakila Pagtolingan 21-yard reception from Kahanu Davis, Chyson Lagunes-Rapozo PAT good, 14-10 Kauai
08:48 KAUAI Jaykob Nakaahiki-Young 7-yard run, Logan Noice PAT no good (blocked), 20-10 Kauai
07:05 KAUAI Christian Manera 12-yard run, Logan Noice PAT good, 27-10 Kauai
01:01 KAPAA Lanakila Pagtolingan 5-yard reception from Kahanu Davis, Chyson Lagunes-Rapozo PAT good, 27-17 Kauai
Passing: Christian Manera, 3-6, 16 yards
Rushing: Christian Manera: 13 carries, 125 yards, 2 touchdowns
Receiving: Jaykob Nakaahiki-Young, 2 receptions, 13 yards
Defense: Skyler Sadora, 6 tackles
Passing: Kahanu Davis, 23-36, 253 yards, 2 touchdowns, 2 interceptions
Rushing: Ryno Banasihan, 17 carries, 50 yards, 1 fumble
Receiving: Kalena Harder, 10 receptions, 103 yards
Defense: Kesomi Fonua, 6 tackles, 1 fumble recovery