HANAPEPE — In front of a huge and raucous home crowd, the boys in blue got a big win.
Waimea High School’s varsity football team defeated Kapaa in a high-scoring contest, 34-24, Friday night at Hanapepe Stadium.
“I feel really happy for our boys. They worked really hard for this game,” said Waimea head coach Jason Caldeira. “I’m happy for our coaching staff. They worked really hard. It’s a good morale booster going into the last round (of games). Lots more work to do, though.
“It wasn’t a clean game. It was a tough game. Hats off to the Kapaa coaching staff and their players. They played a really tough game. It just came down to mistakes, who can do less mistakes. Just very proud of everybody,” he continued. “It was a special night. Great atmosphere, and I’m really happy for the community.”
Waimea (3-2, 2-2 KIF) scored three touchdowns in the third quarter.
Menehune senior running back Avery Miguel tied the score at 17-17 on a 10-yard run in the team’s first possession of the second half.
Miguel scored again late in the quarter on a 49-yard reception from junior quarterback Lacin Montemayor for a 31-24 lead. The Menehune rusher totaled three touchdowns Friday.
“We went back at halftime. All the holes were open. It’s just (about) effort,” Miguel said. “My strong guard, Harrison Kanahele, he was pulling some nice blocks. That just allowed me to gain those yards.”
In the third quarter, three touchdowns were scored within one minute.
After Miguel’s 10-yard touchdown run, Menehune senior running back William Kamaka-Riley found the end zone on a 1-yard run the was set up by a 79-yard catch and run by senior receiver Dylan Balaan.
On the ensuing possession, Kapaa answered back with a 67-yard scamper to pay dirt by Warriors junior running back Ryno Banasihan to even the score, 24-24.
Waimea then took the lead back seconds after with Miguel’s 49-yard scoring catch.
In the fourth after Waimea extended its lead on a field goal, Kapaa had the ball with about five minutes left.
On fourth down and seven yards to go on Kapaa’s 49-yard line, Menehune senior linebacker Noah Simao got the sack on Warriors sophomore quarterback Kahanu Davis to get the ball back on downs. It was Simao’s second sack of the night.
With about four minutes left, Waimea then ran off the remaining time to secure the home win on the school’s homecoming.
“We haven’t won a homecoming in who knows how long. And my four years here, we haven’t (beat) Kapaa once,” Miguel said. “I don’t know. This feeling is indescribable. I’m just trying to live it all up now.”
When asked if this was as good a game he’s ever coached at the helm of Waimea, Caldeira said there’s always aspects that have room for improvement even in big wins.
“As a head coach, you can never be satisfied,” he said. “You expect them to be perfect, even though there’s no such thing. I’m always happy with my boys’ effort, and I’m always happy with our coaching staff and how much work they put into it.
“We go into a game, of course, you want to win. You don’t want to lose. But we just want to go out there and represent the Westside proudly, that we represent Waimea proudly and play to the end. They did that tonight, and couldn’t be any more proud of them.”
Kapaa (3-2, 1-2 KIF) started fast with a touchdown in the game’s opening drive.
Warriors sophomore receiver Stetson Telles-Kelekoma, who was just called up from the junior varsity team, hauled in a 27-yard reception from Davis for the game’s first score.
In the second quarter, junior running back Kalena Harder punched in a 2-yard touchdown run for a 14-10 lead with about a minute left.
After getting the ball back quickly on a turnover, Warriors junior place kicker Chyson Lagunes-Rapozo converted on a 24-yard field goal as time expired for a seven-point lead at halftime.
“Well, hell of a game. We knew Waimea was going to be in here to play. We’ve seen what they did last week,” said Kapaa head coach Philip Rapozo, referring to Waimea’s 16-14 win over Kauai High last weekend.
“We weren’t surprised they were going to be ready for us. They worked hard. We worked hard. We came up short. We just got to go back and work.”
Kapaa will play Kauai High (3-2, 2-1 KIF) on Saturday at Vidinha Stadium. The JV game will begin at noon and the varsity will follow.
For Kapaa, who has hopes of a fourth-consecutive league title, Saturday’s game is a must-win.
“Every game, we got to win out,” Rapozo said. “I think all three teams have to. It’s going to be a bang-out (season). We got Kauai High. We lost to them the first time. We got to go and beat them now. Every game is a championship game if we want our season to keep going, if we want to make it and win the KIF.”
Waimea will next on Oct. 7 at Hanapepe Stadium versus Kauai High School.
09:05 KAPAA Stetson Telles-Kelekoma 27-yard reception from Kahanu Davis, Chyson Lagunes-Rapozo PAT good, 7-0 Kapaa
06:50 WAIMEA Kawelo Huddy 26-yard field goal, 7-3 Kapaa
00:45 WAIMEA Avery Miguel 5-yard run, Kawelo Huddy PAT good, 10-7 Waimea
00:46 KAPAA Kalena Harder 2-yard run, Chyson Lagunes-Rapozo PAT good, 14-10 Kapaa
00:00 KAPAA Chyson Lagunes-Rapozo 24-yard field goal, 17-10 Kapaa
10:00 WAIMEA Avery Miguel 10-yard run, Kawelo Huddy PAT good, 17-17
03:08 WAIMEA William Kamaka-Riley 1-yard run, Kawelo Huddy PAT good, 24-17 Waimea
02:38 KAPAA Ryno Banasihan 67-yard run, Chyson Lagunes-Rapozo PAT good, 24-24
02:17 WAIMEA Avery Miguel 49-yard reception from Lacin Montemayor, Kawelo Huddy PAT good, 31-24 Waimea
05:13 WAIMEA Kawelo Huddy 33-yard field goal, 34-24 Waimea
Passing: Lacin Montemayor, 6-8, 180 yards, 1 touchdown
Rushing: Avery Miguel, 17 carries, 98 yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 fumble
Receiving: Dylan Balaan, 2 receptions, 88 yards
Defense: Noah Simao, 8 tackles, 2 sacks
Passing: Kahanu Davis, 17-33, 199 yards, 1 touchdown
Rushing: Ryno Banasihan, 17 carries, 152 yards, 1 touchdown
Receiving: Ryno Banasihan, 4 receptions, 56 yards
Defense: Kupapa Flores, 6 tackles