HANAPEPE — Waimea High School scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to cap a 21-0 win over the Honoka‘a Dragons Saturday night before an audience that swelled with the setting sun at Hanapepe Stadium.
“We got started late,” said Menehune head coach Jason Caldeira. “Our defense did a great job. Coach Keali‘i Aguiar made the adjustments that cleaned up the game and kept Honoka‘a to zero points and minimal yardage.”
Following scoreless exchanges, Waimea found the end zone when quarterback Maka Shigematsu hit Joey Sams on a 15-yard scoring pass. Kawelo Huddy convered the point-after boot with 3:59 showing in the opening period for the early 7-0 lead that stood until the fourth quarter.
The score was set up following Waimea’s first two possessions, where they stumbled through three penalties before losing the ball on their own 22-yard line when Honoka‘a’s Antone Cooley recovered a loose pigskin.
The Dragons drove to the Menehune 10-yard line before Waimea snuffed the drive when Menehune defender Jonah Sandel plucked a pass from Dragons’ quarterback Kaiali‘i Nakamoto intended for Jahsaiah Yoshizumi in the end zone, running the ball to the Honoka‘a 31-yard line.
Shigematsu moved the ball forward before hitting Sams in the promised land.
Sandel finished the night with a pair of plucks, the second one coming in the fourth quarter when he intercepted an aerial from Nakamoto and ran the ball back 60 yards to the end zone. The Huddy PAT boot sealed the win with 5:58 showing in regulation.
Huddy finished the night three-for-three in PATs, but missed wide on two field goal attempts.
“This was a great effort by the Menehune,” Caldeira said. “We cleaned up the penalties from the first half, but there is still a lot of room to grow. The boys did good out there — they looked like they are trying, even through the mistakes they look like they’re moving forward. There is a glimmer of hope, and our job as coaches is to get it to shine.”
Waimea’s second touchdown sparked in the third quarter when Menehune defender Makoa Vanaman capitalized on a Dragon broken play by pouncing on the ball on the Honoka‘a 11-yard line.
Two plays later, the Menehune hit paydirt when Shigematsu found Nick Reyes at the end of a 12-yard strike, just seven ticks into the final quarter. Huddy’s PAT book jogged the scoreboard off its 7-0 Menehune lead.
“This was a very special game for us,” Caldeira said, joining his army of blue shirts in the makai end zone. “We dedicated this game to Nalani Shigematsu and her family in their fight against cancer. We coached three of her sons, and we have two Shigematsu boys on our team. We appreciate that, and all the support she has given us for all this time. We honor her, and her family, for all they have given us.”
Lahainaluna 21, Kapaa 18
LAHAINA, Maui — Led by the efforts of quarterback Kahanu Davis, the Kapaa High School Warrior football team outscored Lahainaluna, 15-7 in the second half, but came up short, 21-18, at the Sue D. Cooley Stadium, according to details from Scoring Live.
Davis topped the contest by leading the ground game on 24 carries for 160 yards, including a pair of second-half touchdowns, the first coming off the break when he tapped paydirt to cap a 58-yard drive. His final score came in the fourth quarter on a three-yard keeper with a little more than four minutes showing. But the Lunas held firm to keep the Warriors looking, 21-12.
Kapaa’s first score, a field goal early in the second quarter by La‘akea Gonsalves, came after the Warriors forced a turnover on their own one-yard stripe in the first quarter. That drive stalled on the Lahaina five-yard mark and Gonsalves booted a 25-yard field goal.
Lahainaluna answered with touchdowns when Devon Sa-Chisolm returned the kickoff for 98 yards, and Tysyn Estrella found the end zone on a one-yard charge. Point-after boots from Brian Sandoval saw the Lunas looking at a 14-3 bulge at the break.
Kaihulali Casco did the final honors in the pass-fueled, third-quarter drive, diving into the end zone on a one-yarder.
More preseason high school football action awaits fans this weekend when Waimea hosts Orange Glen Friday in a single game kicking off at 7 p.m. at Hanapepe Stadium.
Saturday, Kauai High will debut at home, hosting Maui High at Vidinha Stadium. The junior varsity game kicks off at 5 p.m., followed by the varsity contest 30 minutes after the completion of the JV contest.
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or email@example.com.