HANAPEPE — Waimea High School’s Makoa Vanaman took the opening kickoff on a 90-yard run to the end zone, Friday against Kauai High School during the Kauai Interscholastic Federation football game at Hanapepe Stadium.
But a blocking behind the back infraction called back the score, and instead made the Menehune work for its first touchdown from its own 40-yard line. Waimea signal caller Maka Shigematsu engineered a pair of passing plays to Isahn Ulanday for 24 yards, and ball carrier Elijah Henderson carried for another two dozen yards before Shigematsu laced the drive on a 12-yard hit to Ulanday in the end zone with nearly four minutes peeled off the 12-minute quarter. Kawelo Huddy did the point-after boot honors for the 7-0 bulge.
The Menehune added a touchdown and a field goal in the third stanza, and a touchdown in the final period to notch a 24-14 win over Kauai High School for its first win in the KIF football season after dropping to the Warriors last week.
“The boys did well, tonight,” said Waimea coach Jason Caldeira. “They stuck together and played together. We are really proud of them. They earned the victory, tonight.”
Waimea High School’s Maikoa Baniaga pounced on the onside kick that appeared to have grazed the helmet of a Kauai High School lineman to start the third quarter under the Friday night lights.
The recovery started a 40-yard drive that culminated with a touchdown — a 16-yard scoring pass from Shigematsu to Cory Soares with Huddy icing the score on a point-after boot for the 14-0 go-ahead that was answered on the following Red Raider drive.
Sean Mulikin broke out for a 24-yard run to score with 7:50 showing in the third quarter that was graced by Kaylee Alapai’s PAT boot for the 14-7 read.
“We never get donuts,” said Kauai coach Jason Apilado. “Hats off to Waimea. They’ve been looking for this for a long time. Their boys came out and executed.”
Huddy brought the quarter to a close with a 30-yard field goal for the 17-7 Menehune lead.
Both teams scored touchdowns in the final period, bringing the evening to a close.
Menehune defender Bryson Kapahu went high to pluck a Raider aerial and ran the ball back 67 yards for Waimea’s score that came with 6:45 left in regulation, Huddy doing the PAT boot for the 24-7 go-ahead.
But Kauai was not done, yet, taking the kickoff to start its drive from their own 35-yard stripe and scoring when quarterback Andrew Passim found Malu Ralston at the end of a six-yard pass. Tai Panit did the PAT honors for the 24-14 final.
Earlier in the evening, the Red Raider Junior Varsity took a 10-0 win over Waimea when signal caller Nainoah Bacarro found Greg Manintin on a six-yard scoring pass with just over two minutes remaining in the contest. Nainoa Itamura added to his earlier field goal with a successful PAT boot. A Manintin interception with just over a minute showing sealed the deal.
Waimea next hosts Kapaa High School in its homecoming game, Friday when the JV game kicks off at 5 p.m. with the varsity contest to follow.
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.