LIHUE — Kapaa High School football coach Phillip Rapozo wasn’t about to let his team rest on their laurels after they captured the Kauai Interscholastic Federation with a 31-19 victory over Waimea High School.
Rapozo did choose to rest their star quarterback Kahanu Davis, in favor of backup Cody Relacion, to try to get some of his team additional reps before the playoffs.
During a pre-game interview with the Garden Island, Rapozo emphasized the importance of keeping his Warriors (5-0) team sharp.
“We feel our team can win as much as our starters, and we have some tremendous athletes that play well all over the field, and they can give us a lot more offense,” Rapozo said.
Still, he didn’t want his team to lose its edge in Saturday’s battle with the Red Raiders (0-5), and they didn’t.
The KIF champions ended the competitive phase of this game at the end of the first quarter as they took a 30-0 first-quarter lead to win 51-0 Saturday afternoon at Vidinha Stadium.
From start to finish, the inexperienced Red Raiders were overmatched.
On the first possession of the game, Warriors defender Nikki Kamelamela intercepted Andrew Passi’s pass and took his pass the distance 38 yards for a touchdown giving his team a 7-0 with 11:40 left in the opening quarter.
On the ensuing possession, the Warriors scored on special teams when Conner Payomo busted through the line to pin Tai Panit into the end zone, giving them a 9-0 lead with 10:07 left in the first quarter.
On the Warriors’ next possession, they continued to carve through the Red Raiders’ defense when Relacion connected with Dreyden Iwamoto from their own 48-yard-line to the Warriors’ 26-yard-line.
After their drive stalled, they attempted a field goal, but a roughing the kicker penalty set up a Baba Na-o three-yard touchdown run, which gave them a 16-0 lead in the first quarter.
The Warriors defense again feasted on the bewildered Red Raiders offense when Jeran Paleka intercepted another Passi offering to make the score 22-0.
The Warriors scored again with a 35-yard reception to Ezra Ibaan-Nesbitt to make the score 30-0 after the first quarter.
Kappa highlighted two more interception returns for a touchdown when Stetson Telles-Kelekoma and Jeran Paleka both had two more interception returns for touchdowns to make the score 44-0.
Laakea Gonsalves caught a 17-yard touchdown pass to conclude the scoring 51-0.
Red Raiders’ head coach Jason Apilado paid a lot of respect to the now KIF champs as his team lost.
Jason Apilado, whose team is still in search of their first conference win of the season, paid homage to the Warriors’ football team.
“Plain and simple, they are a high-quality football team, and they have great coaching,” Apilado said. “We are looking forward to finishing the season on a high note, and we just need to play good, clean, hard-nosed football, and looking forward to the future.”
Jason Blasco, sports reporter, can be reached at 245-0437 or email@example.com.