Maui Sports

Pair of KIF Teams Play Football Saturday Upcountry

August 17, 2012, 7:20 AM HST
* Updated August 17, 1:05 PM
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Kamehameha Schools Maui running back Makoa Medeiros runs past an Alberta, Canada defender during a controlled scrimmage at KS-Maui last week. Photo by Riley Yap.

By Rodney S. Yap

A year ago, Kapaa High School opened its 2011 season with a dominating 35-0 performance over visiting Kamehameha Schools Maui. The victory set the tempo for Kapaa’s first Kauai Interscholastic Federation championship since 1989.

Kapaa head coach Kelii Morgado watched his team snap a 22-year-old KIF championship drought by kicking a 27-yard field goal with nine seconds left to beat Waimea 17-14 in a Monday afternoon playoff game. Five days later, the Warriors shut out OIA White champion Pearl City 7-0 to advance the semifinals of the HHSAA Division II tournament against perennial champion Iolani. Kapaa led the Red Raiders 13-3 at halftime before giving up a pair of third-quarter touchdowns and coming up short, 17-13.

On Saturday, two Kauai schools will be facing Maui Interscholastic League opponents in a pair of Upcountry non-league football games. The Kapaa Warriors, who finished 8-4 overall and 5-2 in the KIF last season, will be at Kamehameha Maui (0-0) for a 7 p.m. contest, while Kauai High will play at King Kekakulike (0-0), also at 7 p.m. Both games are 2012 openers for the MIL schools, while Kapaa (1-0) and Kauai (1-0) are both preparing to play its second game of season.

Tonight, Lahainaluna (0-0) meets Kea’au (0-0) at 7 p.m. and on Saturday Maui High (0-0) will be at Konawaena (0-1). The Wildcats are coming off a 43-40 defeat to Iolani. Baldwin is idle this weekend.

Kapa‘a’s Kaikea Sonoda avoids the defense of Kalani’s Kaita Tsuchiya during a kickoff return in the second quarter last Saturday at Vidinha Stadium. Photo by Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island.


Kapaa graduated 21 seniors from a year ago, but have already picked up where they left off by trouncing the Kalani Flacons of Honolulu last week 42-21 at Vidinha Stadium. Kapaa used a pair of quarterbacks — senior Daniel Ries and junior Fresno Masaniai — to jump start its passing game, while returning junior running back Cory Somera-Payomo (5-11, 190) rushed for a pair of touchdowns (3, 27 yards).


Masaniai delivered a huge 47-yard touchdown throw to wide receiver J.J. Alonzo, who contributed two touchdown catches on the night including a 72-yard reception from Reis.

For the Warriors of Kamehameha Schools Maui, 3-5 in 2011, hosting Kapaa gives the home team a chance to erase the bitter memory of false starts, bad snaps, and numerous offensive turnovers that were compounded by lack of execution. KS-Maui’s defense was stretched to the limit on the Garden Isle having to play plenty of minutes with its back to the goal line.

Twenty-five seniors top KS-Maui’s 53-man roster, including seven three-year varsity lettermen who joined the program when head coach Kevin O’Brien was given the reins in 2010. The players include: Aydan Lopes (TE/DE), Pono Freitas (CB/SB), Makoa Medeiros (S/RB), Connor Yap (QB), Bryson Arakaki (OL), Dylan Nakoa (OL) and Taylor Ka’aukai (LB). In addition to senior linebacker Kamaka Keawekane, the eight players also serve as team captains for O’Brien, who is 8-9 overall in his first two seasons.


Offensively, Yap is the returning quarterback, an MIL second-team all-star in 2011, the 6-foot, 175-pound right-hander threw for 727 yards and rushed for another 214. His top target, Dylan Machado, is now attending Chapman University, so Yap has no favorites among wide receivers Jamal Jones (6-2, 170), Billy Ayakawa (5-10, 165), Davis Neizman (6-1, 160) and Chase Newton (6-1, 190), or slotbacks Freitas (5-8, 140), Iain Armitage (5-10, 155) and Devonte Llanes (5-6, 140). Medeiros (5-9, 160), Stephen Barut (5-7, 165) and sophomore Colton Cabanas (5-10, 150) will handle running back duties.

Acer Pahukoa (5-11, 275), Matt Paschoal (5-10, 175), Aaron Kokubun (6-1, 275), and King Kaya (5-11, 265) join Arakaki (5-10, 275) and Nakoa (5-11, 315) on the offensive line.

Defensively, the Warriors depend on their team speed to offset their lack of size. Their linebackers are especially quick, starting with inside backers Keawekane (6-0, 185) and Ka’aukai (5-11, 185). The outside backers are Cal Alexander (5-7, 140), Quinn Kihune (6-1, 220), and Austin Kan Hai (5-9, 160).

The ends are Lopes (6-0, 205), Erin Lindsey (6-1, 190) and La’akea Baz (6-4, 215), while Rusty Hue Sing (5-9, 165), Siaosi Ngalu (5-11, 215), Brennon Aloy (5-10, 200), Jonah Logotala-Puli (5-9, 240) and Pahukoa will rotate up front.

Freitas will hold down one cornerback position and Medeiros is the primary safety. Tyler MacArthur (5-8, 145) and Chayce Tancayo 5-8, 140) are the other corners.

In a controlled scrimmage last week against Alberta of Canada, KS-Maui’s first defense held the Canadians’ first offense scoreless.



Last week at Vidinha Stadium, the Kauai High School Red Raiders came out strong and never looked back with a dominant win over the Waialua Bulldog 43-0.

There was nothing subtle about the Red Raider attack as they immediately threw the ball down field with quarterback Trey Aguano hitting wide receiver Desmond Souza for a 20-yard pass putting Kaua‘i on the Bulldog 9-yard line. Running back Reggie McFaddon did the rest, punching it in for the rushing touchdown giving the Red Raiders a 7-0 lead.

It didn’t take McFaddon long to strike again, as on the very next Red Raider possession he exploded for a 41-yard touchdown run putting Kauai up 14-0, which it stayed through the first quarter of play.

The Red Raider defense decided it wanted to get into the action as linebacker Marcus Martinez sacked Waialua quarterback Taleon Lele in the Bulldog endzone for the safety making it 16-0 in favor of the Red Raiders.

With the Kauai defense holding strong, the Red Raider’s decided to take to the air again, as Aguano connected with wide receiver Pono Bukoski on a sensational fully extended diving catch in the end zone for the 27-yard touchdown. Kauai missed the extra point leaving the score at 22-0.

Aguano had two touchdown passes on the night.

With his third rushing touchdown in the game, McFaddon and the Red Raiders went into the half with a 36-0 lead.

Coming out of halftime Kauai picked up where they left off as Alvin Honorato picked up a blocked punt attempt and returned it for the touchdown leaving the Red Raiders with a 43-0 lead.

The Red Raiders finished with six touchdowns and one safety on the night.

Na Ali’i are looking to improve on last season, having lost 19 seniors, the team is rebuilding this season under interim head coach Clarence Rivers. Former head coach P.K. Higa is currently the school’s acting athletic director and ineligible to coach as a result.

King Kekaulike will compete in Division II in the sport of football this season. The decision was proposed by MIL athletic directors in a vote in late July and ratified by the league’s principals one day later. King Kekaulike produced the MIL’s only state football title in 2006, when it won the HHSAA State Division II football championship.

Click here to go to Na Ali’i’s roster.


Thursday’s Results

Farrington 39, Saint Louis 33

Aiea 32, Castle 6

Friday, Aug. 17, Games

Damien vs. Kaimuki at Mililani, 4 p.m. (OC16)

Pac-Five vs. Mililani at Mililani, 7 p.m. (OC16)

Campbell at Kailua, 7 p.m.

Waianae at Moanalua, 7 p.m.

Kapolei vs. McKinley at Roosevelt, 7 p.m.

Lahainaluna at Kea’au, 7 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 18, Games

KS-Hawaii at Waiakea, 2 p.m.

Hilo at Hawaii Prep, 2 p.m.

Waimea at Honokaa, 4 p.m.

Nanakuli vs. Anuenue at Kaiser, 6 p.m.

Kaiser vs. Kalaheo at Kailua, 7 p.m.

Iolani at Waipahu, 7 p.m.

Kamehameha-Oahu at Leilehua, 7 p.m.

Punahou at Kahuku, 7 p.m. (OC16)

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