Posted: September 2, 2012 - 1:18am
Defense propels Kapolei to 17-2 win over Waianae
Kapolei RB Jacob Kukahiko carried the ball 12 times for a game-high 102 yards and a touchdown against Waianae. Sylvia Lee | Special to SL
KAPOLEI - A late surge by the Hurricane offense and a superb performance by the defense propelled Kapolei to a 17-2 victory over Waianae Saturday night.
"I'm happy about it," said Hurricane coach Darren Hernandez. "Our guys stood up toe to toe and they played hard for four quarters."
It was a tight matchup with a combination of defensive play and penalties in the first half of play. The only score of the half came off the leg of Brandon Begonia, as the Kapolei senior place kicker boomed the ball through the uprights for a 26 yard field goal at the 3:52 mark of the first quarter.
"Started off sluggish," said Hurricane running back Jacob Kukahiko. "But we just worked hard."
Kukahiko would score one of two touchdowns for Kapolei, as the 210 pound, 5-foot 11-inch senior would power his way through the defense off of a pitch play for a 9 yard score. Kukahiko would also set up the second touchdown of the night for Kapolei, as the Hurricanes capitalized off a thirty two yard Kukahiko run by finishing the drive with an eight yard rush for a score by junior quarterback Aizon Kahana.
"He's coming into his own as a runner," said Hernandez. "He's fast, he's strong, he has great balance."
Kukahiko would finish the night with 12 carries for 102 yards and two touchdowns.
"(Waianae's) a tough team," said Kukahiko. "I just thought to myself to play hard and never give up."
After the first PAT was missed after the first score for Kapolei, the Hurricanes succeeded in a two point conversion after their second touchdown. A direct snap to Mana Reis was all Kapolei needed as they went up 17-0 heading into the fourth. The junior running back sprinted out the gun and dived for the right pylon as he succeeds in getting two points.
"We do have a short yardage package we wanted to work," said Hernandez. "We wanted to make sure that we got 17 points on the board instead of 16 just to make it a little tougher for (Waianae) to come back," he continued.
The Seariders would catch a break in the fourth quarter of play in the form of a safety. With 6:25 to go in the game, the Waianae defense would swarm the ball carrier for Kapolei in the end zone, forcing the two points. That play was set up after a turnover on downs by Waianae on the Kapolei four yard line.
"It was a tough loss," said Searider coach Danny Matsumoto. "Kapolei did a great job."
It was the defense for Kapolei who played exceptionally well Saturday night, despite giving up 21 points to Waipahu in the previous week. The Hurricanes pitched a shutout against Waianae, only giving up a safety that could not have been prevented by the defense.
"I think it was important for us to get on track," said Hernandez. "When our defense is healthy, everyone is in there and when they play as a team; I think our defense showed we can play with anybody."
With the bye week coming up for Kapolei, coach Hernandez plans on giving his team some rest as they prepare to take on the undefeated #4 ranked Leilehua the following week.
September 2, 2012
Kapolei LB Kanoa Halemano and the Hurricane defense held the Waianae offense in check all night. Sylvia Lee | Special to SL
Waianae QB Kekoa Kaluhiokalani gets set to make a throw against Kapolei. Sylvia Lee | Special to SL