OIA Football
Marauders build early lead, pull away from Knights


Fri, Sep 29, 2023 @ Waipahu [ 7:30 pm ]

Final 1 2 3 4 T
Castle (1-5-0) 0 0 7 07
Waipahu (8-4-0) 21 21 7 1463
Elijah Mendoza 386 yd 5 TD
Nai Kalauokaaea 90 yd 1 TD
Anieli Teleaai 68 yd 2 TD
Eric Stephens 129 yd 2 TD

WAIPAHU — No. 13 Waipahu capped its first three possessions with touchdowns en route to a 63-7 drubbing of visiting Castle in an Oahu Interscholastic Association Division I football game Friday night. 

A homecoming crowd of about 3,000 fans at the Masa Yonamine Athletic Complex saw the Marauders amass 510 total yards to notch their third consecutive win and improve to 3-3. 

The Knights dropped their fourth straight and fell to 1-4. 

Elijah Mendoza threw for 386 yards and five touchdowns on 17-of-21 passing without an interception. He had two receivers go over 100 yards in Eric Stephens, who tallied three grabs for 129 yards and two touchdowns, and Tai Aipia-Barrett, who finished with four catches for 118 yards and a score. 

Waipahu found the end zone three times in each of the first two quarter on its way to a 42-0 halftime lead. 

Faafetai Failauga got the Marauders on the board just three plays into the game with his 11-yard touchdown run. The score was set-up by Eric Stephens' 55-yard return on the opening kickoff. 

After its defense forced a three-and-out, Waipahu needed just four plays to double up its lead. Ezra Nahoopii scored on a direct snap from six yards out one play after Mendoza connected with Chazen Rodillas-Vesido for a 22-yard completion. 

Following a Nick Lotu interception for the Marauders' first takeaway, Mendoza found Stephens on a short screen pass that saw the speedy wideout split a pair of blockers for a 53-yard touchdown. Ezekiel Stewart tacked on the extra point to make it a 21-0 lead with 4:48 left in the first quarter. 

Waipahu struck on another long pass play for a touchdown at the 7:09 mark of the second quarter. Mendoza completed a short pass to Aipia-Barrett, who slipped at least eight tackles on the screen play on his way for a 74-yard touchdown. 

Castle drove to the Marauders' 32-yard line on its ensuing drive, but turned it over on downs. On the very next play, Stephens beat double coverage and hauled a perfectly-placed pass from Mendoza for a 68-yard touchdown. 

Mendoza cashed in on another turnover on downs forced by his defense with his 12-yard TD pass to Jayden Chanel with 57 seconds left in the first half. 

Waipahu added a pair of short touchdown runs by Anieli Teleaai in the second half. 

Castle's lone score came in the final minute of the third quarter on a 13-yard touchdown pass from Nai Kalauokaaea to Ryder Kapuwai-Mapu. 

Mendoza closed out the scoring with his 22-yard TD pass to Jhonathan Kekua-Cobb in the game's final minute. 

Waipahu recorded 23 first downs to 12 for Castle. 

The Knights were 1 of 11 on third downs and 2 of 5 on fourth downs. 

The Marauders were 2 of 3 on third downs. 

Waipahu was flagged 10 times for 123 yards, including four personal fouls. 

Castle finished with 196 total yards. It has been outscored 183 to 10 in its last four games, since a 17-13 win over Kaiser to open the season. 

Waipahu has outscored its last three opponents by a combined 182 points to 34. 

The Knights will host Waianae Friday, while the Marauders will host Kailua the following night. 

Reach Kalani Takase at [email protected].

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