Kahuku cruises by California team, 25-6
By Wes Nakama
Advertiser Staff Writer
By Wes Nakama
KAHUKU — In the unusual position of facing an opponent just as big and athletic as itself, the Kahuku High School football team still managed to thwart visiting Narbonne (Harbor City, Calif.), 25-6, last night.
The Red Raiders improved to 2-1. Last night's game was the season opener for Narbonne, the four-time defending champion in the Los Angeles City Section's competitive Marine League.
"(Kahuku is) every good as any team we play," said Narbonne coach Manuel Douglas. "They're a tough team — physical — and they came to play."
The Red Raiders' Shiloah Te'o returned the opening kickoff 58 yards and Kahuku drove to the Gauchos' 13-yard line, but lost a fumble. After Narbonne went three-and-out, Te'o returned a punt 47 yards and Kahuku scored three plays later on Lehi Aumua's 1-yard run. The extra point attempt failed.
"We did a better job of coming ready to play," said Reggie Torres, Kahuku's first-year head coach. "The last two weeks (against Punahou and Kailua), we came out flat. But that's what we've been trying to work on — the mental part of the game."
The Red Raiders got a big break at the end of the first quarter, when a bad punt snap by Narbonne gave them possession at the Gauchos' 3. Aumua ran it in on the next play to make it 12-0. The two-point conversion pass failed.
Junior Mata'afa made it 18-0 midway through the second quarter when he burst up the middle, broke a tackle, then cut outside and down the field for a 65-yard TD run. The extra point attempt hit the right upright and bounced out.
Narbonne, which had four offensive linemen weighing 275 pounds or more, fumbled three times in the first quarter, losing one. The Gauchos failed to gain a first down and had just 25 total yards at halftime.
"We couldn't get any rhythm going offensively," Douglas said.
Narbonne scored with 4:08 left in the game, on Josh Moten's 13-yard pass to Eddie Mendival. The two-point conversion pass failed, but the Gauchos got the ball back after Kahuku went three-and-out on the ensuing series.
But under heavy pressure, Moten tried to throw a pass away and the ball slipped out. It was ruled a fumble, and Paipai Falemalu picked it up and returned it 39 yards for a touchdown.
NARBONNE (0-1) 0 0 0 6—6
KAHUKU (2-1) 6 12 0 7—25
Kah—Lehi Aumua 1 run (kick failed)
Kah—Aumua 3 run (pass failed)
Kah—Junior Mata'afa 65 run (kick failed)
Nah—Eddie Mendival 13 pass from Josh Moten (pass failed)
Kah—Paipai Falemalu 39 fumble return (Kaika Sasaoka kick)
RUSHING—Nar: Eveian Grigsby 7-67, Josh Moten 4-(minus-9), Cecill Powell 1-1, Thomas Gray 2-10, Mendival 3-1, James Taylor 1-11, Treyvionne Lowe 1-6. Kah: Aumua 17-79, Mata'afa 4-71, Nalu Carvalho 3-(minus-13), Nai Fotu 1-0, Kailiki Unga 2-1, Pita Tanuvasa 5-12, William Huihui 2-(minus-1), Samson Manu-Olevao 1-(minus-5), Ryan Kelly 1-0, Darryl Manuwai 1-(minus-3).
PASSING—Nar: Moten 8-19-0—65; Mendival 0-1-1—0. Kah: Carvalho 1-3-0—8; Huihui 0-1-0—0.
RECEIVING—Nar: Larin Taylor 4-44, Grigsby 2-5, Prentiss Gill 1-3, Mendival 1-13. Kah: Blane Beatty 1-8.
Reach Wes Nakama at email@example.com.