Kahuku topples Castle in Red East
By Wes Nakama
Advertiser Staff Writer
By Wes Nakama
KAHUKU Quietly and effectively, Kahuku completed its second straight unbeaten O'ahu Interscholastic Association football regular season last night, holding off Castle, 35-20, before a homecoming crowd of about 3,000 at Carleton E. Weimer Field.
The Red Raiders, ranked No. 3 in The Advertiser's statewide Top 10 poll of coaches and media, improved to 7-1 overall with its seventh straight victory and finished 6-0 in the OIA Red Conference Eastern Division. They earned the East's No. 1 seed and a first-round bye in the upcoming league playoffs.
Castle, which has also earned a playoff berth, fell to 4-4, 3-3.
Kahuku opened the season with a 35-0 loss to Kamehameha, casting doubt on the Red Raiders' chances of repeating as East champ.
"We use that game (the Kamehameha loss) to push us forward," said senior running back St. John Lessary, who rushed for 143 yards and one touchdown on 19 carries last night. "We remember how that feels, and it makes us work harder in practice."
The Knights came out with a no-huddle offense and moved the ball well in the first quarter, with quarterback Blake Rapozo completing 7 of 10 passes for 75 yards. But on their second drive, Rapozo was sacked for an 11-yard loss and broke his left collarbone.
"He's out for the season," Castle coach Nelson Maeda said. "It's a big loss."
But junior Jaysen Ferreira wearing jersey No. 65 moved from offensive line to quarterback and threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to Shaydon Kehano to give the Knights a 6-0 lead with 3:31 remaining in the first quarter. The extra-point attempt failed.
Kahuku took a 7-6 lead with 4:29 left in the half after A.J. Kubota's 3-yard pass to Jackson Kaka and Lessary's PAT.
Castle almost answered with a touchdown on its next possession, but a fourth-down pass was dropped in the end zone.
The Red Raiders took a 15-6 lead one minute before halftime after a 15-yard TD pass from Kubota to Jray Galeai and Lessary's two-point conversion run. After Kahuku recovered a fumble on the ensuing kickoff, Kubota threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to Alapeti Magalei to put the Red Raiders up 22-6 at halftime.
Magalei scored on a 1-yard run to give Kahuku a 29-6 lead midway through the third quarter, and after the Knights cut it to 29-20 on Kehano's 82-yard interception return for a touchdown, Lessary scored on an 18-yard run to seal the win.
CASTLE (4-4, 3-3) 6 0 0 1420
KAHUKU (7-1, 6-0) 0 15 14 635
Cast Shaydon Kehano 9 pass from Jaysen Ferreira (kick failed)
Kah Jackson Kaka 3 pass from A.J. Kubota (St. John Lessary kick)
Kah Jray Galeai 15 pass from Kubota (Lessary run)
Kah Alapeti Magalei 11 pass from Kubota (Lessary kick)
Kah Magalei 1 run (Lessary kick)
Cast Ferreira 2 run (Kehano pass from Ferreira)
Cast Kehano 82 interception return (pass failed)
Kah Lessary 18 run (kick failed)
RUSHING Castle: Blake Rapozo 3-(minus-33), Mitchell Lum 4-5, Ferreira 8-(minus-27), Kevin Aipia Jr. 1-(minus-3). Kahuku: Lessary 19-143, Kubota 6-(minus-11), Magalei 6-8, Siatima Tapusoa 1-6, Reupena Moors1-1, Viliami Pasi 4-22, Abbey Anderson 1-11, Sage Kaka 1-1, Pulolu Silva 1-5.
PASSING Castle: Rapozo 7-10-075, Ferreira 13-260174. Kahuku: Kubota 3-8-029. Kaka 0-3-1-0.
RECEIVING Castle: Kehano 8-138, Hans Reppuhn 4-45, Lowen Rogers 4-32, Micah Wada 1-9, Lum 2-11, Aipia Jr. 1-14. Kahuku: Galeai 1-15, Magalei 1-11, Jackson Kaka 1-3.
JV SCOREKAHUKU 42, CASTLE 14
Reach Wes Nakama at firstname.lastname@example.org.