Morris leads Red Raiders
By Kalani Takase
Advertiser Staff Writer
KANE'OHE — Kahuku debuted its new pass-first offense last night, but it was senior Lopaka Morris who stole the show in a 49-14 non-league football win over Kealakehe at Castle.
Morris caught a touchdown pass, ran in a score and added two more TDs on kickoff returns to lift the Red Raiders (1-0) past the Waveriders (0-1) in the season opener for both teams.
"This felt good, we've been preparing for this the whole summer," said Morris, who played cornerback, wide receiver, running back and kick returner.
"He's such a great athlete, we just have to work on giving him the ball more," Red Raiders' coach Reggie Torres said. "I don't think we got him the ball enough, that's one thing that we need to work on as a staff — to get him the ball — because you see what he can do with it."
On the Red Raiders' first play from scrimmage, Tyrone Brown took a handoff from quarterback Sage Kaka and plunged four yards for a score. The play was set-up by an errant Kealakehe shotgun snap, that was recovered by Kahuku's Dallin Muti.
Andrews Crowell picked off Waveriders' quarterback Dominick Trevino on the ensuing drive and returned it 16 yards to make it 14-0.
Later in the first quarter, Kaka found tight end Shairone Thompson on a 16-yard TD pass. Cameron Mercado's kick put his team ahead 21-0.
Midway through the second quarter, Kahuku backup quarterback Evan Moe found a streaking Morris over the middle for a 27-yard scoring strike to make it 28-0.
Kealakehe's first drive of the second half stalled at its own 38-yard line. Kahuku's Johnny Tupola's punt return of 29 yards was negated by a block in the back, but Brown made up for it with a 29-yard gain on first down. Morris scored on a 34-yard run three plays later to make it a 35-point lead.
Trevino got the Waveriders on the board with a 2-yard keeper with 9:08 left in the fourth quarter, but Morris ran back the kickoff 80 yards for Kahuku.
"The play was a double wedge, so it was all the blockers," Morris said.
Kealakehe's Trevino found Kawika Cecil for a 7-yard TD pass on the next drive, but Morris returned his second kickoff for a score — this time for 69 yards.
"We played a great team, Kahuku's always great, but I was really surprised how seasoned they looked," Waveriders' coach Gary Clark said. "They didn't make the mistakes that are typical in the first game."
KEALAKEHE (0-1) 0 0 0 14 — 14
KAHUKU (1-0) 21 7 7 14 — 49
Kah — Tyrone Brown 4 run (Cameron Mercado kick).
Kah — Andrews Crowell 16 interception return (Mercado kick).
Kah — Shairone Thompson 16 pass from Sage Kaka (Mercado kick).
Kah — Lopaka Morris 27 pass from Evan Moe (Mercado kick).
Kah — Morris 34 run (Mercado kick).
Kea — Dominick Trevino 2 run (run failed).
Kah — Morris 81 kickoff return (Mercado kick).
Kea — Kawika Cecil 7 pass from Trevino (Peni Vea run).
Kah — Morris 69 kickoff return (Mercado kick).
RUSHING — Kealakehe: Kaiwi Alvarez 5-2, Joseph Hing-Medeiros 1-(minus 1), Trevino 8-(minus 35), Team 1-(minus 17). Kahuku: Brown 7-86, Moe 1-(minus 5), Pololu Silva 4-19, Galeai Malufau 5-38, Morris 2-34, Kaka 1-0.
PASSING — Kealakehe: Trevino 24-41-2—282. Kahuku: Kaka 4-14-1—76, Moe 4-7-1—69.
RECEIVING — Kealakehe: Alvarez 4-32, Ikaika Kua-Nachor 6-74, Clinton Holdbrook 6-92, Jordan Debus 1-5, Jacob Souza 2-8, Vahn Ma 2-50, Cecil 3-21. Kahuku: Morris 3-68, Malufau 4-61, Thompson 1-16.