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Kapa‘a wins a close one over Menehune to wrap up KIF season

HANAPEPE — Kapa‘a High School quarterback Kapono Na-O threw for one touchdown on Saturday, and special teams kicker Kamalei Gonsalves made good on one point after touchdown kick during the Kaua‘i Interscholastic Federation football game contested at Hanapepe Stadium.

Trailing 3-0 with about 10 seconds showing on the first half of play, the combination proved to be the winning score for the Kapa‘a High School Warriors, the final score being 7-6 over Waimea before the strong Waimea-based crowd that braved the fading tradewinds and hot sun to honor both its football team and Homecoming Royal Court.

Kapa‘a, named the first Central Pacific Bank KIF football champion earlier with its 5-win, 0-loss standing, celebrated a perfect 6-0 KIF season with the win that hinged on Gonsalves’ boot. Kapa‘a will advance to the First Hawaiian Bank, Hawai‘i High School Athletic Association football playoffs for the state championship in Division I play. The status posture kept Kapa‘a with an unspoken goal of staying healthy ahead of the state playoffs.

Waimea High School, who opened the day in Hanapepe by scoring on its first possession with a field goal, answered the Kapa‘a call with a pair of field goals off the shoe of Shayden Ranis-Alameda Dela Cruz.

Menehune signal caller Kameron Apilado opened the possession with a 20-yard punt return after Kapa‘a nontraditional gave up its first possession. Apilado, fueling the 70-yard drive on keeper option plays, set up the first field goal attempt after his run came up short with a fourth-and-three from the Kapa‘a 10-yard line.

An offside penalty against Kapa‘a moved the pigskin to the Warriors’ 10-yard line where the big Kapa‘a defense stiffened to force Waimea to a second field goal attempt from the Kapa‘a 1-yard stripe on a fourth-and-one situation.

Following Kapa‘a’s touchdown that came with less than nine seconds before the halftime activity with the Menehune Royal Court, the band and guest baton twirler, the Menehune answered with another field goal in the third quarter when the Warrior defense again stopped Waimea short of the end zone on the Kapa‘a 7-yard line.

Earlier in the afternoon, the Kapa‘a junior varsity football team recorded a 27-0 win over the Menehune.

The Menehune joined the Warriors in staying healthy for the state playoffs because the Menehune will advance to the state games because it belongs to Division II, and is the current state Division II champion.

Coming up a point short, Waimea High School, now 2-3 in the KIF standings, will travel to Vidinha Stadium on Saturday for the Kaua‘i High School senior night game, which is played during the day because of the endangered sea bird fledgling season.

The junior varsity contest is scheduled to kick off starting at noon with the varsity contest kicking off 30 minutes after the JV game ends.

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Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 808-245-0453 or dfujimoto@thegardenisland.com.
Source: The Garden Island

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