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Rapozo’s boot gives Kapa‘a KIF football title

KAPA‘A — What a difference a field goal made on Saturday during the Kaua‘i Interscholastic Federation football games contested at the Bryan J. Baptiste Sports Complex stadium.

With Kapa‘a in control on the Waimea 3-yard line and the clock ticking down to the half, the Warriors’ Christopher Rapozo went for a field goal for the 3-0 bulge the Warriors took to the locker room at the break.

That field goal proved to be the difference, as Kapa‘a and Waimea each attempted field goals but came up empty in the game that gave Kapa‘a the KIF football championship with a 3-0 victory before fans that came to celebrate the Kapa‘a seniors in the final KIF regular season play.

Kapa‘a Athletic Director Greg Gonsalves, Principal Tommy John Cox and the school’s Trainers Sam Henriques and Chris Ang unveiled a special No. 50 jersey that was presented to team doctor Dr. Monty Downs, who has been with the Warriors for 50 years before recently retiring from the Wilcox Medical Center. The presentation was done with Dr. Downs’ wife Elaine and grandson Connor Kitamura, and extended to having Downs do the traditional kickoff coin toss using a special commemorative coin from a KIF official.

Rapozo’s field goal loomed large because the special teams kicker was injured on a punt later in the game, leaving Kamalei Gonsalves to attempt a second Warrior field goal in the fourth quarter from the Waimea 11-yard line. That effort went wide with 3:57 showing in the contest.

With sufficient time showing for a Menehune drive, Kapa‘a’s Nash Graham dashed Waimea hopes with a pass interception on the Menehune 27-yard line with 2:53 showing on the game clock. This was the second pass interception for Kapa‘a after Kahnah Hepa plucked a Menehune air ball in the final 37 ticks of the third quarter.

Besides determining the KIF football crown, the defensive slugfest determined bracket play for the First Hawaiian Bank Hawai‘i High School Athletic Association state football championships that start with the semifinals on Nov. 11 and continue through the championship games on Nov. 26.

With the KIF title in hand, Kapa‘a advances to the Division I semifinals as the No. 5 seed to face No. 4 seed Waipahu on Nov. 11 starting at 7 p.m. in Waipahu, O‘ahu.

Waimea draws the No. 3 seed in Division II and will host Kaiser High School in a 1 p.m. matchup Nov. 12 at Hanapepe Stadium.

Tickets for the Hanapepe Stadium contest will go on sale starting Monday at the www.gofan.co/hhsaa website. Fans wishing to take in the game are encouraged to get their tickets early to avoid a spectator limit ceiling.

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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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