For Kauai, it was a long wait.
On Thursday night, one of Kuai’s football-playing high school won the state title. This was the first time this happened since 1999, when the inaugural state tourney was held.
The Kapaa Warriors have risen to the top of the Hawaii football scene after defeating Kamehameha–Maui 61-7 in Division II of the HHSAA State Football Championships at Skippa Diaz Stadium at Farrington High School.
This victory was made even more sweet by the fact that the KIF champion and No 8-ranked Warriors, who were (8 0) had finished second in 2015, 2016, 2018 and 2019.
Kapaa quickly established its dominance in this game behind a huge offensive line and during rainstorms. The Kauai boys managed to rush for 477 yards and threw only four passes.
Solomone Malafu started things moving and maintained them. After Kamehemaha Maui’s first drive was stalled, Kapaa received the ball with a punt. It was no problem. Malafu hit a big hole quickly on the next play and took off all of the way to a 98 yard touchdown.
Amazingly, Malafu only had four runs from scrimmage, all of which were TDs. He was also a remarkable 6-for-6 when converting 2-point conversions.
Malafu, who was also on the defensive side, had an interception, three tackles for loss and a pass breaking up.
Kauai’s strong running game, behind the huge offensive line, was another reason for the big win. The staring line of: Kawika Rogers (6-foot-6 and 300 pounds), Santana Hernandez Martinez (6-1 and 220), Santana Hernandez Martinez (6-1, 225), guards Koa Kanakaole (6-4, 305) and Lono Aki (6-5, 420), and Maximus Merseberg (6-6, 300).
Kapaa’s passing game was active in the second half. Kapono Na-o, the Warrior quarterback, threw a 17-yard touchdown pass to Nakoa Kimi. Na-o also ran a had a running touchdown and had a total of 99 yards on the ground.
Kamehameha-Maui (5-3) made its first appearance at the states since 2005. The Maui boys were on a streak in the playoffs, including a 48-24 defeat of OIA champion and No. 10 Kaiser last week.