Kapolei closer to putting complete game together


POSTED: Sunday, September 27, 2009

By Kapolei coach Darren Hernandez's estimation, his Hurricanes have failed to put together four mistake-free quarters this season.

When they do, watch out.

Kapolei (4-3, 3-2 Oahu Interscholastic Association Red West) hasn't played perfect, but has figured out ways to win the close ones after Friday night's 13-7 win over Campbell and last week's 28-21 victory in overtime over Waipahu.

Those came in contrast to early-season heartbreakers against 'Iolani (23-21 on Kevin Barayuga's touchdown catch as time expired) and Leilehua (14-10 on Andrew Manley's TD heave from midfield on fourth down in the fourth quarter).









“;If we didn't win these last two close games, we would have really been snake-bit,”; Hernandez said. “;I think it's a testament to (our players), that they had a lot of intestinal fortitude. They fought hard throughout the whole four quarters and came out on top.”;

The Hurricanes (4-3, 3-2) sewed up an OIA playoff berth, but aren't satisfied with No. 2 Mililani left to play.

Quarterback Noah Pascua was responsible for both second-quarter touchdowns against the Sabers. He lobbed an 18-yard scoring strike to Seth Roman, then punched through a 1-yard TD soon after Kapolei's Michael Filio recovered an onside kick.

And the 'Canes defense came up big in the second half with interceptions on consecutive passes by Campbell's Maika Ulufale, including a pick at Kapolei's goal line by Tuu Lolohea. Kainoa Pakele snagged the other to snuff out Campbell's last threatening drive at midfield.

“;It's just determination,”; said the lei-clad Pascua after the homecoming win. “;Before, we put our heads down but now we're keeping it up, and now we're rolling through these games.”;

Campbell (2-5, 1-4), by contrast, suffered its second narrow loss in as many weeks and first to an unranked team. The Sabers can still qualify for the playoffs with a win over Nanakuli and a loss by Waipahu.

Kapolei did a solid job of containing Campbell's dangerous slotback, Samson Anguay, who sprung free for a 10-yard TD pass from Ulufale in the second quarter. That was about all that went right, though, as the 'Canes held the UH-bound Anguay to 22 yards receiving in double coverage all night.

“;Our defense played their hearts out tonight, keeping us in the game. But a lot of mental mistakes (by the offense),”; Sabers coach Amosa Amosa said. “;Crucial, crucial mistakes. But hats off to Kapolei, Coach Hernandez and his staff. We had our chances.”;