[ OIA WHITE ]
Waipahu’s defense tees
off on Kalaheo
There's nothing like a little home cooking to get the Waipahu Marauders back on track.
Despite not completing a pass the entire game, the Marauders forced three turnovers and returned a blocked punt for a touchdown to help defeat the Kalaheo Mustangs 20-0 last night at Waipahu High School.
"I'm so proud of these guys," Marauders coach Sean Saturnio said. "These guys have devoted a lot of time to each other and they've had big goals for this season and now they're beginning to come into their own."
The teams combined for just 179 total yards in the first half as heavy rains and a muddy field resulted in sloppy play from both.
The Marauders (2-1 OIA White, 2-2 overall) struck first as they took advantage of an Ebony Johnson fumble when Krypton Taito scored on a 29-yard touchdown run on the very next play for the only score in the first half.
"The line blocked perfect since I didn't have to break any tackles," Taito said. "If it weren't for the blocking, I'd get nothing."
The Marauders had a chance to add to the lead midway through the second quarter, but Ryan Winfree dropped an Austen Benito pass in the end zone. After two more incomplete passes, Benito missed a 36-yard field goal as the Kalaheo defense stepped up in the red zone.
"Our offense struggled a bit tonight," Saturnio said. "We've got big games coming up and our offense is going to have to execute better."
Both teams continued to have problems on offense as the score remained 6-0 heading into the fourth quarter. Just as they did on their first score of the game, the Marauders took advantage of another Mustangs mistake and Stan Abasial blocked a punt and returned it 27 yards to increase the Waipahu lead to 12.
"Special teams turned the tide, and we really needed that tonight," Saturnio said.
Benito added an 11-yard touchdown run with four minutes left to finish off the Mustangs (1-2, 1-3).
"We don't have a lot of size, but these kids have great, big hearts and the closeness this team shares gives them the ability to bounce back and get ready for what lies ahead," Saturnio said