POSTED: 10:39 p.m. HST, Aug 12, 2011
LAST UPDATED: 10:57 p.m. HST, Aug 12, 2011
True enough, Big Red doesn't rebuild after losing 15 starters from last year's unbeaten squad.
Kahuku simply reloads. The Red Raiders got a stalwart performance defensively, limiting Waianae to 44 total yards in offense en route to a 26-0 nonconference win Friday night at Carleton Weimer Field.
Kahuku, ranked No. 2 in the Star-Advertiser Preseason Top 10, got interception returns for touchdowns by Bronson Beatty and Kawehena Johnson before a somewhat subdued audience of about 2,500.
It was the first game for Kahuku since the Oahu Interscholastic Association unceremoniously barred the team from the league playoffs last season due to an allegedly ineligible player. The league has never offered justification for the ouster, and Kahuku's season came to an abrupt end after 10 wins in 10 games.
This time, the Red Raiders are forging a new identity with a new season. It will probably come mostly from the defensive unit. That made coach Walter Santiago, filling in for currently suspended head coach Reggie Torres, wear a big smile.
"I'm tired. Exhausted, but I feel really good for the kids," Santiago said. "I'm just stepping in for Reggie."
Viliami Livai, making his first start at quarterback, passed for 156 yards (8-for-15). He and his young offensive line seemed to gel with each snap.
"We've got a junior and two sophomores (on the offensive line)," Santiago said. "They're just getting better, making a big improvement."