Thursday, November 26, 2015         


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Kapaa extends incredible season

By Billy Hull


LIHUE » Most football teams call it a great week getting that one big win they work so hard for.

Two program-changing wins in six days? Now that's something to brag about.

Kapaa continued its magical season with another see-it-to-believe-it moment, wowing a packed Vidinha Stadium crowd with a 7-0 victory over Pearl City in the first round of the First Hawaiian Bank/HHSAA Division II State Football Championship on Saturday night.

Somehow, the Warriors made a 7-0 football game as exciting as it gets, continuing a wild ride that began with their first Kauai Interscholastic Federation championship just five days before Saturday night's stunner.

"It's been just a crazy season," said Kapaa coach Kelii Morgado, who waited an extra few minutes to answer questions, saying he wanted to enjoy the moment. "This team has a way of focusing and buckling down and they did that tonight."

It had been 22 years since the Warriors won a KIF championship, which they did beating Waimea on Monday in a game that was postponed because of weather.

Five days later, the Warriors took out the OIA White regular-season champions, shutting out a Pearl City team that was held to fewer than 26 points just once in eight regular-season conference games.

"Unbelievable is all I can say," said linebacker Dustyn DeSilva, who led the team with 10 tackles and a sack. "I don't know how we did … but we did."

The Warriors clinched their spot against top-seeded 'Iolani next Saturday when Silva tackled Chargers quarterback Kaimi Paredes well short of the marker on fourth down with a minute remaining.

Paredes, who had thrown for more than 2,000 yards this season, was held to 109 yards on 15-for-29 passing, and minus-6 yards on 12 carries.

Pearl City managed just 143 total yards as a team.

"We missed a lot of reads," Pearl City coach Kai Kamaka said. "It seemed every time we got into the red zone, something went against us."

The Warriors were dealt a blow when starting running back Syndreck D'Sio suffered an injury late in the first quarter and didn't return.

Sophomore Cory Somera-Payomo and senior Bronson Aiwohi picked up the slack, running for 114 yards behind an offensive line that wore down Pearl City.

The only score of the game came early in the fourth quarter when Somera-Payomo scored on a 3-yard run, capping a drive that went 92 yards in 17 plays and lasted close to 9 minutes.

"We've done that a couple of times before, but not in a situation like this," Morgado said.

Somera-Payomo was credited with the score, but Aiwohi did most of the work, carrying the ball 15 times in the second half for 83 yards.

"I think we got the 22-year (drought) off of our shoulders, and without that were able to go just play and have fun," Aiwohi said. "No doubt, 100 percent credit goes to the offensive line."

With the win, the Warriors will get an opportunity to play on Oahu for the first time possibly ever.

"I don't think we've ever played on Oahu," DeSilva said. "It's sick, man, just sick. I don't know what else to say."

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