Wildcats Rally in Second Half to Defeat Maui
Konawaena Wildcats junior Kahoalii Karratti had a streaky night against the Maui Sabers, but finished strong to push his Wildcats past a halftime deficit to defeat the Maui Sabers 38-17 in a non-league game at Julian R. Yates Field in Kealakekua.
The junior quarterback went 6-for-13 through the air in the first half, including incomplete passes in his last six attempts of the half, but completed the first six passes in the second half and even ran for a touchdown in the game. Karratti finished the game completing 13-of-27 passes for 267 yards with four touchdown passes and one rushing touchdown.
Karratti helped put Konawaena on the board with his toughest scoring pass of the game, a 42 yd deep pass to Domonic Morris with 1:16 to go in the first quarter to give the Wildcats a 7-0 lead. Karratti threw the ball on the run to his right and found Morris as he ran toward the goal line.
Maui (0-1) answered that score on the next possession, capping a seven play, 82 yard drive with a David Kahaleauki touchdown pass to running back Justin McCrary to even the score. Kahaleauki, a sophomore making his first varsity start, went 3-for-3 on the drive through the air.
Konawaena (1-1) struck quickly on their next drive, finishing a three-play drive with a 47-yard touchdown pass to a wide open Kenan Gaspar with 9:23 left in the first half. Gaspar was uncovered on the left side of the field and Karratti didn’t miss his mark. The senior receiver, however, missed the extra point, keeping the lead at six.
Maui stole the momentum on their next posession. Facing a fourth down and five in Konawaena territory, head coach David Bui called a punt fake from Moana Vainikolo, and the sophomore rushed for eight yards and continued the drive. Four plays later, fullback Soane Vaohea, a freshman, burst through the middle of the field and found the end zone on an 14 yard run. The extra point gave Maui a 14-13 lead with 5:47 left in the half.
The Sabers’ special teams squad continued to swing the game in their favor as the second quarter ticked down. After forcing the Wildcats’ offense into a three-and-out, junior linebacker Tommy Fisher picked up a key punt block to give his team great field position at the opposition’s 25-yard line. Three plays later, junior kicker Jared Kapisi booted a 44-yard field goal to extend the Sabers lead to 17-13, which is how the score would stay at halftime.
The halftime break killed any momentum Maui had gained, and Konawaena made their move. First, their defense got a quick three-and-out on the Maui offense. Then, the offense regained the spark that it had through portions of the first half. Karratti finished the first half with six straight incomplete passes, and started the second half with six straight completions. His third of the six was an 18-yard touchdown pass to Morris on their first drive of the second half, giving Konawaena a 19-17 lead after a missed extra point.
He completed three more passes in their next drive, which capped off with quarterback sneak from a yard out to extend the lead to 25-17, which again, had a missed extra point.
With the game still in flux, the Wildcat defense put the game away in two quick plays. On the Sabers’ first play following the rushing touchdown, Kahaleauki threw an interception to junior linebacker Evyn Yamaguchi, who returned it 29 yards to the end zone to give Konawaena a 31-17 lead. Two plays later, Kahaleauki threw another pick, this time to Austin Denis, who ripped the ball away from the receiver in the area to force the second turnover.
Kahaleauki did not complete a pass in the second half. He finished 5-for-11 through the air with 69 passing yards, a touchdown pass, and two interceptions. He also had a rushing attempt for a 10 yard loss.
His counterpart, Karratti, had one more big play left in him. He did have help, thanks to a Maui defense that broke down and left Mikey Rabara uncovered on the right side of the field. Karratti found him for a 25-yard touchdown strike, the fourth and final touchdown pass of the game, which sealed the game for Konawaena.
Morris finished the game with three catches for 70 yards and a pair of scores. He also had a couple of reverse runs for 37 yards. Gaspar caught four passes for 96 yards and a touchdown.
McCrary led Maui in rushing with 85 yards on 20 carries. He also had the 20-yard touchdown reception in the first half.
Maui 0 17 0 0 – 17
Konawaena 7 6 6 19 – 38
1st (1:16) – KONAWAENA: Kahoalii Karratti 42 yd TD pass to Domonic Morris (Kenan Gaspar XPT good)
2nd (10:43) – MAUI: David Kahaleauki 5 yd TD pass to Justin McCrary (Jared Kapisi XPT good)
2nd (9:23) – KONAWAENA: Karratti 47 yd TD pass to Gaspar (Gaspar XPT no good)
2nd (5:47) – MAUI: Soane Vaohea 14 yd TD run (Kapisi XPT good)
2nd (2:06) – MAUI: Kapisi 44 yd Field Goal
3rd (5:55) – KONAWAENA: Karratti 18 yd TD pass to Morris (2-Pt pass failed)
4th (11:57) – KONAWAENA: Karratti 1 yd TD run (Gaspar XPT no good)
4th (11:37) – KONAWAENA: Evyn Yamaguchi 29 yd INT return for TD (2-Pt pass failed)
4th (9:06) – KONAWAENA: Karratti 25 yd TD pass to Mikey Rabara (Gaspat XPT good)
Kamehameha-Hawai`i 20, Waiakea 7
At Wong Stadium, Micah Kanehailua picked up his second win as a varsity starting quarterback as Kamehameha-Hawai`i (2-0) defeated Waiakea (1-1). He completed all but one of his ten pass attempts for 93 yards and three touchdowns.
Waiakea running back Devin Preston had 63 yards on 13 rushes in the loss
Kamehameha-Hawai`i 6 7 0 7 – 20
Waiakea 7 0 0 0 – 7
Hilo 21, Hawaii Prep 18
In Waimea, Hilo (1-0) picked up their first victory since October of 2010 with a three-point victory. Aven Kualii led the Vikings with 117 yards rushing.
Lii Purdy completed only one pass in six attempts for Hawaii Prep (0-1), an 81 yard touchdown play. He also threw two interceptions.
Hilo 0 14 7 0 – 21
Hawaii Prep 12 0 0 6 – 18
Waimea 21, Honoka`a 14
No details were reported for this game. Waimea improved to 1-1, while Honoka`a lost its opening game of the season.