Special Teams Haunt HPA in Loss to KS-Hawaii

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Three turnovers, all on punt returns, proved to be costly for Hawai`i Preparatory Academy, most notably the second of those three, which led to the game’s go ahead touchdown in the third quarter. That score, a ten-yard touchdown pass from backup quarterback Brandon Howes to Adri Castro, gave Kamehameha-Hawai`i a 10-6 lead. The Warriors won the game 24-6 at Pai`ea Stadium.

Both of the first two turnovers were controversial. On the first giveaway, HPA’s Blake Hooser waited to catch a punt from Kamuela Kawamoto when Castro made contact with him as the ball fell into his hands. The ball fell to the turf and Castro recovered it. Game officials discussed the play before deciding that the play would stand.

The second one happened late in the third quarter. Hooser signaled for a fair catch when a Kamehameha-Hawai`i defender got right in front of him, forcing Hooser to muff the catch. Castro recovered the loose ball, and caught Howes’ touchdown pass with :33 remaining in the third quarter to give the Warriors a lead that they would not give away.

The start of the game was a test of will between two defenses that needed to slow down the running game. Ka Makani started the game with a three-and-out on the opening drive while Kamehameha-Hawai`i gained a little bit of ground. The Warriors would eventually score first on a Logan Uyetake 36-yard field goal with 3:13 remaining in the first quarter to lead 3-0.

HPA (2-3, 2-1 BIIF) would respond to open the second quarter. On a third down play, Koa Ellis Jr. fired a pass to the right side to Michael Nakahara. The Kamehameha-Hawai`i defended overplayed the pass, allowing Nakahara to saunter into the endzone for an 11-yd touchdown completion. HPA missed the extra point, but took a 6-3 lead with 10:16 remaining in the first half.

After picking up minus seven yards in the passing game in the first half, Kamehameha-Hawai`i head coach Dan Lyons decided to change things up and start the second half with backup Brandon Howes. The junior didn’t need to throw the ball very often, but when he did, he was perfect. Howes completed all three of his passes for 26 yards and the Castro touchdown.


He didn’t have to throw a lot because the ground game picked up, behind Ina Teofilo, Shaun Kagawa, and Jairah Chun-Lai. Teofilo got the bulk of the work, blazing up the field for 114 yards on 22 carries. The highlight play, however, came from Kagawa, who burst up the left side of the field for a 63-yard touchdown run to extend Kamehameha-Hawai`i’s lead to 17-6 with 10:54 left in the game. Kagawa finished with 97 yards on only eight carries.

Kamehameha-Hawai`i (6-0, 3-0) gave the visitors another chance to try to get back into the game when their drive stalled in Ka Makani territory with just under five minutes to play. Unfortunately for HPA, the nightmares on special teams cost them one more time. Bobby Lum tried to field the ball at his own two yard line, but muffed it. The ball bounced into the end zone and was recovered by the Warriors’ Timmy Burke. The extra point to that touchdown recovery gave the home team a 24-6 lead, which would be the final.

The Warriors dominated on the ground. Along with Teofilo and Kagawa, Chun-Lai picked up some key runs to accumulate 47 yards on six carries. Overall, Kamehameha-Hawai`i rushed for 244 yards on the game, 161 of them in the second half. The defense made some adjustments in the final 24 minutes as well, holding HPA to 46 yards in the second half, 143 overall.

Ka Makani junior rusher Lum lead the team with 133 yards rushing on 25 carries, pushing him over 400 yards rushing on the season through his team’s first five games. But, there was no one else who was close to matching the performance he gave his team on the ground.

Through the air, Ellis went 10-of 18 for 96 yards passing, completing the second quarter touchdown pass to Nakahara. He would be sacked twice, however, by Kama Vincent, who left the game with a few minutes left because of a leg injury.


The win by Kamehameha-Hawai`i sets up a road showdown in two weeks against Konawaena, who is also undefeated in league play. The Warriors play at Ka`u prior to that game. Konawaena prepares for that game by taking on Hawaii Prep next week.

Hawaii Prep 0 6 0 0 – 6

Kamehameha-Hawaii 3 0 7 14 – 24

Scoring Summary

1st (3:18) – KSH: Logan Uyetake 36-yard field goal


2nd (10:16) – HPA: Koa Ellis Jr. 11-yard touchdown pass to Michael Nakahara (XPT no good)

3rd (:33) – KSH: Brandon Howes 10-yard touchdown pass to Adri Castro (Uyetake XPT good)

4th (10:54) – KSH: Shaun Kagawa 63-yard touchdown run (Uyetake XPT good)

4th (4:41) – KSH: Timmy Burke fumble recovery in the end zone for a touchdown (Uyetake XPT good)

Honoka`a 54, Ka`u 0

Makana Ibanez returned two punts for touchdowns as Honoka`a routed Ka`u 54-0 in a Division II contest in Honoka`a. The Dragons picked up their first win of the regular season to improve to 1-2, while Ka`u fell to 0-3 in BIIF competition.

Ka`u 0 0 0 0 – 0

Honoka`a 27 13 7 7 – 54

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