BIIF football: Kamehameha, Kealakehe get their kicks in close contest

KAILUA-KONA — Special teams can more often than not be the overlooked phase of high school football. But in a rare BIIF game that featured as many field goals as touchdowns, the Warriors (4-1 overall, 2-0 BIIF) edged the Waveriders 15-13 on Friday night.

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KAILUA-KONA — Special teams can more often than not be the overlooked phase of high school football. But in a rare BIIF game that featured as many field goals as touchdowns, the Warriors (4-1 overall, 2-0 BIIF) edged the Waveriders 15-13 on Friday night.

Kamehameha’s Justin Kenoi drilled the eventual game-winning 37-yard field goal in the fourth quarter, and Anthony Trevino hit a pair of first quarter kicks for Kealakehe before a final long attempt fell short in the final seconds.

A late score, coupled with a massive defensive stand at midfield gave the Waveriders (0-4 overall, 0-2 BIIF) a shot at the win in the final minute, but it was a long shot — literally — from almost 55 yards out.

“I thought it was a long kick,” Kamehameha head coach Dan Lyons said, simplifying his thought process in the final seconds. “Don’t get me wrong, (Trevino) is a heck of an athlete, but from that far out, going against the wind a little, I felt pretty good about our chances.”

The kick fell short, but the game did not disappoint, being the most competitive of the BIIF season thus far. That’s just par for the course for when the two squads meet.

Last year, the Waveriders beat the Warriors 3-0 on a rainy night in Hilo on a fourth quarter field goal, and two years ago Kealakehe roared back from 20 down to stun Kamehameha on the opening night of the BIIF season.

“When that ball is in the air, I’m also thinking, that’s the kind of stuff has happens to us,” Lyons said with a smile. “Both teams played hard. They are a tough team, so this was a good win for us.”

Kenoi, a senior, made headlines for a pair of pick-sixes against Waiakea in a preseason game, but he has long been one of the BIIF’s best kickers. It was a rare sight to see him miss an extra point and field goal to close out the first half.

However, his 37-yard fourth quarter boot was clutch, especially considering that 20 yards of penalties had backed up the Warriors from the goal line.

“He’s usually money, so I was surprised when he missed those first two kicks,” Lyons said. “I felt good about that last one because he really takes it personally.”

Kamehameha entered the game on a three-game winning streak, outscoring their opponents 119-6. In those contests, there weren’t a whole lot of teaching moments, which changed Friday night.

“We are just trying to get better and battling adversity makes you better,” Lyons said. “From play-calling to time management and discipline, we got to work on it all.”

For the first quarter, Kamehameha worked on its triple-option game, which outside of an early fumble, worked swimmingly with the team’s large array of weapons. Five different players carried the ball for 124 yards and a score.

The Warriors showed off more of a spread look in the second quarter, which combined with the Waveriders offensive struggles, led to a two-quarter scoring lull until the thrilling fourth.

Kaimi Like saw the lion’s share of work at quarterback, finishing the game 11-24 for 71 yards and a score. Paniau Lindsey powered the Warriors ground game, collecting 91 yards rushing.

Kamehameha had two TD plays called back by yellow hankies, including an explosive punt return by returning All-BIIF pick Israel Bowden. Bowden did have a touchdown grab, and Bryce Furuli scored on a three-yard plunge.

The Warriors will have a chance to refine their three phases the next two weeks against Waiakea and Hawaii Prep.

“We are still installing things, seeing what works,” Lyons said. “The main things for us is just to get better and be more disciplined. This is a really close group and we can feel the brotherhood among these guys. Right now it is about growing as a team.”

The showing was by far the best of the season for Kealakehe. The Waveriders displayed grit in the comeback and made plays — especially on defense — when the team needed it most.

Kekoa Ilagan-LeBlanc played the first full game for a Waverider quarterback, completing 7 of 24 passes for 117 yards. He had three plays over 20 yards running the ball, including a 65-yard scamper and a 21-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.

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However, the play on the field took a backseat shortly after the game as an incident between a parent and a coach resulted in multiple police cars rolling onto the field at Waverider Stadium.

No arrests were made and the coach has stepped down according to a Facebook post, although nothing has officially been confirmed by the school.

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