Tuesday | September 26, 2017
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BIIF football: Kenoi leads Kamehameha onslaught with two pick-sixes

KEAAU – EthanJames Ramos was a freak of nature for Kamehameha’s defense last season, scoring an astounding six touchdowns.

The Warriors always have good players on defense, but it stood to reason that Ramos’ knack for finding the end zone would be nearly impossible to replace.

Or not.

It’s not just a Ramos thing, it’s a Kamehameha thing. On Saturday night, Justin Kenoi was the freak, taking two interceptions back for touchdowns in the first quarter, and the Warriors’ defense added two more scores, steamrolling Waiakea 56-0 in a BIIF preseason football finale at Paiea Stadium.

“I honestly didn’t believe it,” Kenoi said. “It’s great to score.”

Also an all-BIIF fullback in soccer, the senior free safety rarely has the opportunity (save for when he performs as Kamehameha’s place-kicker.)

His last pick-six came in a Pop Warner contest in 2013, a play that was memorable because his father, then-mayor Billy Kenoi, who was on the chain gang, ran down the sideline with his son and into the end zone.

This time, Justin Kenoi’s only convey were his teammates, first on a nifty 40-yard return down the right sideline, and then on an easier 25-yard jaunt down the left side minutes later.

“There were a lot of great blocks and the guys in the trenches and in the defense made it a whole lot easier for me to focus on a single thing,” Kenoi said. “That’s exactly what I tried to do, just follow my guys.”

Quarterback Kaimi Like threw for a touchdown and ran for a score for an offense that set the tone with an eight-play, 80-yard drive, keyed by Kilohana Hassenritter’s 37-yard run, to start the game.

Then the defense stole the show. Charles Mortensen and Kekona Naipo-Arsiga each recovered fumbles in the end zone, Michael Jumalon had an interception and forced a safety and Kamehameha held Waiakea to minus-11 yards offense.

Kamehameha (2-1) led 41-0 at halftime and neither team attempted a pass in the final two quarters.

“I think we have playmakers on both sides of the ball,” Kamehameha coach Dan Lyons said. “I’m sure the offense was disappointed they didn’t get to spend more time out there on the field doing more stuff. We were limited to what we could do after the first quarter.”

Joesph Pakani dropped Like for a 6-yard loss on the first play from scrimmage before the roof fell in on Waiakea (1-2). Its first quarter included four turnovers, five penalties, no first downs and minus-18 yards of offense.

First-year coach Kalei Young compared the opening 12 minutes to an avalanche, but “you know I’m going to find positives.”

“Anytime you have the adversity we faced, the snowballing in the first quarter, it’s gut check time,” he said. “Especially in the preseason, you are going to find who has heart and who is going to keep playing football with dignity and pride, and that’s the No. 1 think I look for. We always want to play with class.”

Junior quarterback Ka’iolana Kon had all three of his pass attempts intercepted before he exited with stiff neck, and Noah Eblacas came in and picked up a few first downs on runs before leaving early in the third quarter with an injury.

“We basically didn’t have a quarterback for the last half of the game,” Young said.

Lyons has four he’s trying to sprinkle into the offense, and he would have liked to have seen them get more reps considering this was Kamehameha’s final tuneup before it opens the season Saturday at home against Keaau.

“I’ve been on the other side where in the first quarter everything goes bad,” Lyons said. “It just happens and everything starts rolling and rolling and rolling.”

Like finished 6 of 9 for 90 yards, hooking up with Israel Bowden on pass plays of 28 and 30 yards to fuel a 71-yard drive, which was capped when Noah Carvalho hauled in short touchdown pass in the second quarter.

Kamehameha took over at the Waiakea 35 late in first half, and six plays later Isaac Ysaguirre ran around he left side for score. Multiple players took snaps during a third-quarter march of 63 yards. Kea Kekuawela zipped 25 yards, Paniau Lindsey ran for 16 and Jumalon 14 before Lindsey scored on a short run.

The teams meet in the regular season Sept. 16 at Waiakea.

“This doesn’t mean anything toward the game we have with them over there,” Lyons said.

Waiakea 0 0 0 0 – 0

KSH 28 13 8 7 – 56

First quarter

KSH – Kaimi Like 1 run (Justin Kenoi kick), 8:55

KSH – Kenoi 40 interception return (Kenoi kick), 7:31

KSH – Kenoi 25 interception return (Kenoi kick), 5:42

KSH – Charles Mortensen fumble recovery in end zone (Kenoi kick), 2:25

Second quarter

KSH – Noah Carvalho 2 pass from Like (kick failed), 9:51

KSH – Isaac Ysaguirre 5 run (Kenoi kick), 2:44

Third quarter

KSH – Paniau Lindsey 3 run (kick failed), 1:50

KSH – Safety, Jumalon tackles QB in end zone, :04

Fourth quarter

KSH – Kekona Naipo-Arsiga fumble recovery in end zone (Kenoi kick), 6:19

 

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