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FOCUS ON FOOTBALL: Fueled By Ezra And Elijah Nahoopii-Makakona, Aiea Storms Past Kailua 41-0 And Into OIA D-I Title Game


It was just a week ago when junior Elijah Nahoopii-Makakona made a big impression on the folks at Bedrock Sports Hawaii when he blocked not one, but two field goals in Aiea’s regular season finale.

Nahoopii-Makakona was at it again Saturday night as Na Alii flattened Kailua 41-0 to move on to the OIA D-I championship game against Waipahu and secure a spot at the state tournament for the second straight year.

The beauty of it all, though, is that Nahpoopii-Makakona had some company in the spotlight at the Radford High field — his brother, freshman Ezra Nahoopii-Makakona.


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The younger brother, who by all accounts in Aiea-land has been a solid force at left guard on the offensive line all season, was called upon to run the ball in the heavy package. And when he got the call in the red zone, he didn’t disappoint, scoring a 5-yard touchdown.

And it was quite a rush of adrenaline for the freshman varsity football player who lines up day-in and day-out next to towering 6-foot-5, 320-pounds junior left tackle Preston Taumua, the man with offers from a bunch of FBS D-I schools including Ohio State.

“It’s crazy (scoring a TD in) high school football,” said Ezra, who is 5-10 and 240. “The gap was there. It was a wide gap and the blocker knew who to block.”

Aiea freshman offensive lineman Ezra Nahoopii-Makakona, left, scored a touchdown on the heavy package in Saturday’s 41-0 win over Kailua in the OIA Division I semifinals. As usual, Logan Rouse, right, was a defensive menace.

Added defensive end Logan Rouse, who was his usual disruptive self and pain the neck to the Kailua backfield all night long: “What, a freshman? He’s a crucial part of our offense. He’s not really big or tall, but he’s sound on what he does. If you tell him to do something, he’s definitely going to do it.”

The older Nahoopii brother, Elijah, had quite a game, too, from his defensive back position, intercepting two passes and recovering a fumble.

And, just to show you that he’s not a head case, he wrote “Humble and blessed” on Twitter:

And note that there was a retweet from A-Town Media with this key message to any possible recruiters: “Underrated.”

For Na Alii (8-2), the regular season OIA D-I winner Marauders (8-1) await for a Saturday 7 p.m. championship game at the Mililani field. Win or lose, both teams head to states in November.

“I think we might have an opportunity to repeat what we did last year, win the OIA two times in a row,” Rouse said, “On defense, we’ve got studs like Aizik Mahuka and Sila (Unutoa) and all that and I think we can accomplish even more than what we did last year when we lost in states. I think we can go all the way.”

Added Elijah Nahoopii-Makakona: “Waipahu is another tough team we’ve gotta beat. I’m looking forward to winning that and moving on to states and winning that because last season we didn’t win it.

For anyone interested in reading about Elijah’s big game against Farrington last weekend, you can scroll down a bit in this Bedrock Sports Hawaii story: Subplot: Aiea’s Elijah Nahoopii-Makakaona Blocks Two Field Goal Attempts.

For the Surfriders (4-4-1), the season is over, but it was a successful one, compared to. year ago when they went 2-4.

Matt Malepeai and Rudy Bernadino turned in solid defensive games for the Surfriders in the playoff loss to Aiea on Saturday night.

“We came out very short this game,” Kailua defensive lineman Matt Malepeai said. “It was disappointing because we played ’em good last time (13-7 loss on Sept. 10). Aiea, they’re a very good team, a very disciplined team and they capitalized on every turnover they had, which we didn’t do, and that’s why they came out victorious. It was one of our bad days, but we had a great season.”



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The season as it unfolds:

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