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Neighbor Islands Have Quite A Day In High School Football: Konawaena, Waimea, King Kekaulike Advance


Media attention for Hawaii high school football can be Oahu-centric. More people, more games, more media outlets are on Oahu.

But don’t fall asleep on the Neighbor Islands teams, especially when it comes to state tournament time.

Saturday in the Division I and II semifinals of the First Hawaiian Bank/HHSAA Football State Championships was a prime example of the might these teams have.

State Division I Semifinal
At Konawaena 27, Aiea 24

Konawaena, the BIIF D-I champion and winner of 10 games in a row, may have shined the brightest among the Neighbor Island teams on Saturday and definitely earned a victory in the most dramatic fashion, roaring back from a 7-point fourth quarter deficit to beat OIA D-I runner-up Aiea 27-24.

Nakoa Ige’s 20-yard field goal as time ran out gave the Wildcats (10-1) the win.

A bit earlier, with 5:30 to go, Konawaena quarterback Keoki Alani hit Zedekiah Anahu-Ambrosio with a 7-yard TD pass for a 24-all tie.

Up next for Konawaena is the state title game against Waipahu (11-1) next Saturday. In the other d-I semifinal Saturday afternoon, the Marauders upended defending champion ‘Iolani 35-10.

A major factor for the Wildcats was their pass defense, which held Aiea quarterback Ezekiel Olie to 146 yards through the air.

Anahu-Ambrosio finished with 149 receiving yards on 12 catches, and Konawaena teammate Kawelu Kaiawe lugged the ball 26 times for 123 yards.

For Aiea (9-4), Kaimana Lale-Saole rushed for 129 yards on 24 carries.

Among the defensive leaders for both teams were Aiea’s Aizik Mahuka (seven tackles, including two for losses, an interception and a pass breakup) and Sila Unutoa (seven tackles, including 2.5 for losses), and the Wildcats’ Keawe Navas Loa (10 tackles, fumble recovery) and Anthony Torres (seven tackles, including three for losses).

State Division II Semifinal
Waimea 17, Honokaa 0

One week ago, Waimea rode the wave of running back Aukai Emayo to a first-round win.

This time, it was running back Kaili Arakaki who led the way, scoring on TD runs of 14 and 48 yards to end the BIIF D-II champion Dragons’ season.

Waimea’s Kaili Arakaki, shown scoring a touchdown against Kaiser one week earlier, rushed for two TDs in Saturday’s 17-0 state D-II semifinal win over Honokaa.

With two interceptions Mykah Brun led Waimea’s defense along with Rhaziah Tacub-Taniguchi, who had seven tackles.

Emayo, who ran for 230 in the 48-7 first round win over Kaiser, rushed for 67 yards Saturday.

The Mehehunes (8-2) will play King Kekaulike next Saturday in the D-II state title game.

That game will be a rematch of an Aug. 13 nonleague game on Maui in which Waimea topped Na Alii 21-10.

Tallin Cazimero notched 12 tackles and Uhane Mock Chew had eight tackles and an interception for Honokaa (10-2).

State Division II Semifinal
King Kekaulike 20, Nanakuli 0

In this defensive battle, MIL D-II champion Na Alii (5-6) prevailed, thanks to 227 yards rushing as a team and touchdowns on the ground by Ahe Sumibcay for 71 yards, Kalani Puu for 4 yards, and Tysin Zackious from 1 yard out.

All told, King Kekaulike outgained OIA D-II champ Nanakuli 270-116 while putting an end to a 10-game winning streak by the Golden Hawks (10-2).

Defensive leaders in the game were Na Alii’s Jacob Poouahi (9.5 tackles), Devin Roberts (sack, interception) and Keys Amuro (two fumble recoveries), and Nanakuli’s Cyprus Rombawa-Kai-Rivera and Jordan Kay with six tackles each.



FOCUS ON FOOTBALL: The Truth Is In The Juice — Tama Uiliata And Waipahu Overpower ‘Iolani 35-10 In D-I Semifinal


The Season As It Unfolds:

2022 Hawaii High School Football Command Center






  • Good job by all! Nanakuli was just a sheep in wolf clothing. We need to go back to two tiers DIV1.& DIV 2.
    If it were the old OIA format Nanakuli would be 1-8 beating jus waialua.

    • Thanks for the comment and thanks for reading.

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