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Kapa'a routs Kamehameha-Maui 61-7, wins Kauai's first state title

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Kapa'a routs Kamehameha-Maui 61-7, wins Kauai's first state title

2021 was a year for redemption. After an entire season lost due to COVID-19, every that had previously lost in the 2019 state title game flipped the script in 2021, including the Kapa'a Warriors. 

After both Kahuku and Iolani won redemption games of their own, the Warriors won theirs 61-7 over Kamehameha-Maui in a rain-soaked game Thursday night. 

The "Rainbowl" saw torrential downpours and touchdowns from a Kapa'a offense that could not be stopped on the ground. In total, the Warriors rushed for 477 yards and seven touchdowns, including 152 yards and four touchdowns (on just four rushes, no less!) from player of the game Solomone Malafu. 

Defensively, the Green and White were steadfast. Aside from one late touchdown from Pookela Aiu to Keegan Gantala, the Kapa'a defense shut out Kamehameha-Maui or a majority of the game and held the Warriors to just 164 yards of total offense. 

Despite buckets of rain being poured on the field at Farrington High School, Malafu said the team didn't mind. After all, Kauai is used to playing wet weather.

"It was great for our team. Back at home it always rains, so we're kind of used to it. Whether run or pass, we're going to score points," Malafu said. "This win is going to mean so much to our team, our school, our community because it's one to remember. We made history today."

Just two years after their fourth state title game loss in five years, the Warriors brought home Kauai's first state title. For players that missed out on a redemption year in 2020, this victory tastes that much sweeter.

"This is awesome, it's exactly how I thought it would be," Kawika Rogers said. "Being here three years in a row and not making it, this is a pleasure. Carrying the trophy felt like carrying a baby. I'm never putting it down...You can break a team, but you can never break a family."

And for Kapa'a's head coach Mike Tresler, a coach who has lost in the state title game six times, his moments post-game were spent trying to soak up every second.

"I'm trying to take it all in right now and not get too emotional. This is my seventh time here...how sweet it is," Tresler said. "This means so much, we're going to celebrate when we get home....This is big, this is for our island. I'm very proud to be the representative. We finally got one Kauai!"

Have a story idea or sporting event he should cover? Email Keith at kdemolder@kitv.com

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