The Night The Lights Didn’t Shine

Shadows were lengthening late in the third -- and so far final -- quarter of Kapa‘a’s 7-6 win over Kaua‘i. David Simon photo

You know how sometimes a TV show or sporting event goes beyond its typical ending time and the DVR doesn’t record the final few minutes?

That’s sort of what the Sept. 17 Kaua’i-Kapa’a football game felt like as the Vidinha Stadium lights didn’t function properly, leaving players and us spectators in the dark after three full quarters of a fierce defensive battle.

The lack of finality was actually fitting, given the state of the Kaua’i Interscholastic Federation as the first round (almost) came to a close. Through 11 quarters of football, very little had been determined.

Waimea opened the season with an emphatic 27-7 home victory over eighttime defending champion Kaua’i High. In Week 2, the Menehune were knocked from the early pedestal by Kapa’a, which dominated the ground game for an impressive 23-13 win.

The Raiders and Warriors attempted to create some clarity in the standings, but weren’t able to shed any light on the pecking order as Kapa’a held a slim 7-6 lead when the game was called due to darkness.

A pair of dueling interpretations suggested that either the Warriors sit at 20 with a two-game cushion on the Raiders, or the teams will resume their rivalry with a makeup date at season’s end.

The KIF board was set to meet and discuss the options after press time.

Either way, we are sure to have the most competitive KIF season since the mid2000s.

With this past week off, Kapa’a remains the only unbeaten team at least through one and threefourths of its games complete. Whether or not that makes it the “team to beat” depends more on their mentality than anyone else’s.

In 2010, Kapaa entered the season hoping to dethrone the Red Raiders and end their championship reign. The Warriors were confident they could compete at that level.

All indications in 2011 have been that Kapa’a not only remains confident it can compete, but that it expects to move into the driver’s seat.

Expecting to compete and expecting to win are very different mentalities, the latter earned with experience.

They have all the pieces to give Kapa’a its first KIF title since 1989, but knowing coach Kelii Morgado, I’m certain he won’t allow any sense of complacency until the final game’s final whistle.

The Menehune announced their entry into the 2011 race with that Week 1 win over the Red Raiders, as they hope to return to the Waimea glory days of 11 straight titles before Kaua’i began its current streak.

They won’t be exiting the fray as long as the league’s most dangerous two-way playerquarterback and defensive back Alika Emayo continues to make plays.

Though the Raiders did not secure a victory in their first two outings, they showed signs of life in the second half against Kapa’a. The defense has played big and the young offense has promise.

With the rest of the season appearing in the daylight, we should see things a bit more clearly moving forward, but I wouldn’t expect this season to be resolved until very late.

Keep that DVR running.