Story by George Pahulu. Photo credits to Darren Yamashita.
Terra Nova HS @ Capuchino HS 9/23/17
Taking a campus tour today in observance of celebrating my alma mater Capuchino High School 20 year high school reunion planned this weekend. The campus has changed with all the remodeling. Found out that EA Sports donating a lot of money to our school. I’m also excited to see how the Mustang football team looks in 2017. Located in San Bruno, the birth of a Tonga city in the US outside of Tonga when Tongans began to migrate from the islands in the 1960s and settled since the San Francisco International Airport is actually located in San Bruno. Known as “Trenchtown” because this city was known during World War II where we had the Japanese Interment camps located after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
Here to watch these standout tongan student-athletes from Capuchino: #34 Jean-Paul Kefu, #4 Lavaka Kefu, #2 Brandon Mailangi and #56 Lani Mausia as they face the Terra Nova Tigers located in Pacifica next to the Pacific Ocean. Jean-Paul Kefu is a transfer from Hawaii as he played for the Kahuku Red Raiders located in Laie, a popular football team that travels well. The Kefu brothers have football history in them as their father (Kefu Sr.) was a standout running back in the 1980s for Aragon HS as he helped paved the way for Tongan running backs coming out of San Mateo County implementing our rugby physicality to the football game. Terra Nova is in the Bay Division of the PAL (Peninsula Athletic League) as Capuchino is in the Lake Division.
To start the game as Terra Nova has the first possession on their own 20 yard line, Jean-Paul Kefu playing DT stuffs the running back for a loss. CAP first possession as they continue to drive. Eventually #10 QB Trey Zahursky for CAP throws a TD reception to #2 Brandon Mailangi. CAP is up 6-0 with 5:32 left in the first quarter. Next possession with Terra Nova going for it on 4th and 1 with a run up the middle, but the Mustang defense stuffs them on the play as a result a turnover on downs. Following that play, I hear the Capuchino Band playing some T-Pain music as the home crowd is excited. The offensive line for the Tigers are solid looking like some farm boys as the Tiger run a spread offense.
The football field is named after Carl Reyna who I had the privilege to know during my high school years before he passed away in 1998. He was struck with down syndrome but lived a long life as he was our inspiration when I put on that Mustang football uniform. The high school also implemented lights this year to have their games played at night.
To start the 3rd quarter with CAP receiving the ball, #10 Trey Zahursky runs up the middle for 72 yards on the kickoff return. First play on offense #34 Jean-Paul Kefu gets #4 Nico the ball and scores for a 22 yard TD rushing TD. Two point conversion is good as the Mustangs are down 21-14 with 11:05 remaining. First possession for the Tigers in the second half results with a 42 yard run by #28 Giovanni Fabiani-Wyatt. Tigers are up by 2 scores 28-14. Tigers QB Nate Gordon happens to be the younger brother of Anthony Gordon who led Terra Nova in the 2013 season to a 10-0 regular season record and currently plays for the Washington State Cougars. Another score by the Tigers as #28 Giovanni has a 49 yard TD run and they are up 35-14 with 2:03 remaining in the 3rd quarter.
In the 4th quarter with the Tigers having possession, Nate Gordon throws to #15 Jackson Kubal for a gain of 54 yards. Next play QB Gordon takes it in with a QB keeper as the score is now 42-14 with 6:17 remaining in the game. This isn’t what the kind of game I expected to see with my alma mater. The Tigers are trying to run the clock out. With the game already decided and the Tigers putting in their backups, #10 for the Tigers Layne Courie takes a direct snap for a 4 yard TD run which ends up becoming the final score of 49-14 Terra Nova. For the Tigers, #28 Giovanni has 117 rushing yards, #15 Jackson Kubai has 123 receiving yards and QB Nate Gordon throws for 220 yards. I’m very happy to see my alma mater play today and hopefully I’m involved with the CAP football program in the future. Til next time. Ofa Atu. -George