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Baldwin-Lahainaluna pre-game

September 3, 2011 - Robert Collias
I am getting my first look at War Memorial Stadium of the season with a nice crowd filling in for the big game between Baldwin and Lahainaluna — a dramatic JV game just ended in a 27-21 win for Baldwin — and I see a shiny new scoreboard that features "War Memorial Football Stadium" across the top in white lettering on Carolina blue, red electronic lettering for "Baldwin" and "Lahainaluna," white electronic lights for score, timeouts left, down, (yards) to go, quarter and ball on.

On the bottom of the scoreboard it says "County of Maui" and below that are the words "Department of Parks & Recreation" over two lines.

Pretty snazzy, for sure.

But I also see a turf dominated by terrible looking brown pock marks all over it. The dark patches that appear to be lots of crabgrass, are painted over, poorly. Crazy — and as bad as I have ever seen it — for the second week of the season.

Word is that the county couldn't get in to take care of the turf for two months because of safety issues due to work that was being done on the light poles — and it looks like it.

The JV game was a thriller that saw Baldwin comeback from 21-7 down with three touchdowns in the last 5 minutes.

First Baldwin's Gabriel Wilson returned a punt 70 yards for a TD with 4:57 left. The Bears recovered the onside kick and Dusty Flores scored on fourth-and-goal from the 16-yard line with 3:20 to go and Benjamin Wuthrich tied the score with his third PAT of the game.

Baldwin forced a bad snap on a punt and took over with 58 seconds to go deep in Luna territory. With 31 seconds to go, Kawela Kaeo-Mata scored on a rush from 5 yards out for the final margin.

The game between the teams that have won 13 of the 14 MIL titles — the Lunas have four, Baldwin nine and they shared the 2009 crown — starts in 18 minutes.


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