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Defense rules MIL weekend, my top 10

September 18, 2011 - Robert Collias
The 2011 Baldwin High School football team's defense has allowed seven points in three MIL games, giving the 3-0 Bears a two-game lead in the Division I race with five to play.

The offense is doing pretty well, too — two touchdowns and 125 yards rushing for Kina Malafu, two touchdowns and 127 all-purpose yards for his backup, Branden Kaupe, 119 yards and a rushing touchdown for quarterback Keelan Ewaliko and a touchdown pass involving the two backup quarterbacks, Phillip Brugger and Chazzen Sau, both of whom could start on other teams in this league.

This Bears defense, IMHO, is climbing into the rarified air of the school's 2004 unit led by current Cleveland Browns LB Kaluka Maiava that had five overall shutouts, but did not qualify for the state tournament. After a 43-0 win over King Kekaulike Saturday night in front of a full house at King Kekaulike Stadium, Baldwin is well on its way to a seventh straight league title since that disappointment. For the first time in three MIL games, the Bears allowed an eighth first down, but three came via penalty.

About the only thing that went wrong for the Bears were 10 penalties in the first half for 125 yards and 12 in the game for 136 yards. Baldwin stretched its lead to 15-0 after an 86-yard drive that started after two 15-yard penalties were enforced on a King Kekaulike punt, one a live-ball foul, the other a dead-ball infraction. The last penalty of the first half, an 18-yard holding penalty, wiped out a 40-yard scramble by Ewaliko late in the first half and put the ball on the Baldwin 30-yard line instead of the King Kekaulike 12.

A block in the back called back a 6-yard touchdown run by Brugger in the final quarter.

Baldwin leads the overall league race by a game over 2-1 Lahainaluna — the Lunas got defensive themselves in a 29-10 win over Maui High on Friday.

Finally, after a wild weekend around the state that saw defending state champion and No. 4-ranked Saint Louis manhandled 35-0 by No. 6 Punahou, here is my top-10 ballot that I sent in to the Star-Advertiser and a couple of hours ago: 1. Kahuku, 2. Farrington, 3. Leilehua, 4. Punahou, 5. Campbell, 6. Iolani, 7. Baldwin, 8. Kamehameha-Oahu, 9. Saint Louis, 10. Kamehameha-Big Island.


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