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Lunas roll past Na Alii; Bears fall 46-0

August 26, 2012 - Robert Collias
You can read Kyle Galdeira's story on Baldwin's 46-0 loss to Saint Louis in tomorrow morning's paper, but here is a look at the story I filed a while ago on Lahainaluna's 29-0 win over King Kekaulike — consider it a preview of tomorrow's paper:

WAILUKU — The Lahainaluna High School football gave its newest rival in Maui Interscholastic League Division II football a clear message Saturday night: The D-II league title and state berth that goes with it travels through red-and-white-clad players.

The Lunas dominated on both sides of the ball in a 29-0 win over King Kekaulike in front of about 2,000 fans at War Memorial Stadium.

Lahainaluna’s defense didn’t give up Na Alii’s second first down until just over 7 minutes remained in the third quarter and sacked Ryley Widell seven times for a loss of 49 yards — Na Alii generated just 82 yards for the game, 68 of those in the fourth quarter when the issue had been decided.

“The defense did a hell of a job,” Lunas co-head coach Garret Tihada said. “Like I told you last week (King Kekaulike) is a very explosive team. Our kids played well and we got lucky tonight. They did a good job.”

The Lunas’ offense saw eight players carry the ball for 219 yards on the ground.

Tytus Lucas led the way with 11 carries for 81 yards and a 6-yard touchdown run that made it 22-0 with 7:28 left in the third quarter. Quarterback Kiko Kohler-Fonohema ran 13 times for 23 yards for two touchdowns and was 2-for-6 passing for 45 yards, both strikes going to Asi Fatongia.

“The kids worked hard this past week and executed pretty well,” Tihada said. “Offensively we got a little better. I think we had more understanding of the schemes and a little more running the plays. They are getting it down a little bit more.”

Three of the Lunas’ quarterback sacks were by sophomore Conner Mowat.

“I was definitely happy with the pressure,” Tihada said. “You have got to get pressure on a passing quarterback. That is a must.”

King Kekaulike coach Clarence Rivers made his MIL debut and came away impressed with the Lunas.

“Clearly,” he said. “They have been working at it, so you can see the difference. We were a little scrappy, but they are just a better ball club. We started running the ball a little more there late and started chipping away at it, but we are still trying to find the right mix of 11.

“Ryley is progressing, he’s learning. Also, our offensive line we have got to do a little better job there — it is a work in progress.”

Lahainaluna took a 15-0 lead at halftime as the majority of the first two quarters were played in Na Alii territory.

Tihada was happy with Kohler-Fonohema’s return to MIL play after he suffered a season-ending broken jaw last season.

“The line did a pretty good job holding off their defense and he didn’t have to pass too much, so he had a pretty easy night,” Tihada said.

The Lunas’ first touchdown came after King Kekaulike had their one first-half first down and then lost 22 yards before being forced to punt.

The kick traveled just 17 yards and the Lunas took over at the Kekaulike 26-yard line. Lahainaluna’s Christian Whitehead carried three straight times — runs of 22, 2 and 2 yards — to score scored just 3:30 into the game.

After two more possessions that began in Kekaulike’s territory did not yield any points, the Lunas took over at their own 24 late in the first quarter. They took nine plays to march 76 yards and took a 12-0 lead when Kohler-Fonohema dove in from the 1-yard line with 9:26 left in the half.

The big plays on the drive were a 29-yard pass from Kohler-Fonohema to Fatongia on the second play and later Lucas broke several tackles on a rough-and-tumble 32-yard run to the Kekaulike 21. Lucas went 16 yards to the 5 on the next play.

On the ensuing kickoff, Christian Cardenas-Ayala blooped the kick into a short corner and Scott-Isaac Medeiros-Tangatailoa recovered at the Na Alii 20. The Lunas got to the 3 on two runs by Semisi Filikitonga, but then a shotgun snap sailed over the head of Kohler-Fonohema and Cardenas-Ayala kicked a 30-yard field goal with 7:36 to go before halftime.

In the first half, the Lunas had 143 yards of offense, while limiting King Kekaulike to minus-6 yards. Six different Lunas carried the ball in the first half, led by Lucas with 55 yards on five carries.

King Kekaulike 0 0 0 0—0 Lahainaluna 6 9 14 0—29 First Quarter LL—Christian Whitehead 2 run (kick failed), 8:30. Second Quarter LL—Kiko Kohler-Fonohema 1 run (pass failed), 9:26. LL—Christian Cardenas-Ayala 30 FG, 7:36. Third Quarter LL—Tytus Lucas 6 run (Cardenas-Ayala kick), 7:28. LL—Kohler-Fonohema 8 run (Cardenas-Ayala kick), 2:38. Junior varsity—Lahainaluna 24, King Kekaulike 7.


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