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MIL FB results set stage for Lunas-Bears battle Friday
September 2, 2012 - Robert Collias
The Lahainaluna and Baldwin defenses dominated their opponents this weekend to set up an interesting meeting between the two schools that have recently enjoyed annual trips to the state tournaments. The Bears (1-0 MIL, 1-1 overall) and Lunas (2-0 MIL, 3-0 overall) play on Friday at War Memorial Stadium.
Baldwin has won the last seven MIL titles, sharing one with the Lunas in 2009, and have been the league's Division I state representative every season since 2005. The Bears were not great offensively without two-time MIL Offensive Player of the Year Keelan Ewaliko in their 25-5 win over Maui High on Saturday night, but their defense allowed just 113 yards.
The Lunas — the MIL D-II champs the last five seasons — have not allowed a point in league play while scoring 65 after their 36-0 win over Kamehameha Maui on Friday.
The Bears pushed their MIL winning streak to 17 Saturday and are 59-2-1 in the league since midway through the 2004 season. Their last loss was to the Lunas in the final regular-season game of the 2009 season. They have won the last four against the Lunas, including by scores of 40-0 and 41-0 last season.
This week's game figures to be a lot closer. Both teams were state semifinalists last season in their respective divisions.
In MIL alumni news, linebacker Keloni Kamalani, the KSM grad who earned a scholarship at Oregon during spring drills, did not show up on the tackle list or the participation chart after the Ducks' 57-34 win over Arkansas State Saturday in Eugene, a game the Ducks led 50-3 at one point. Sometimes those participation charts do not catch everybody, especially when the benches empty, but you would figure Kamalani would have played a lot in a game that saw 14 different Ducks catch passes unless he was not available.
There was no participation chart that I could find for Arkansas' 49-24 win over Jacksonville State Saturday, but linebacker Mitchell Loewen, the 2010 MIL Defensive Player of the Year from Lahainaluna, did not have a tackle.
In UNLV's 30-27, three-overtime loss to Minnesota on Thursday, Rebels' captain John Lotulelei — a Baldwin grad — had nine tackles, tying for the team lead.
Another Baldwin graduate, Mana Rosa — a junior defensive lineman and 2008 MIL Defensive Player of the Year — saw his Oregon State team's Thursday game with Nicholls State postponed by Hurricane Isaac.
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