PUKALANI - In a tale of two halves, the Kamehameha Schools Maui football team came out with a 24-15 win over Upcountry neighbor King Kekaulike in front of a standing-room-only crowd of about 3,000 on Saturday night at Kanaiaupuni Stadium.
The victory lifts the Warriors to 1-1 in the Maui Interscholastic League and into a tie for the lead in the Division II race with Lahainaluna. King Kekaulike falls to 0-2.
On an emotional day that began with some of the Kamehameha coaches and players attending the memorial service for Kraig Vickers at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center, Warriors coach Kevin O'Brien said the win was dedicated to the
Kupono Cabanas of Kamehameha Schools Maui jumps to avoid King Kekaulike’s Keegan Gregg
(left) and Masson Lacno during the second quarter of the Warriors’ 24-15 win over Na Alii on Saturday night at Kanaiaupuni Stadium.
The Maui News / AMANDA COWAN photo
King Kekaulike’s Joe Delima tries to get past Kamehameha Maui’s Pono Freitas (left) and Makoa Medeiros as Na Alii’s Onosai Emelio looks on in the first quarter of the Warriors’ 24-15 victory Saturday night.
The Maui News / AMANDA COWAN photo
Maui High graduate, who was killed in a military helicopter crash in Afghanistan last month, and whose brother Robert Vickers is an assistant coach for Kamehameha.
Each team wore helmet stickers in the shape of a football in Maui High blue with Kraig Vickers' No. 54 on them, as will all MIL teams for the rest of the season. Kraig Vickers starred as a linebacker for the Sabers in the early 1990s.
"This was dedicated to Kraig Vickers," O'Brien said. "And this was dedicated to my assistant coach Robert Vickers, who has been at this program for a long time. I can tell you that coach Robert Vickers gave us a spirited talk yesterday at the beginning of practice and talked about how much his brother meant to him and how much his brother meant to the community of Maui and how important guys like his brother are to the United States."
The scoring began quickly in the third quarter after the teams went to halftime 0-0.
King Kekaulike received the kickoff and went 67 yards in five plays - Maave Emelio lined up at quarterback for the first time in his career and heaved a beautiful 56-yard scoring pass caught in stride by Michael Teves.
The Warriors, however, responded with two touchdowns in 70 seconds.
The rally started with an 80-yard, seven-play drive - Kalai Yap scored on a 1-yard quarterback keeper. The big play during the march was a 48-yard across-the-middle pass to Daylan Machado. Yap ran five times on the drive for 19 yards and in the game he had 16 runs for 42 yards and two scores.
Kekaulike took over at its own 30-yard line after the kickoff, then committed a 13-yard holding penalty before Kamehameha's defensive pressure forced a fumble that the Warriors recovered at the 3.
Two plays later, Stephen Barut scored from a yard out on his first carry of the night.
Two possessions later for Na Alii, Alika Sanchez had Kamehameha's third interception of the game, putting the ball on King Kekaulike's 26.
After the Warriors gained just four yards in three plays, Kupono Cabanas nudged a 40-yard field goal barely over the crossbar to make the score 17-7 with 5:01 to play.
Na Alli came right back with an 80-yard, seven-play drive that featured three big completions by Lopes - a 31-yarder to Teves, a 25-yarder to Keegan Gregg and a 23-yarder to Teves that set up Kenny Brittain's 1-yard touchdown run on the first carry of his career. A bad snap on the PAT led to Keanu Popejoy-Kanamu finding Gregg in the end zone for a 2-point conversion.
Na Alii forced a punt, but four straight incomplete passes gave the ball back to the Warriors with 2:41 left.
Yap hit Jonah Aruda over the middle for a 22-yard pass on third-and-10, putting the ball on the King Kekaulike 9. Two plays later, Yap scampered around the left side on a 5-yard touchdown run after a fake handoff to put the game away with 1:34 left.
King Kekaulike piled up 238 passing yards - 170 of them on seven catches by Teves - after having just 90 total yards in a 22-0 loss to Lahainaluna last week.
"The kids played hard just like we asked them to play their hearts out out there and that is what they did," said Na Alii coach P.K. Higa. "It just didn't bounce for us again."
* Robert Collias is at email@example.com.
King Kekaulike ............. 0 ..... 0 ....... 7 ....... 8-15
Kamehameha Maui ..... 0 ..... 0 ..... 14 ..... 10-24
KK-Michael Teves 56 pass Maave Emelio (Teves kick), 9:30.
KSM-Kalai Yap 1 run (Kupono Cabanas kick), 6:53.
KSM-Stephen Barut 1 run (Cabanas kick), 5:43.
KSM-FG Cabanas 40, 5:01.
KK-Kenny Brittain 1 run (Keegan Gregg pass from Keanu Popejoy-Kanamu), 3:43.
KSM-Yap 5 run (Cabanas kick), 1:34.
Junior varsity-Kamehameha Maui 19, King Kekaulike 7.
BALDWIN 40, LAHAINALUNA 0
Lahainaluna ..... 0 ....... 0 ..... 0 ....... 0-0
Baldwin .......... 13 ..... 14 ..... 6 ..... 7-40
B-Keelan Ewaliko 12 run (run failed), 9:24.
B-Ewaliko 12 run (Zacharic Coloma-Mariano kick), 2:39.
B-Kaiana Camvel 20 pass from Ewaliko (Coloma-Mariano kick), 9:13.
B-Vetekina Malafu 8 run (Coloma-Mariano kick), 2:42.
B-Malafu 12 run (kick failed), 3:50.
B-Justin Cabajar 1 run (Dean Phillips kick), 11:55.
RUSHING-LL, Semisi Filikitonga 9-26, Tytus Lucas 6-6, Jared Rocha 3-3, Chanse Uyeda 1-(minus 2), Kiko Kohler-Fonohema 8-(minus 22); B, Malafu 16-118, Ewaliko 9-76, Branden Kaupe 6-57, Kaipo Lapenia-Lau 2-27, Cabajar 3-8, Isaac-Evans Burrows 2-5, Thadd Shishido 2-2, Danny Welds-Ebanks 1-1.
PASSING-LL, Kohler-Fonohema 8-19-1-67, Lucas 1-2-1-0; B, Ewaliko 6-11-0-85.
RECEIVING-LL, Rocha 3-25, Mark Alamon 3-25, Lucas 1-10, Filikitonga 1-6, Uyeda 1-1; B, Kamalei Anderson 4-50, Camvel 1-20, Kyson-Lee Kaiama 1-15.
MISSED FIELD GOALS-B, Ewaliko 47 (SH).