WAILUKU - The other team scored, and the Baldwin High School football team's defense took it personally.
The response added up to a 41-7 win for the Bears over Kamehameha Maui in front of about 3,000 fans at War Memorial Stadium on Friday night.
So far in Maui Interscholastic League play, Baldwin (2-0) has outscored its opponents 81-7, piled up a 780-200 advantage in yards from scrimmage and built a 50-14 bulge in total first downs.
Baldwin High School’s Brandon Kaupe looks for running room as Kamehameha Maui’s (from left) Makoa Medeiros, Andrew Kahalewai and Alika Sanchez close in during the first quarter of the Bears’ 41-7 victory over the Warriors on Friday at War Memorial Stadium.
The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo
Junior quarterback Keelan Ewaliko, the returning MIL Offensive Player of the Year, led Baldwin's offense to 401 yards on Friday night, while the defense held Kamehameha (1-2) to 122.
"I thank my defense a lot - they give us great field position, they shut everyone down and they give us such great opportunities to score," Ewaliko said after running for 107 yards and two touchdowns and passing for 81 yards and two touchdowns. "I think our defense took it a little personal when they scored. My O-line played really well tonight, too."
About the only thing that went wrong for Baldwin allowed the fans to enjoy some more football. On their first possession of the second half with a 35-7 lead, the Bears scored on a 12-yard pass from backup quarterback Chazzen Sau to Devin-Lee Luna, then lined up for the point-after kick with a chance to turn on the 35-point mercy-rule running clock.
A bad snap led to the kick hitting the right upright.
Kamehameha quarterback Kalai Yap scored on a great-escape scramble from 20 yards out midway through the second quarter to make it 21-7.
"You never want to get scored upon, but the kid made a great play and ran to open space," said Baldwin coach A.J. Roloos. "You can't hold a team down every time without scoring."
Baldwin rolled up 289 yards in the first half.
Ewaliko was the catalyst with all of his rushing yards on nine carries, and 79 passing yards with six completions in 13 attempts.
Kamalei Anderson caught a 20-yard touchdown pass less than three minutes into the game to cap a nine-play, 47-yard drive on the first possession.
After the Bears' defense forced a three-and-out, the offense again took over with a short field after a 23-yard punt. It took seven plays, mixed in with two penalties, for Baldwin to score again on a 7-yard run by Ewaliko with 3:20 left in the first quarter.
The first period ended with the Bears holding a 117-6 advantage in total yards.
In the second quarter, Ewaliko's attempt on a 58-yard field goal nearly landed on the end line, but the maroon-and-blue defense then forced its third three-and-out in its first four series.
It took just four plays - the highlight of which was an acrobatic 38-yard reception by Kaiana Camvel that put the ball on the Kamehameha 5-yard line - for Baldwin to go 50 yards and score again, on a 2-yard run by Kina Malafu with 9:06 to go in the half. Pass interference was called on a Kamehameha defender on Camvel's catch.
The Warriors then ended the Bears' five-quarter-plus shutout streak with an 86-yard drive that took just 1:21 off the clock.
Stephen Barut - in for MIL rushing leader Kupono Cabanas, who suffered an apparent ankle injury in the first quarter - started things with a 25-yard run that had a 15-yard unnecessary-roughness penalty added on.
Yap then hit Daylan Machado on a 28-yard pass to the Baldwin 12. Two plays later, Yap delivered the offensive play of the season so far for the Warriors. Trapped in the backfield, he emerged from a heavy rush on the right side of the field and scored with 7:49 left in the half.
That seemed to motivate Baldwin, which responded with Ewaliko's 26-yard keeper to go in front 28-7 with 4:37 to go.
When the Bears took over for the last time in the half with 1:12 left, they went 61 yards in seven plays. Kyson-Lee Kaiama's 5-yard scoring reception with a second to go was set up by a 25-yard scramble by Ewaliko on the previous play.
Seven of 12 rushes by the Warriors in the first half went for zero or negative yards, and Yap was hurried into a 3-of-11 passing performance.
Baldwin had a 17-5 edge in first downs in the first half and 26-7 advantage for the game.
"Even their backups are tough," Kamehameha coach Kevin O'Brien said. "Again, you are battling against field position, their kicking game is so good, their defense is good, they are physical. You have to play a perfect game to beat them and we were not up to that tonight."
* Robert Collias is at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kamehameha Maui ..... 0 ....... 7 ..... 0 ....... 0-7
Baldwin ...................... 14 ..... 21 ..... 6 ..... 0-41
B-Kamalei Anderson 20 pass from Keelan Ewaliko (Zacharic Coloma-Mariano kick), 9:10.
B-Ewaliko 7 run (Coloma-Mariano kick), 3:20.
B-Kina Malafu 2 run (Coloma-Mariano kick), 9:06.
KSM-Kalai Yap 20 run (Stephen Barut kick), 7:49.
B-Ewaliko 26 run (Coloma-Mariano kick), 4:37.
B-Kyson-Lee Kaiama 5 pass from Ewaliko (Coloma-Mariano kick), 0:01.
B-Devin-Lee Luna 12 pass from Chazzen Sau (kick failed), 7:40.
Junior varsity-Baldwin 27, Kamehameha Maui 7.
Baldwin 41, Kamehameha Maui 7
Maui High vs. King Kekaulike at War Memorial Stadium, 7 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 16
Maui High vs. Lahainaluna at War Memorial Stadium, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 17
Baldwin at King Kekaulike, 7 p.m.