PUKALANI - The shutout streak lives.
The Lahainaluna High School football team ran its streak of zeroes to five games with a 42-0 win over King Kekaulike at Na Alii's stadium on Friday night to open the second round of Maui Interscholastic League play.
Lahainaluna (5-0) has outscored the MIL 180-0 this season.
King Kekaulike High School’s Ryley Widell gets rid of the ball just in time to avoid a safety, but takes a hit from Lahainaluna’s Hercules Mataafa, during the second quarter of the Lunas’ 42-0 victory over Na Alii on Friday at King Kekaulike Stadium.
The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo
The defensive run appeared in peril when King Kekaulike quarterback Ryley Widell broke free for a 41-yard scamper to the 13-yard line after a fake handoff with less than a minute to play in the first half.
From there, however, the Lunas caught running back Aaron Alama in the backfield for a 2-yard loss and Widell misfired on two passes. Justen Romkee lined up for a 30-yard field goal, but it did not reach the end zone, igniting a huge roar from the red-and-white-clad fans in the crowd of about 2,000.
Lahainaluna's pride in the streak appears to grow each week - the Lunas' faithful were clearly aware of it.
SECOND-ROUND MIL STANDINGS
Overall MIL record in parentheses
x-won first-round championship
|Maui High (2-2)||0||0||.000||0||0|
|KS Maui (1-3)||0||0||.000||0||0|
|King Kekaulike (0-5)||0||1||.000||0||42|
Lahainaluna 42, King Kekaulike 0
Maui High at Kamehameha Maui, 7 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 5
Maui High vs. Baldwin at War Memorial Stadium, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 6
Lahainaluna at Kamehameha Maui, 7 p.m.
"The main thing, you do your homework, you work hard and good things happen," Lahainaluna co-head coach Garret Tihada said.
The pressure on Widell from the Lunas' defensive line was relentless all night. Hercules Mataafa had four tackles for loss and Samiuela Filiai had three, for a total of 31 yards, while nose guard Pousima Galoia and defensive end Connor Mowat were also disruptive.
Na Alii completed one pass in 13 attempts, had just three first downs and punted nine times. The Lunas also intercepted two passes and limited Na Alii to zero or negative yardage on 15 of 30 running plays, including three sacks of Widell.
"That's a key against any passing team, you have got to get some pressure up front," Tihada said.
Lahainaluna took a 21-0 lead into halftime on three short drives set up by its defense.
After a 12-yard punt, the Lunas needed just two plays - both passes from Kiko Kohler-Fonohema - to go 27 yards for a 7-0 lead. Kohler-Fonohema hit Tytus Lucas for 17 yards before 5-foot-5, 140-pound running back Semisi Filikitonga caught a ball in the flat and did the rest for a score with 11 minutes, 15 seconds left in the half.
Two possessions later, Asi Fatongia returned an interception 41 yards to the 6, and John Lacuesta scored on the next play with 6:53 remaining.
Another stop set up a four-play, 58-yard drive for the Lunas - the big play was a 49-yard strike from Kohler-Fonohema to Lucas that took the ball to the 5. A penalty moved the ball back to the 10, but Kohler-Fonohema broke free from pressure and scored on a scramble with 1:14 to go.
Kohler-Fonohema had one of his best passing games of the season, completing nine of 16 throws for 125 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
"They did a good job stopping our run in the first half, so we had to go to the air," Tihada said. "The second half we were able to establish the run again."
Lahainaluna had 156 yards in the first half and limited King Kekaulike to 44. For the game, the Lunas outgained Na Alii 393-60.
"Five shutouts in a row, they are good, they are a strong team," King Kekaulike coach Clarence Rivers said after his team fell to 0-5. "That's a strong, strong team - nothing more you can say about that."
On the first play from scrimmage in the second half, Filikitonga scored on an 85-yard run that featured him breaking free from two players near the end zone after he had burst and juked his way to that point.
The Lunas turned on the mercy-rule running clock the next time they touched the ball on a five-play, 61-yard drive highlighted by a 48-yard run by Filikitonga to the 1. Kohler-Fonohema hit Lucas in the end zone on the next play with 7:07 left in the third quarter.
Filikitonga finished the night with two rushes for 133 yards and two catches for 27.
The final score came on a 66-yard run by backup quarterback Jeffrey Ancog, who finished with four carries for 91 yards.
* Robert Collias is at firstname.lastname@example.org
Lahainaluna ......... 0 ..... 21 ..... 14 ..... 7-42
King Kekaulike ..... 0 ....... 0 ....... 0 ....... 0-0
LL-Semisi Filikitonga 10 pass from Kiko Kohler-Fonohema (Kohler-Fonohema kick), 11:15.
LL-John Lacuesta 6 run (Kohler-Fonohema kick), 6:53.
LL-Kohler-Fonohema 10 run (Kohler-Fonohema kick), 1:14.
LL-Filikitonga 85 run (Kohler-Fonohema kick), 11:42.
LL-Tytus Lucas 1 pass from Kohler-Fonohema (Kohler-Fonohema kick), 7:07.
LL-Jeffrey Ancog 66 run (Kohler-Fonohema kick), 3:00.
Junior varsity-Lahainaluna 34, King Kekaulike 10.