PUKALANI - The Lahainaluna High School football team clinched a state berth with its methodical 35-0 win over Kamehameha Maui at Kanaiaupuni Stadium on Saturday night, but the Lunas know they have work to do.
The top-ranked Division II team in the KHON Cover 2 Power Poll remained unbeaten on the season. After its fourth game of not allowing a point on defense, Lahainaluna is 2-0 in the Maui Interscholastic League second round, 6-0 on the league season and 8-0 overall.
"We prepared well for this team and the defense came out to play," Lahainaluna co-head coach Garret Tihada said. "We still have got to take care of business, we have got a couple more games."
Lahainaluna High School’s Makoa Filikitonga returns an interception during the first quarter of the Lunas’ 35-0 victory over Kamehameha Maui on Saturday at Kanaiaupuni Stadium.
The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo
The Warriors’ Chase Newton releases a first-quarter pass.
The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo
Baldwin and Maui High remain on the slate and an unbeaten run would most likely wrap up the top seed in state and a bye to a home semifinal game - the state final is set as part of a doubleheader at Aloha Stadium on Nov. 23.
"We really, really want to try to keep that No. 1 ranking," Tihada said. "It is going to be hard. Baldwin has been playing really, really tough and you can never count out Maui High."
The Lunas' top foes for state seeds appear to be second-ranked Kaiser and Iolani, the six-time defending state D-II champion.
MIL SECOND-ROUND STANDINGS
Overall MIL record in parentheses
|Maui High (3-3)||1||1||.500||49||27|
|King Kekaulike (1-6)||1||2||.333||62||135|
|KS Maui (1-6)||0||3||.000||52||115|
x-first-round division championship,
y-clinched overall division championship
Maui High 49, King Kekaulike 20
Lahainaluna 35, Kamehameha Maui 0
Friday, Oct. 18
Lahainaluna vs. Baldwin at War Memorial Stadium, 6:30 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 19
Maui High vs. Kamehameha Maui at War Memorial Stadium, 7 p.m.
"This year especially, you want to be No. 1 because of how the seeding is going to play out, and the No. 2 and No. 3 teams - if everything goes according to plan, they match up in the semifinals, which is a dangerous match-up," Tihada said.
"Right now Iolani is No. 3 and Kaiser is No. 2. It's very important for us, and Kaiser wants that No. 1 seed also. They have been killing guys throughout the year and I know they feel they deserve the No. 1 ranking as well.
"As much as possible we are going to try to keep it."
Lahainaluna took command Saturday with two touchdowns in a 40-second span of the first quarter.
A 51-yard punt pushed the Lunas back to their own 36-yard line midway through the period, but they needed just two plays to take the lead. Makoa Filikitonga went 28 yards on a quarterback keeper and Jared Rocha-Islas followed with a 36-yard scoring run.
Filikitonga intercepted a Chase Newton pass three plays later and nearly scored on a 34-yard return, getting to the 1. Rocha-Islas punched it in on the next play.
The Lunas got the ball back immediately by recovering a fumble on the ensuing kickoff. They went 54 yards on seven plays - Filikitonga's 16-yard pass to Ansen Cabanilla and Filiktonga's 19-yard run highlighted the drive - and Christian Whitehead's 7-yard run made it 21-0.
The Lunas made it 28-0 with a 12-play, 82-yard drive that took just 1:53 off the clock. Scott-Isaac Medeiros-Tangatailoa caught a 9-yard scoring pass from Filikitonga with 18 seconds to go before halftime.
Lahainaluna turned on the mercy-rule running clock with Filikitonga's 24-yard run on the first possession of the second half. He broke four tackles before falling into the end zone.
In the fourth quarter, the Lunas went on a 15-play, 50-yard drive before giving up the ball on downs.
Lahainaluna passed for a season-high 89 yards to go with 325 yards on the ground, led by Filikitonga's 116 yards and Rocha-Islas' 103.
Kamehameha managed only eight first downs and 162 total offensive yards.
"They are not ranked No. 1 for nothing," Warriors coach Cody Nakamura said of the Lunas.
* Robert Collias is at email@example.com
Lahainaluna ..... 21 ..... 7 ..... 7 ..... 0-35
KS Maui ............. 0 ..... 0 ..... 0 ....... 0-0
LL-Jared Rocha-Islas 36 run (Rocha-Islas kick), 5:57.
LL-Rocha-Islas 1 run (Rocha-Islas kick), 5:17.
LL-Christian Whitehead 7 run (Rocha-Islas kick), 2:20.
LL-Scott-Isaac Medeiros-Tangatailoa 9 pass from Makoa Filikitonga (Rocha-Islas kick), 0:18.
LL-Filikitonga 24 run (Rocha-Islas kick), 10:25.
* * *
Junior varsity-Lahainaluna 19, Kamehameha Maui 0.
# # #
MAUI HIGH 49, KING KEKAULIKE 20
King Kekaulike ..... 0 ....... 0 ..... 20 ....... 0-20
Maui High ........... 14 ..... 14 ...... 0 ..... 21-49
MH-Elijah Tasini 51 run (Jared Kapisi kick), 9:59.
MH-Daniel Kelley 5 run (Kapisi kick), 7:01.
MH-Chazzaniel Sau 29 run (Kapisi kick), 7:00.
MH-Kelley 10 run (Kapisi kick), 0:41.
KK-Ian Manibog 90 kickoff return (Micah McDonald kick) 11:43.
KK-Drevyn Tavares 71 fumble return (McDonald kick), 10:32.
KK-Charles Apuna 48 pass from Ryley Widell (kick blocked), 0:26.
MH-Tasini 2 run (Kapisi kick), 10:46.
MH-Kelley 7 run (Kapisi kick), 8:52.
MH-Kelley 6 run (Kapisi kick), 4:31.
................................... KK ..... MH
First downs ................... 7 ..... 29
Rushes-yards ........ 24-24 ..... 63-485
Passing yards ............ 73 ...... 45
Total offense .............. 97 ...... 530
Return yards ............ 219 ..... 22
Comp-Att-Int ...... 10-20-0 ..... 3-11-1
Fumbles-lost ............. 5-4 ...... 5-4
Penalties-yards ....... 8-55 ...... 8-72
Punts-avg ............. 8-28.4 ..... 3-42.7
RUSHING-KK, Kawika Homalon 10-46, Reid Yonamine 5-8, Manibog 1-2, team 1-(minus 5), Widell 5-(minus 10), Apuna 2-(minus 17); MH, Tasini 17-242, Kelley 12-58, Tyson Takabayashi 9-51, Sau 2-49, Mario Fernandez 8-30, Onosai Emelio 5-23, Soane Vaohea 3-22, Kapisi 1-15, Austin Hoe 5-9, team 1-(minus 14).
PASSING-KK, Widell 10-20-0-73; MH, Hoe 3-11-1-45.
RECEIVING-KK, Joshua Ogata 6-10, Hollis Atkinson 2-15, Apuna 1-48, Daryl Higashi 1-0; MH, Kapisi 3-45.
MISSED FIELD GOALS-none.