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Bears, Lunas post division-control wins, my top 10
September 26, 2011 - Robert Collias
Sorry for the late post, but it is the Maui County Fair break week, so I have been dreaming of Flying Saucers, Pronto Pups, corn on the cob and steak plates.
It will take monumental comebacks to deny the MIL's perennial state-tournament participants Baldwin and Lahainaluna their annual spots in the D-I and D-II state tournaments, respectively.
The Bears have a three-game lead in Division I with four to play after reaching 40 points for the fourth straight game, holding a league opponent to one score or less for the fourth straight game, and limiting that opponent to less than 10 first downs for the fourth straight game. In this one, the Bears decided to show off their passing game and it added up to five touchdown passes for Keelan Ewaliko in a 42-6 win over Maui High.
This may not be much of a moral victory for the Sabers, but they did put up a season-high nine first downs against Baldwin and their 128 total offensive yards were the most posted against the Bears by a league opponent.
One thing that has clearly become apparent is that the Bears are under huge scrutiny by MIL officials — they have 24 penalties accepted against them (and a few that were declined) in the last two games for a total of 258 yards. For the MIL season, Baldwin is averaging 12 penalties and 115 yards per game. Read Baldwin coach A.J. Roloos' comments in the above link, it is obviously a sore spot for him and his staff at this point.
Lahainaluna (3-1) also took a stranglehold on its divison — a two-game lead with four to play — with a smash-mouth 21-7 win over Kamehameha Maui on Saturday.
One thing that caught my eye in this one was the crowd support for the Warriors and lack thereof for the Lunas. Nobody outside of Laie travels better than the Lunas in this state but Saturday night, there is no doubt the red-clad fans were outnumbered by the navy blue ones. Kamehameha Maui gave their fans a lot of cheer about, staying in this one until late in the game.
Junior quarterback Kalai Yap had his best day as a starter, completing 11 of 19 passes for 110 yards, including nine in a row late in the game. He spread those passes between six receivers.
Kamehameha coach Kevin O'Brien said his team was not done any favors by the schedule makers — the Luna game came after the Warriors faced Baldwin, although with a bye in between and when they come back from the fair break, the Warriors face Baldwin on Oct. 7 and follow that with the Lunas on Oct. 15 — meaning the Warriors play all four of their games against the top two teams in the league in a row, albeit with a pair of weeks off in the mix.
Asked if being two games down with four to play concerned him, O'Brien said, "Of course it does, especially because the schedule makers have us playing Baldwin and Lahaina right after another. And for anybody to beat Lahaina, all their remaining games except the Baldwin game, the team that we would need to beat Lahaina plays Baldwin the week before they play Lahaina. So, the schedule is very difficult. Again, we are playing the two big guns in our league in the course of basically six weeks. You know, four games against the big guns in six weeks. It is not like the schedules used to be when I first started here, when I first started coaching in this league. I'm not really sure why, but that is what we were dealt, so we are going to deal with it."
Finally, here is my top-10 ballot that I turned in Sunday to scoringlive.com (a great site, btw, for anyone who wants to keep up with prep sports in the state and UH) and the Star-Advertiser: 1. Kahuku, 2. Farrington, 3. Leilehua, 4. Punahou, 5. Campbell, 6. Baldwin, 7. Kamemaheha Kapalama, 8. Saint Louis, 9. Iolani, 10. Kaimuki.
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