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Lunas shutout streak ends, Baldwin looms

October 7, 2012 - Robert Collias
I don't know if it is a record — it is the longest such streak in my 23 seasons covering the MIL — but Lahainaluna's shutout streak ended on Saturday night in a 35-3 win over Kamehameha Maui at Kanaiaupuni Stadium. It will go down in MIL annals as lasting 49 days. Or 23 1/2 quarters. Or 269 minutes, 28 seconds of league play.

It was sensational, remarkable, incredible — overused words in sports jargon — but they all fit in this case. To illustrate just how impressive it is to carry such a streak that long — Kamehameha's field goal came after a turnover on the Luna 19-yard line and then a five-play, 1-yard drive.

Now, there have been a lot of really good defenses in my time watching the MIL — the 1997 and '98 Lunas led by Jansen Medeiros, the 2004 Baldwin team led by Kaluka Maiava, the 2008 Bears that included Mana Rosa, Jordan Pu'u-Robinson and John Lotulelei come immediately to mind — but none of them accomplished what the 2012 Lunas did.

This shouldn't read as anything sad — the Lunas limited Kamehameha Maui to 102 yards and four first downs, while the red and black piled up 303 yards on offense. Lahainaluna co-head coach Garret Tihada said himself, "Streaks are meant to be broken."

It almost came with a sense of relief as I sat in the Lahainaluna coaches box in the cramped facilities at Kanaiaupuni. They can now focus on Baldwin this week and the Bears are a different team with Keelan Ewaliko back at QB.

A win for either the Bears or clinch state berths in their respective divisions. Both will more than likely end up in the Division I and II state tournaments, respectively, but Saturday night will be rocking at War Memorial Stadium, without a doubt.

Scoringlive.com, which runs one of two state top-10 polls and a great resource for any sports fan in Hawaii, told me weeks ago that they would be on Maui to cover the game, but nobody brings the MIL home like we do. Stay tuned right here for updates on the game of the year and one of the most anticipated games in many, many seasons.

 
 

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