WAILUKU - If eight-player football in Hawaii proves to be a more wide-open version of the game, history will show that Seabury Hall struck the initial blow for teams going to the air.
The Spartans defeated Molokai 23-20 on Friday at War Memorial Stadium in the first-ever eight-on-eight contest, using a pass-happy attack that contrasted with the Farmers' run-first philosophy.
The Spartans' Jaxson Stinger threw a pair of touchdown passes, and Carter Christie scored on an
Seabury Hall’s Caleb Palmer catches a pass for a first down in front of Molokai’s Maka Puaa-Aki during the second quarter of the Spartans’ 23-20 win over the Farmers on Friday at War Memorial Stadium.
The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo
"It was a great way to start, a great effort by both teams," said Seabury coach Andrew Burger. "It was better than expected."
The game drew roughly 200 fans, with only the stadium's center section available.
"They've worked hard at it and it shows," said Seabury student Nalu Ehman.
The Farmers' Noah Caparida ran for a pair of touchdowns. Dhavin Spencer-Basa blocked a punt and scored on a two-point conversion run.
The Maui Interscholastic League has added eight-player football to give smaller schools a chance to play. Hana and St. Anthony are also competing - those teams meet today at the Dragons' field.
Each team will play six games, with no postseason.
"I think it's all so exciting, our first time under the Friday night lights," said Coco He, whose son Saia Stone-He plays for Molokai.
Caparida produced the inaugural points, on a 26-yard touchdown run 3 minutes, 50 seconds into the game.
Stinger's touchdown pass to Caleb Palmer later in the first quarter, and Ryder Weymouth's extra point, made the score 7-6, and the Spartans led the rest of the way.
Christie returned an interception 10 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter, and Sea-bury had a 14-6 advantage at halftime.
In the third, Weymouth's field goal extended the lead before Caparida's 1-yard touchdown run. Kieanu Catugal caught a touchdown pass and conversion throw with two seconds left in the period.
Robert Ortiz-Traxler's 2-yard touchdown run in the fourth capped the scoring.
* Chris Hamilton is at firstname.lastname@example.org
Seabury Hall 23, Molokai 20
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St. Anthony at Hana, noon