WAILUKU - It took precisely 84 seconds for Keelan Ewaliko to make his presence felt for the Baldwin High School football team.
After missing the Bears' first two Maui Interscholastic League games with a broken rib, Ewaliko scampered 25 yards for a touchdown on the first drive of the game to give his team a lead it would not relinquish on the way to a 62-18 win over Kamehameha Maui in front of about 2,000 fans Saturday at War Memorial Stadium.
Perhaps the highlight of an electric night was Ewaliko's 58-yard run to the end zone on the Bears' first possession of the second half.
Baldwin High School’s Miki Fangatua sacks Kamehameha Maui’s Kalai Yap as Kawena Alo-Kaonohi closes in during the first half of the Bears’ 62-18 win over the Warriors on Saturday at War Memorial Stadium.
BEN JUAN photo
Baldwin’s Abraham Reinhardt runs in open space during the Bears’ 62-18 victory over Kamehameha Maui on Saturday night at War Memorial Stadium.
BEN JUAN photo
Bears quarterback Keelan Ewaliko runs with the ball during Saturday’s game.
BEN JUAN photo
He tiptoed along the sideline and appeared down several times before diving into the end zone as he was losing his balance. The two-time MIL Offensive Player of the Year was done for the night one possession later.
Ewaliko, who was injured in the first quarter of a 46-0 loss to Saint Louis three weeks ago, finished with 176 yards and three touchdowns on nine carries, one of which was a 15-yard sack. He also passed for 101 yards and two touchdowns.
His 8-yard touchdown pass to Ryan Garces with 4:30 left in the third quarter made the score 55-18 and turned on the 35-point mercy-rule running clock. Baldwin (2-1) added a 1-yard touchdown run by Ryan Graham with 8:33 to play to account for the final score.
x-clinched first-round championship
Maui High 14, King Kekaulike 6
Baldwin 62, Kamehameha Maui 18
Friday, Sept. 21
Baldwin at King Kekaulike, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 22
Maui High vs. Lahainaluna at War Memorial Stadium, 7 p.m.
End of first round
The Bears' 32-0 loss to Lahainaluna last week was one their worst MIL defeats ever, but they showed what they could do with Ewaliko, who improved to 17-0 as a starter against league teams.
"Having to watch our team lose to Lahainaluna is pretty tough for me," Ewaliko said. "As much as I wanted to help them out I couldn't, so that just added fuel to my fire, just that drive to come back. All this week at practice it has just been up-tempo, energy, flying around. It just feels good to come back."
Baldwin coach A.J. Roloos said, "After that loss last week, they opened their eyes. We came out Monday with a lot of energy. The captains spoke, they took the team by the horns. We had a great week of practice and this is the outcome."
Ewaliko also had four touchbacks on six kickoffs, including one from the 25-yard line after a penalty.
"The fact of the matter is there's a reason why that guy, No. 12, is two-time MIL Player of the Year. He's tough," said Warriors coach Kevin O'Brien. "Not only does he run the ball all over the place, he returns kicks, and he kicks it and puts you in bad field position. He's just the man."
Baldwin moved into a tie for the MIL Division I lead and can clinch the first round with a victory next week at winless King Kekaulike.
Kamehameha Maui (1-3) has a bye next week.
The Bears took a 34-18 lead into the locker rooms following a wild first half.
After Ewaliko's first touchdown, Kamehameha quarterback Kalai Yap broke through the Baldwin line and went untouched 62 yards for a touchdown on the final play of the first quarter.
The Bears' Abraham Reinhardt returned the ensuing kickoff 89 yards for a touchdown 15 seconds later.
On Kamehameha's next possession, Yap found tight end Aydan Lopes wide open over the middle for a 44-yard touchdown pass to bring the Warriors within 14-12. It was the second touchdown pass in eight MIL games this season.
On Baldwin's first play from scrimmage on the next possession, Ewaliko broke free for a 62-yard touchdown run.
Yap, who left the game with an injury in the third quarter, finished with 189 rushing yards on 17 carries - he also had a 79-yard touchdown run, and was 7-for-11 passing for 70 yards and a score.
Baldwin's Dusty Flores finished with 141 yards and two touchdowns on nine carries. The Bears had 438 yards of offense after averaging 165 per game without Ewaliko.
Kamehameha had 285.
* Robert Collias is at firstname.lastname@example.org
KS Maui ..... 6 ..... 12 ..... 0 ....... 0-18
Baldwin ...... 7 ..... 27 ..... 21 ..... 7-62
B-Keelan Ewaliko 25 run (Zacharia Coloma-Mariano kick), 10:36.
KSM-Kalai Yap 62 run (kick failed), 0:00.
B-Abraham Reinhardt 89 kickoff return (Coloma-Mariano kick), 11:45.
KSM-Aydan Lopes 44 pass fro Yap (run failed), 8:57.
B-Ewaliko 62 run (Coloma-Mariano kick), 8:41.
B-Dusty Flores 2 run (kick failed), 7:15.
KSM-Yap 79 run (kick failed), 3:53.
B-Flores 5 run (Coloma-Mariano kick), 1:33.
B-Ewaliko 58 run (Coloma-Mariano kick), 9:19.
B-Abraham Reinhardt 5 pass from Ewaliko (Coloma-Mariano kick), 6:28.
B-Ryan Garces 8 pass from Ewaliko (Coloma-Mariano kick), 4:30.
B-Graham 1 run (Coloma-Mariano kick), 8:33.
Junior varsity-Baldwin 30, Kamehameha Maui 6.
MAUI HIGH 14, KING KEKAULIKE 6
Maui High ............ 0 ..... 0 ..... 7 ..... 7-14
King Kekaulike ..... 0 ..... 6 ..... 0 ...... 0-6
KK-Ryley Widell 5 run (kick failed), 10:37.
MH-Justin McCrary 30 run (Jared Kapisi kick), 5:34.
MH-McCrary 42 run (Kapisi kick), 11:49.
.................................. MH ............. KK
First downs .................. 7 ................ 9
Rushes-yards ..... 41-121 ........... 23-1
Passing yards ............ 18 ............ 146
Total offense ............. 139 ........... 147
Return yards ................. 6 ............ 58
Comp-Att-Int ........... 3-4-1 ..... 9-19-0
Fumbles-lost .............. 3-1 .......... 4-1
Penalties-yards ........ 8-60 ...... 12-85
Punts-avg .............. 6-27.0 ..... 3-33.0
RUSHING-MH, McCrary 25-163, Ryan Sagon 1-(minus 2), Soane Vaohea 6-(minus 3), David Kahaleauki 7-(minus 10), team 2-(minus 27); KK, Aaron Alama 12-41, Widell 6-11, Romeo Cabbat 1-(minus 1), team 4(minus 50).
PASSING-MH, Kahelauki 3-4-1-18; KK, Widell 9-19-0-146.
RECEIVING-MH, Kapisi 2-8, Jourdan Casio 1-10; KK, Cabbat 3-49, Gregg 3-31, Alama 2-57, Charles Apuna 1-9.
MISSED FIELD GOALS-None.