PUKALANI - Let the record show that the Lahainaluna High School football team's shutout streak lasted 23 1/2 quarters overall, and 269 minutes, 28 seconds of Maui Interscholastic League play.
It ended Saturday night in a 35-3 win over Kamehameha Maui at Kanaiaupuni Stadium in front of about 2,000 fans, most of whom were wearing Luna red.
When Kamahao Romero's 35-yard field goal sailed through the uprights with 6:32 left in the third quarter to cut Kamehameha Maui's deficit to 28-3, there was an audible groan from the crowd.
Lahainaluna High School’s Samiuela Filiai pressures Kamehameha Maui’s Chase Newton during the Lunas’ 35-3 win over the Warriors on Saturday in a Maui Interscholastic League game at Kanaiaupuni Stadium.
BEN JUAN photo
Lahainaluna’s Semisi Filikitonga tries to break free from Kamehameha Maui’s Bryant Kubo during the first half of Saturday night’s game.
BEN JUAN photo
Still, the Lunas (6-0 MIL overall) improved to 2-0 in MIL Division II second-round play, while dealing a blow to the chances of the Warriors (2-4 MIL overall, 1-1 second round) forcing a championship playoff. Lahainaluna is one win from clinching the MIL D-II state berth for a sixth year in a row.
"Very remarkable," Lunas co-head coach Garret Tihada said of the scoreless streak. "The kids aren't disappointed at all. They know they have to focus on other things versus a streak. All streaks are meant to be broken. Whether it was a streak or not, we are just happy we came out with a win."
The win was never in doubt and the Lunas have still allowed only one touchdown on defense in seven games this season, by Keaau's Jared Quihano-Makaweo in Lahainaluna's 35-14 preseason win on the Big Island. Keaau's other touchdown in that game came on an interception return.
MIL SECOND-ROUND STANDINGS
Overall MIL record in parentheses * x-won first-round championship
|Maui High (2-4)||0||2||.000||31||70|
|KS Maui (2-4)||1||1||.500||24||49|
|King Kekaulike (0-5)||0||1||.000||0||42|
Baldwin 49, Maui 17
Lahainaluna 35, Kamehameha Maui 3
Friday, Oct. 12
Kamehameha Maui at King Kekaulike, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 13
Lahainaluna vs. Baldwin at War Memorial Stadium, 7 p.m.
The Lunas have outscored the MIL 215-3, and all opponents 250-17.
On Saturday, Lahainaluna scored 14 points before its offense took the field, on two interception returns.
Semisi Filikitonga stepped in front of a Chase Newton pass on the third play from scrimmage and the Lunas' do-it-all player zigzagged his way into the end zone from 37 yards out.
Jeffrey Ancog did likewise on the Warriors' third play of their next possession, racing untouched 22 yards.
On Kamehameha's next possession, Samiuela Filiai sacked Newton for a 9-yard loss as the defense forced a three-and-out.
When the Lunas got their chance on offense, it didn't take them long to score as well. Asi Fatongia ran for 5 yards before Kiko Kohler-Fonohema found Filikitonga wide open over the middle on the second play from scrimmage for a 43-yard scoring pass with 5:24 left in the first quarter.
The next time the Lunas had the ball they ground out an eight-play, 68-yard touchdown drive capped by a 1-yard run by Jared Rocha-Isalas with 11:23 left in the half.
The only threat to the scoreless streak in the first 24 minutes came when Kohler-Fonohema fumbled and Kamehameha's Taylor Kaaukai returned it 39 yards to Lahainaluna's 25-yard line. Rocha-Isalas, a running back, made a shoestring tackle to save a touchdown, bringing a roar from the Lunas faithful.
Filiai caught running back Stephen Barut for a 3-yard loss on first down, and combined with Hercules Mataafa on a 7-yard sack on fourth-and-3 from the 18 to save the zero on the scoreboard.
Early in the second half, the Warriors recovered a fumbled snap at midfield and drove to the Lunas' 22 before being stopped on downs. On the first play of Lahainaluna's possession, Kohler-Fonohema fumbled again and Kamehameha's Cal Alexander recovered at the Lunas' 19.
The Warriors got a first-and-goal at the 8 after Newton's 11-yard run after a fake handoff, but were pushed 10 yards back in the next three plays before Romero nailed his field goal.
Mark Alamon caught a 7-yard touchdown pass from Kohler-Fonohema on the next possession to cap a seven-play, 58-yard drive and the scoring for the night.
Lahainaluna will face Baldwin next Saturday - the Lunas won the first game with the Bears 32-0 on Sept. 7 with Baldwin quarterback Keelan Ewaliko, a two-time MIL Offensive Player of the Year, out with an injury. Since Ewaliko's return three games ago, Baldwin has scored 159 points.
"He has been tearing up the league, running, passing," Tihada said. "They are a whole different team with him."
Kamehameha coach Kevin O'Brien praised the team he believes will represent the MIL in the D-II state tournament.
"Absolutely incredible," he said. "They are every bit as good as advertised. They're disciplined, they play hard, they're physical, they are obviously well-coached. All those types of things and then we got behind early. If you are going to have a chance against a really good team, you can't fall behind early like we did.
"So, my hat's off to them, very impressive. I wish them the best of luck. I'm looking forward to next weekend's game, and I'm looking forward to see how far these guys can go at the state tournament. I think they can go really far."
* Robert Collias is at email@example.com
Lahainaluna ..... 21 ..... 7 ..... 7 ..... 0-35
KS Maui ............. 0 ..... 0 ..... 3 ....... 0-3
LL-Semisi Filikitonga 37 interception return (Kiko Kohler-Fonohema kick), 10:13.
LL-Jeffrey Ancog 22 interception return (Kohler-Fonohema kick), 8:36.
LL-Filikitonga 43 pass from Kohler-Fonohema (Kohler-Fonohema kick), 5:24.
LL-Jared Rocha-Isalas 1 run (Kohler-Fonohema kick), 11:23.
KSM-Kamahao Romero 35 FG, 6:32.
LL-Mark Alamon 7 pass from Kohler-Fonohema (Kohler-Fonohema kick), 3:19.
Junior varsity-Lahainaluna 27, Kamehameha Maui 7.
* * *
BALDWIN 49, MAUI HIGH 17
Maui High ..... 0 ....... 3 ....... 0 ..... 14-17
Baldwin ....... 13 ..... 14 ..... 15 ....... 7-49
B-Keelan Ewaliko 9 run (Zacharia Coloma-Mariano kick), 7:56.
B-Ewaliko 7 run (kick failed), 5:40.
MH-Jared Kapisi 47 FG, 11:11.
B-Coloma-Mariano 46 pass from Ewaliko (Coloma-Mariano kick), 10:43.
B-Miki Fangatua 10 run (Coloma-Mariano kick), 3:16.
B-Thad Shishido 1 run (Anthony Tafuna pass from Ewaliko), 8:23.
B-Chris Kazanecki 23 pass from Ewaliko (Coloma-Mariano kick), 3:45.
B-Ewaliko 25 run (Coloma-Mariano kick), 11:00.
MH-Soane Vaohea 8 run (Kapisi kick), 6:30.
MH-Mario Fernandez 33 run (Kapisi kick), 0:54.
.................................. MH .............. B
First downs ................ 13 ............ 20
Rushes-yards ..... 46-274 ..... 23-191
Passing yards ........... 19 ........... 197
Total offense ........... 293 ........... 388
Return yards ............. 49 ........... 176
Comp-att.-int. ........ 2-7-1 ..... 11-23-1
Fumbles-lost ............ 4-1 ............ 0-0
Penalties-yards ..... 5-48 .......... 5-40
Punts .................. 5-27.0 ....... 1-38.0
RUSHING-MH, Vaohea 20-133, Mario Fernandez 8-84, Justin McCrary 6-42, Moana Vainikolo 2-20, Justin Cravalho 5-10, Ryan Sagon 1-3, Kealii Guzman 4-(minus 18); B, Ewaliko 10-115, Dusty Flores 5-30, Fangatua 2-18, Coloma-Mariano 1-14, Kawena Alo-Kaonohi 2-9, Ryan Graham 1-4, Shishido 2-1.
PASSING-MH, Guzman 2-7-1-19; B, Ewaliko 10-21-1-173, Graham 1-2-0-24.
RECEIVING-MH, Kapisi 2-19; B, Kyson-Lee Kaiama 3-32, Larry Gines 2-46, Kazanecki 2-23, Coloma-Mariano 1-46, Atreil Tanaka 1-24, Shishido 1-17, Flores 1-9.
MISSED FIELD GOALS-none.