WAILUKU - Developing the passing game has been a goal of the Lahainaluna High School football team this season.
The Lunas had a solid night throwing the ball Saturday, and won 48-18 over Kamehameha Maui in front of about 1,500 fans at War Memorial Stadium.
Lahainaluna improved to 2-0 in the Maui Interscholastic League, while Kamehameha fell to 0-2.
Lahainaluna High School’s Donavon Defang leans for extra yardage while being tackled by Kamehameha Maui’s Kamuela Kaniaupio during the first quarter of the Lunas’ 48-18 win over the Warriors on Saturday at War Memorial Stadium.
The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo
Lahainaluna’s Scott-Isaac Medeiros-Tangatailoa catches a touchdown pass in the second quarter as Kamehameha Maui’s Kila Hokoana defends.
The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo
Senior quarterback Makoa Filikitonga augmented the Lunas' vaunted running game by going 8-for-11 passing for 127 yards and two touchdowns, both to Scott-Isaac Medeiros-Tangatailoa. Filikitonga also ran nine times for 64 yards and two scores.
Backup quarterback Enele Scanlan found fellow sophomore David Kawabata for a 10-yard scoring pass for the Lunas' final points as they completed a first-round sweep of their MIL Division II opponents.
"We had good protection from our offensive line and our receivers did a good job of catching the ball, (Filikitonga) did a good job of making the right decisions," said Lahainaluna co-head coach Garret Tihada, who is also the offensive coordinator. "I was glad to see our sophomore quarterback come in there and make the right reads as well."
Maui High 20, Baldwin 17
Lahainaluna 48, Kamehameha Maui 18
Friday, Sept. 5
King Kekaulike at Kamehameha Maui, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 6
Baldwin vs. Lahainaluna at War Memorial Stadium, 7 p.m.
Kamehameha's Joshua Hiwatashi took a swing pass from Chase Newton and avoided several defenders on his way to the end zone on a 43-yard touchdown to make the score 35-12 with 4 minutes, 28 seconds left in the third quarter.
The Warriors then recovered their third onside kick in as many tries, with Colton Cabanas diving on the ball. The Lunas' Brandon Kaina recovered a fumble by Damion Martin five plays later to end the threat, however.
Filikitonga scampered untouched up the middle to score from 17 yards out and push the lead to 41-12 on the final play of the third quarter.
Kaina had an interception that he returned 35 yards to set up a score, recovered two fumbles, forced one and had three sacks on the night.
The Lunas turned on the mercy-rule running clock with 8:39 to play with Kawabata's touchdown catch on fourth-and-goal. The Warriors added a final score when Newton dove in from a yard out with 1:35 to go.
Lahainaluna led 28-0 just three minutes into the second quarter, setting up scores with defense and special teams.
After Medeiros-Tangatailoa intercepted a pass in the end zone, the Lunas went 80 yards in 10 plays, taking a 7-0 lead on Cabanilla's 7-yard run with 6:24 left in the first quarter.
Jared Rocha-Islas, the Lahainaluna kicker, recovered the ensuing kickoff after it ricocheted off a Kamehameha blocker on the front line. Six plays later, Filikitonga scored on a 3-yard run.
After Donavon Defang recovered a Newton fumble, the Lunas went 55 yards in six plays, the last of them Filiki-tonga's 9-yard scoring pass to Medeiros-Tangatailoa.
After a 23-yard punt by the Warriors, the Lunas needed just one play to score - a 59-yard strike from Filikitonga to Medeiros-Tangatailoa with 9:02 left in the first half.
Kamehameha scored three touchdowns against a team that is ranked No. 1 in D-II by all three of the state's major polls, with a defense that has led the MIL by wide margins the last two seasons.
"A lot of stuff to polish up, but my goodness that's a tough, tough team - they really showed why they are ranked No. 1," said Warriors coach Cody Nakamura. "Like I have always said, Lahainaluna, they are doing something right over there."
Several of the Lunas' starters left with injuries in the second half.
"We just got hit with the injury bug tonight, we had a whole bunch of starters just go down," Tihada said.
"Rocha, our starting tackle Justin Hong, our starting D tackle Peni Taufa, our starting slotback Ansen Cabanilla - that's rough."
* Robert Collias is at email@example.com
Kamehameha Maui ..... 0 ....... 6 ..... 6 ..... 6-18
Lahainaluna ............. 21 ..... 14 ..... 6 ..... 7-48
LL-Ansen Cabanilla 7 run (Jared Rocha-Islas kick), 6:24.
LL-Makoa Filikitonga 3 run (Rocha-Islas kick), 4:56.
LL-Scott-Isaac Medeiros-Tangatailoa 9 pass from Filikitonga (Rocha-Islas kick), 0:03.
LL-Medeiros-Tangatailoa 59 pass from Filikitonga (Rocha-Islas kick), 9:02.
KSM-Chase Newton 2 run (kick failed), 3:46.
LL-Donavon Defang 5 run (Rocha-Islas kick), 0:05.
KSM-Joshua Hiwatashi 43 pass from Newton (pass failed), 4:28.
LL-Filikitonga 17 run (kick failed), 0:00.
LL-David Kawabata 10 pass from Enele Scanlan (Josten Saribay kick), 8:59.
KSM-Newton 1 run (run failed), 1:35.
MAUI HIGH 20, BALDWIN 17
Baldwin .......... 7 ..... 7 ..... 3 ..... 0-17
Maui High ..... 12 ..... 0 ..... 0 ..... 8-20
MH-Onosai Emelio 53 run (pass failed), 11:37.
MH-Tristan Nichols 29 pass from Austin Hoe (run failed), 9:29.
B-Taje Akaka-Foster 5 run (Kelii Kaiama kick), 3:54.
B-Keenan Luis 20 run (Kaiama kick), 11:51.
B-Kaiama 27 FG, 6:48.
MH-Daniel Kelley 1 run (run failed), 7:14.
MH-Safety, Taje Akaka-Foster tackled in end zone, 1:26.
................................... B .......... MH
First downs ................. 11 ........... 13
Rushes-yards ....... 30-122 ..... 45-161
Passing yards ............. 77 ............ 59
Total offense ............ 199 ........... 219
Return yards .............. 54 ........... 140
Comp.-att.-int. ..... 9-19-2 ....... 3-10-0
Fumbles-lost ............. 8-3 .......... 10-3
Penalties-yards ........ 4-32 ........ 12-97
Punts-avg. ........... 3-24.7 ....... 5-34.0
RUSHING-B, Luis 12-87, Kawena Alo-Kaonohi 2-21, Derrick Akina-Reinhardt 2-13, Chazzaniel Sau 2-8, Anthony Tafuna 1-4, Akaka-Foster 8-1, team 3-(minus 12); MH, Emelio 8-84, Soane Vaohea 7-53, Kelley 10-50, Lusitania Tongi 3-14, Anisi Lotulelei 2-11, Nichols 1-5, Jayden Wilhelm 1-(minus 2), Tyson Takabayashi 4-(minus 4), Hoe 8-(minus 16), team 1-(minus 34).
PASSING-B, Akaka-Foster 9-19-2-77; MH, Hoe 2-8-0-44, Wilhelm 1-1-0-15, Vaohea 0-1-0-0.
RECEIVING-B, Dane Elf 3-24, Sau 2-24, Kasey-Lee Keahi 2-7, Ethan Oliveros 1-20, Kaelon Wainui 1-2; MH, Vaohea 2-30, Nichols 1-29.
MISSED FIELD GOALS-None.