Lunas stay perfect

PUKALANI – Threatening the Lahainaluna High School football team is a dangerous proposition.

The Lunas showed that Saturday night in a 55-6 victory over King Kekaulike in front of about 800 fans at King Kekaulike Stadium.

Na Alii struck first on an 11-yard fumble return by Ian Manibog less than two minutes into the game after a handoff between Makoa Filikitonga and Christian Whitehead landed on the turf.

Then, with a lightning-strike quickness, the Lunas displayed what they are capable of, in nearly call facets of the game – they scored touchdowns on two rushes, a punt return and an interception return in the next 6 minutes, 14 seconds.

“We did OK,” Lahainaluna co-head coach Garret Tihada said after his team began its Maui Interscholastic League second-round schedule.

The Lunas are 5-0 in the MIL, and ranked No. 1 in the KHON Cover 2 Power Poll in Division II. At 7-0, they are one of just three overall unbeaten teams in the state, along with Punahou and Kauai.

Na Alii are 1-1 in the MIL second round and 1-5 in league play overall.

After Manibog’s score, Ansen Cabanilla returned the ensuing kickoff 52 yards to the King Kekaulike 23-yard line. Whitehead ran for 17 yards on the first play from scrimmage and scored on the next.

Just 75 seconds later, Lahainaluna took a 14-6 lead on Jared Rocha-Islas’ 12-yard run. That was a one-play drive after a punt snap sailed over the head of Na Alii’s Micah McDonald under heavy pressure.

King Kekaulike punted on the possession that followed, and Lahainaluna’s Ansen Cabanilla returned it 62 yards for a touchdown to make the score 21-6 with 4:45 left in the first quarter. Three plays later, Jeffery Ancog intercepted a Ryley Widell pass and returned it 49 yards for a touchdown and a 28-6 lead.

The onslaught slowed down from there, but the Lunas took a 35-6 lead into halftime after a 45-yard, three-play drive capped by a 2-yard pass from Makoa Filikitonga to Rocha-Islas with 2:18 left in the second quarter. Rocha-Islas started the drive with a 36-yard run to the King Kekaulike 8.

It was the Lunas’ first touchdown pass of the MIL season.

“We have been trying to work on our passing,” Tihada said. “We still have a lot to work on in our passing game. We will just keep working on it every week, hopefully we get better.”

Lahainaluna turned on the 35-point mercy-rule running clock on a 21-yard touchdown run by Filikitonga, capping a four-play, 59-yard drive with 10:21 left in the third quarter.

Robert Campos broke free on a 40-yard touchdown run with 4:35 to go in the period to make it 48-6, and the final score of the night came on a 27-yard run by Donovan Defang with 38 seconds to go after the Lunas had substituted liberally and were trying to run out the clock.

King Kekaulike dressed only 27 players, with running back Jay Braun and receiver Austin Ferreira among the injured in street clothes. Running back Kawika Homalon left the game in the first half, apparently injured, and did not return.

“They are a talented team, very well coached, very disciplined players,” Na Alii coach Kyle Sanches said of the Lunas. “They are a phenomenal team.”

Lahainaluna rushed for 276 yards, handing the ball to nine different players.

“We understand that King K is really undermanned right now,” Tihada said. “They have got some injuries and stuff, so it is difficult for them at this point.”

The Lunas have outscored their league opponents 221-27 this year.

“We always work on fundamentals because we can always get better,” Tihada said. “Everything that we do we have to make sure that we get from point A to point B in the most efficient, fastest way possible. Whether it is from the line, the running backs, our reads are down on defense. That’s all, we just want to get better at everything we do.”

* Robert Collias is at


Lahainaluna ……. 28 ….. 7 ….. 13 ….. 7-55

King Kekaulike ….. 6 ….. 0 ……. 0 ……. 0-6

First Quarter

KK-Ian Manibog 11 fumble return (kick failed), 10:04.

LL-Christian Whitehead 6 run (Jared Rocha-Islas kick), 9:31.

LL-Rocha-Islas 12 run (Rocha-Islas kick), 8:16.

LL-Ansen Cabanilla 62 punt return (Rocha-Islas kick), 4:45.

LL-Jeffery Ancog 49 interception return (Rocha-Islas kick), 3:50.

Second Quarter

LL-Rocha-Islas 2 pass from Makoa Filikitonga (Rocha-Islas kick), 2:18.

Third Quarter

LL-Filikitonga 21 run (kick failed), 10:21.

LL-Robert Campos 40 run (Rocha-Islas kick), 4:35.

Fourth Quarter

LL-Donovan Defang 27 run (Rocha-Islas kick), 0:38.

* * *

Junior varsity-Lahainaluna 25, King Kekaulike 7.

# # #

Friday’s Result


Baldwin …… 7 ….. 27 ….. 3 ….. 7-44

KS Maui ….. 7 ……. 0 ….. 7 ….. 7-21

First Quarter

B-Dusty Flores 5 run (Ricky Casco kick), 9:27.

KSM-Cal Alexander 3 run (Kailoa Akoi kick), 3:21.

Second Quarter

B-Jeremiah Badillo 45 run (kick failed), 11:47.

B-Kawela Kaeo-Mata 48 pass from Badillo (Casco kick), 5:02.

B-Josiah Maglente-Tonu 26 pass from Badillo (Casco kick), 0:55.

B-Atreil Tanaka 24 pass from Badillo (Casco kick), 0:04.

Third Quarter

B-Casco 21 FG, 10:11.

KSM-Chase Newton 5 run (Akoi kick), 3:47.

Fourth Quarter

KSM-Joshua Hiwatashi 10 pass from Newton (Akoi kick), 3:38.

B-Nohea Keahi 32 interception return (Casco kick), 0:10.

………………………………… B ….. KSM

First downs ……………… 18 ….. 19

Rushes-yards ……. 39-196 ….. 26-124

Passing yards ………… 240 ….. 182

Total offense ………….. 436 ….. 306

Return yards ………….. 136 ….. 142

Comp-att.-int. …… 16-26-0 ….. 21-41-4

Fumbles-lost ………….. 3-0 ….. 3-0

Penalties-yards …….. 7-55 ….. 4-27

Punts-avg. ………… 6-40.2 ….. 6-40.6


RUSHING-B, Flores 12-71, Badillo 3-56, Kawena Alo-Kaonohi 6-39, Micah Pagaduan 8-21, Keenan Luis 5-13, Tanaka 1-4, Taje Akaka-Foster 1-0, team 1-(minus 2), Josiah Maglente-Tonu 2-(minus 6); KSM, Newton 16-97, Ian Armitage 6-25, Alexander 3-7, Hiwatashi 1-(minus 5).

PASSING-B, Badillo 13-18-0-202, Maglente-Tonua 3-7-0-38, Taje Akaka-Foster 0-1-0-0; KSM, Newton 21-40-4-182, Kulana Wilhelm 0-1-0-0.

RECEIVING-B, Kaeo-Mata 10-96, Chris Kazanecki 2-60, Tanaka 2-44, Maglente-Tonu 1-26, Drake Carvalho 1-14; KSM, Hiwatashi 6-59, Keoni Keanini 5-45, Colton Cabanas 4-33, Keawe Rindlisbacher 3-12, Rylie Velez 2-12, Kai Segundo 1-21.