Lunas to meet Cougars
Top-seeded and undefeated Lahainaluna will play fourth-seeded Kaiser in the semifinals of the First Hawaiian Bank Division II State Championship on Saturday at War Memorial Stadium in Wailuku.
The Cougars advanced with a 59-6 win over Konawaena in a quarterfinal game Saturday on Oahu.
The Lunas, this year’s overall Maui Interscholastic League champions, received a bye to the semifinal round.
Lahainaluna is ranked No. 1 in D-II and Kaiser (11-1) is No. 2 in the KHON Cover 2 Power Poll.
“They have a few weapons,” Lunas coach Garret Tihada said while attending the Cougars’ win on Saturday, noting the play of running backs Fitou Fisiiahi and Thomas Buntenbah-Leong in particular.
Buntenbah-Leong has rushed for 658 yards this season and Fisiiahi for 651, each with 16 touchdowns, according to statistics compiled by hawaiiprepworld.com.
Konawaena finishes 10-3.
Second-seeded Iolani, which won its sixth straight state title last year, beating Lahainaluna in the final, will face third-seeded Kauai in this year’s other semifinal. Kauai defeated Pearl City 13-7 on Saturday, helped by James Bukoski intercepting two passes.
The D-II state title game is scheduled for Nov. 23 at Aloha Stadium.
The MIL has produced one state football champion – King Kekaulike won the D-II title in 2006.
Lahainaluna (10-0), which is making its seventh consecutive trip to the state tournament, had three of the MIL’s top four rushers this season – including the leader, Jared Rocha-Islas, who ran for 814 yards and 12 touchdowns on 64 carries.