Seabury falls to HPA in first-ever 11-player game

Seabury Hall quarterback Jack Almeida throws a pass in the fourth quarter of the Spartans’ 27-14 loss to Hawaii Prep on Saturday at War Memorial Stadium. The Maui News / CHRIS SUGIDONO photo

WAILUKU — For a historic first, this one was pretty good for the Seabury Hall football team.

The Spartans played their first-ever 11-man contest on Saturday in front of about 100 fans at a sun-drenched War Memorial Stadium, falling 27-14 to Hawaii Preparatory Academy of the Big Island in an exhibition game.

“It felt really, it felt like back in the day when I played for Pop Warner,” said Seabury Hall quarterback/safety Jack Almeida, who had a 70-yard interception return for a touchdown that gave the Spartans a one-point lead in the second half. “I think we came out and we did as well as we could have. I mean, everybody left it out on the field, nobody gave anything less than their best today.”

Seabury Hall stormed back from a 13-0 halftime deficit by going 67 yards in seven plays with the second half kickoff, scoring when Almeida hit Kai Preseault for a 26-yard touchdown pass. A 35-yard pass from Almeida to Preseault four plays earlier set up the score.

On the fifth play of the ensuing drive, Almeida picked off an Umi Kealoha pass off the hands of a Ka Makani receiver and returned it for a touchdown. Jack Hedden hit Chase Granum on the 2-point conversion pass to give the Spartans a 14-13 lead.

Seabury Hall’s Taiana Ornellas runs in the fourth quarter Saturday. The Maui News / CHRIS SUGIDONO photo

HPA needed just one play to take the lead back for good when Kealoha found Kamuela Lindsey open down the right sideline for a 51-yard touchdown pass with 46 seconds left in the third quarter.

“We’re happy to come out and put together the game plan that we had and follow through on it,” Seabury Hall coach Dave Carino said. “The boys stuck to it. Changing the mind frame from eight-man to 11, we just kind of stayed on them from the beginning of preseason: ‘You know, it’s all 11, it’s all 11.’ But we’re happy making history, the boys played tough, they competed, and they did a good job.”

Carino stressed that the Spartans’ full attention is now on their eight-player Maui Interscholastic League schedule that begins Sept. 9 at Molokai.

“Pulling back now into our eight-man season, this just shows that our boys can play,” Carino said. “We had a bunch of freshmen out there and sophomores, juniors and seniors, experienced, non-experienced. It showed that everybody can contribute.

“We are definitely concentrating on eight-man now, one year at a time.”

The Spartans’ Steve Savou (56) and Chase Granum run after Hawaii Prep’s Umi Kealoha in the third quarter. The Maui News / CHRIS SUGIDONO photo

Ka Makani took a 13-0 lead after Sheldon Aribal scored on an 8-yard run on their first possession of the game and Kealoha scored on a 1-yard run on their final drive of the first half.

Aribal finished with 168 yards rushing on 21 carries, while Kealoha passed for 112 yards. Lindsey had 26 yards rushing and a touchdown to go with his 51-yard touchdown catch.

Seabury Hall had 181 yards of offense for the game while Ka Makani finished with 320 to win their first game since 2015.

“They have some really big dudes and I’m proud of how hard our guys played,” Hawaii Prep coach Daniel Teo-Nesheim said. “We had a real good showing by our defense, I feel like, and it was nice to see our offense be able to sustain drives.”

* Robert Collias is at rcollias@mauinews.com.

Seabury Hall’s Rolando Berdal catches a pass as Ka Makani’s Steven Guppy defends in the third quarter. The Maui News / CHRIS SUGIDONO photo

Hawaii Prep 7 6 6 8–27

Seabury Hall 0 0 14 0–14

First Quarter

HPA–Sheldon Aribal 8 run (Conor Hunt kick), 8:40.

Second Quarter

HPA–Umi Kealoha 1 run (run failed), 2:15.

Third Quarter

SH–Kai Preseault 26 pass from Jack Almeida (run failed), 8:49.

SH–Almeida 70 interception return (Chase Granum pass from Jack Hedden), 6:05.

HPA–Kamuela Lindsey 51 pass from Kealoha (kick blocked), 0:46.

Fourth Quarter

HPA–Lindsey 12 run (Lindsey run), 5:07.

MIL Eight-Player Football

Saturday’s Results

Molokai 43, Kohala 6

Hawaii Prep 27, Seabury Hall 14 (11-player exhibition)

Friday, Sept. 1

Seabury Hall at Pahoa, 6 p.m. (nonleague)

Saturday, Sept. 2

Hana at Lanai, 11 a.m.

Saturday, Sept. 9

Kau at Lanai, 11 a.m. (nonleague)

Seabury Hall at Molokai, 11 a.m.

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