Bears open round with win
Akaka accounts for six touchdowns in victory over Na Alii
WAILUKU — After falling behind early, things went swimmingly for the Baldwin High School football team on its homecoming night Friday at War Memorial Stadium.
The Bears did not touch the ball on offense for the game’s first 9 1/2 minutes, but then needed just 13 total plays to reach the end zone on each of their initial five possessions and eventually defeated King Kekaulike 55-6 in the opening game of the Maui Interscholastic League’s second round.
Chayce Akaka had four touchdown runs and threw two scoring passes for Baldwin (3-2), and has accounted for 20 touchdowns in MIL play this year — a number that has been surpassed just twice in the last five seasons, including by Akaka himself in 2015 when he had 25.
Akaka, who has accounted for 64 total touchdowns in two-plus seasons, also ran 10 times for 89 yards, was 5-for-6 passing for 139 yards and caught a 10-yard pass.
King Kekaulike (0-5) lost its 27th straight league game.
The Bears activated the mercy-rule running clock less than a minute into the third quarter on Akaka’s 7-yard touchdown run that made the score 42-6. Akaka hit Kainoa Kaina for 39 yards on the previous play.
Frank Galios’ 3-yard run made it 49-6 with 2:03 left in the quarter and Akaka ran in from 18 yards out with 7:32 to play.
Na Alii took the opening possession 65 yards in 15 plays on a drive that took 8:01 off the clock and culminated with Rilee Peters’ 1-yard touchdown run. The drive was helped by four Baldwin penalties for 36 yards — three of the flags gave first downs to King Kekaulike (0-5).
Peters recovered the ensuing onside kick, but Na Alii were unable to generate a first down on the possession.
King Kekaulike quarterback Trey Hunter left the game during the opening series and did not return after a hit in the backfield that drew a hands-to-the-face penalty.
The Bears needed just six plays to take the lead. Akaka hit Rohel Ruiz on a 37-yard touchdown pass with 3 seconds left in the first quarter and Bishop Wickes kicked the extra point.
Baldwin’s next possession took two plays, the second a 24-yard run by Wickes. The short field was set up by Isaiah Kusunoki’s 23-yard punt return and a 15-yard penalty on Na Alii at the end of the return.
An 8-yard punt set up the Bears’ next touchdown, an 11-yard run by Akaka.
Baldwin needed just one play on each of its next two possessions — Akaka scrambled for a 37-yard score after an interception by Aiden Elf, and then hit Mahi DeFrancia with a 44-yard scoring pass.
King Kekaulike dressed 25 players for the game, four more than they had in their last game, a 55-0 loss to Maui High on Sept. 9.
* Robert Collias is at email@example.com
King Kekaulike 6 0 0 0– 6
Baldwin 7 28 14 6–55
KK–Rilee Peters 1 run (kick failed), 3:59.
B–Rohel Ruiz 37 pass from Chayce Akaka (Bishop Wickes kick), 0:03.
B–Wickes 24 run (Wickes kick), 9:34.
B–Akaka 11 run (Wickes kick), 6:36.
B–Akaka 37 run (Wickes kick), 4:19.
B–Mahi DeFrancia 44 pass from Akaka (Wickes kick), 2:00.
B–Akaka 7 run (Wickes kick), 11:18.
B–Frank Galios 3 run (Wickes kick), 2:03.
B–Akaka 18 run (kick failed), 7:32.
Junior varsity–Baldwin 59, King Kekaulike 6.
MIL SECOND-ROUND STANDINGS
Overall MIL record in parentheses
W L Pct PF PA
Baldwin (3-2) 1 0 1.000 55 6
x-Maui High (2-2) 0 0 .000 0 0
W L Pct PF PA
x-Lahainaluna (4-0) 0 0 .000 0 0
KS Maui (2-2) 0 0 .000 0 0
King Kekaulike (0-5) 0 1 .000 6 55
x-won first-round championship
Baldwin 55, King Kekaulike 6
Maui High at Lahainaluna, 7 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 29
King Kekaulike vs. Lahainaluna at War Memorial Stadium, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 30
Maui High vs. Kamehameha Maui at War Memorial Stadium, 7 p.m.