Lahainaluna defeats Baldwin in overtime
LAHAINA — The Lahainaluna High School football team had never won an overtime game before this season.
Now, the Lunas have done it twice in a three-game span.
Lahainaluna’s Kawehi Gillcoat intercepted a Baldwin pass on the first overtime possession and Pablo Rico then kicked a 19-yard field goal to beat the Bears 17-14 on Friday night in a Maui Interscholastic League game at Sue Cooley Stadium.
The Lunas beat Maui High 24-17 in OT on Sept. 23 — that was the program’s first overtime win, according to co-head coach Garret Tihada. Last week, the Lunas beat King Kekaulike 52-0.
“We’ve been making it interesting,” Tihada said. “Give it to the kids, they find a way. We’d like to be a little more comfortable, but like I said, we can put this in our bank and hopefully it helps us down the road.”
The Lunas (7-0 MIL overall, 3-0 second round) won their 11th game in a row — the defending Division II state champions can clinch an 11th straight trip to the tournament with a loss by Kamehameha Maui today against King Kekaulike.
Baldwin (3-3, 1-1) forced overtime after a 4-yard pass from Chayce Akaka to Brayden Reys-Sojot on fourth-and-goal with 2 minutes, 20 seconds to play.
The Bears got the ball back in regulation, but Gillcoat intercepted Akaka’s pass from his own 49-yard line in the end zone on the final play of the fourth quarter.
“Our defense came up big again and that’s a really explosive team,” Tihada said
Akaka left the game with cramps with 3:19 left in the third quarter before returning to guide the game-tying drive, an 18-play, 84-yard march on which the Bears twice converted on fourth down. Akaka was 4-for-6 passing on the drive for 45 yards and ran three times for 11 yards.
Akaka ran 17 times for 129 yards altogether, and Bishop Wickes had 104 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries.
“We never gave up,” Baldwin coach Pohai Lee said. “Heart is what we talked about, character, especially over here. Chayce, after double cramps, getting up and coming up big. Guys just hung in tough.”
The Bears, who face Kamehameha next week, must beat Maui High on Oct. 20 to force a playoff game for the MIL Division I crown.
“Both teams came out to play tonight, hard,” Lee said. “I give credit to both teams, that’s the way the ball rolls sometimes. Good luck to them, good luck to us. Definitely good game. Anytime you have this kind of competition it will help. We learn from it, we move on and we’ll get better.”
The Lunas held a 14-7 lead at halftime.
After a 58-yard punt by Lahainaluna’s Etuati Storer was downed on the Baldwin 1-yard line late in the second quarter, the Lunas did not allow a first down, and forced a punt. William Kai Bookland then caught a 29-yard scoring pass from Kamahao Acpal on the next play, with 1:12 left in the half.
Lahainaluna took a 7-0 lead on an 18-yard touchdown pass from Acpal to Joshua Tihada on the second possession of the game. The Bears tied the game on a 5-yard run by Wickes in the second quarter.
Joshua Tihada ran 16 times for 120 yards for the Lunas.
* Robert Collias is at email@example.com
Baldwin 0 7 0 7 0 — 14
Lahainaluna 7 7 0 0 3 — 17
LL–Joshua Tihada 18 pass from Kamahao Acpal (Pablo Rico kick), 6:07.
B–Bishop Wickes 5 run (Wickes kick), 6:38.
LL–William Kai Bookland 29 pass from Acpal (Rico kick), 1:12.
B–Brayden Reys-Sojot 4 pass from Chayce Akaka (Wickes kick), 2:20.
LL–Rico 19 FG.
Junior varsity–Lahainaluna 9, Baldwin 0.
MIL SECOND-ROUND STANDINGS
Overall MIL record in parentheses
W L Pct PF PA
Baldwin (3-3) 1 1 .500 69 23
x-Maui High (3-3) 1 1 .500 44 47
W L Pct PF PA
x-Lahainaluna (7-0) 3 0 1.000 93 31
KS Maui (2-3) 0 1 .000 23 27
King Kekaulike (0-6) 0 2 .000 6 107
x-won first-round championship
Lahainaluna 17, Baldwin 14, OT
King Kekaulike at Kamehameha Maui, 7 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 13
Maui High vs. King Kekaulike at War Memorial Stadium, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 14
Baldwin at Kamehameha Maui, 7 p.m.