Warriors rally past Sabers

Adams’ late TD lifts Kamehameha Maui to 21-17 victory

Kamehameha Schools Maui quarterback Tiliti Adams releases a first-quarter pass during the Warriors’ 21-17 victory over Maui High on Friday night at Kanaiaupuni Stadium. -- The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

PUKALANI — In a game that didn’t mean much in the standings, the Kamehameha Schools Maui football team saved its best for last on senior night at Kanaiaupuni Stadium on Friday.

Sophomore quarterback Tiliti Adams ran 4 yards up the middle untouched for a touchdown to put the Warriors ahead for good with less than two minutes to play in a 21-17 victory over Maui High.

Kamehameha Maui finished 5-3 in the Maui Interscholastic League while the Sabers (4-4) will play for the league’s Division I championship and state berth next Friday at War Memorial Stadium.

Adams’ scoring run with 1:52 left to play capped a 99-yard, 11-play drive. The large play on the drive came on a 45-yard screen pass from Adams to Dane Abarra, who also had 117 yards rushing on 20 carries.

Earlier in the second half, the teams traded the lead twice in 15 seconds. Makani Smith-Kemfort caught a 21-yard scoring pass from Adams with 2:51 left in the third quarter to give the Warriors a 14-10 lead.

Kamehameha Maui’s Dane Abarra runs in the second quarter Friday. -- The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

Mone Tongi returned the ensuing kickoff 75 yards to give the lead right back to the Sabers, 17-14.

The Sabers took a 10-7 lead into the locker room after Naia Nakamoto dove in from 2 yards out with 1 minute, 10 seconds left in the first half.

That drive covered 80 yards and lasted 13 plays — the possession was kept alive when the Warriors fumbled a punt that was recovered by Maui High’s Kenneth Maris Manegdeg at the Kamehameha 25-yard line.

Nakamoto ran six times for 42 yards on the drive. Nakamoto finished with 78 yards on 23 carries to break the Maui High single-season rushing record of 1,216 set in 2003 by Andrew Nakihei. Nakamoto now has 1,240 yards with one game to play.

The Sabers opened the scoring on a 32-yard field goal by Brex Delray with 3 minutes left in the first quarter.

Maui High’s Trent Takara intercepts a second-quarter pass in front of Kamehameha Maui’s Karsyn Pupunu. -- The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

Kamehameha Maui answered with a 70-yard, eight-play drive that culminated with a 6-yard touchdown pass from Adams to Ezekiel Weber with 48 seconds left in the first quarter. The big play on the drive was a 27-yard strike from Adams to Karsyn Pupunu that moved the ball to the Maui High 24.

Maui High’s defense intercepted Adams five times in the game — three by Trent Takara and two by Kevin Cacho. The Sabers hurt themselves with 15 penalties for 111 yards in the game.

* Robert Collias is at rcollias@mauinews.com

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Maui High 3 7 7 0–17

The Warriors’ Tristan Catan returns a kickoff in the first quarter. -- The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

KS Maui 7 0 7 7–21

First Quarter

MH–FG Brex Delray 32, 3:00.

KSM–Ezekiel Weber 6 pass from Tiliti Adams (Cruz Braun kick), 0:48.

Second Quarter

The Sabers’ Naia Nakamoto runs with the ball. -- The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

MH–Naia Nakamoto 2 run (Delray kick), 1:10.

Third Quarter

KSM–Makani Smith-Kemfort pass from Adams (Braun kick), 2:51.

MH–Mone Tongi 75 kickoff return (Delray kick), 2:36.

Fourth Quarter

KSM–Tiliti Adams 4 run (Braun kick), 1:52.

Junior varsity–Maui High 21, Kamehameha Maui 7.

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MIL STANDINGS

DIVISION I

W L Pct PF PA

x-Maui High 4 4 .500 194 172

y-Baldwin 3 5 .375 172 270

DIVISION II

W L Pct PF PA

z-Lahainaluna 7 0 1.000 259 19

KS Maui 5 3 .625 229 198

King Kekaulike 0 7 .000 109 304

x-clinched first-round championship

y-clinched second-round championship

z-clinched overall championship

Friday’s Result

Kamehameha Maui 21, Maui High 17

Today’s Game

King Kekaulike at Lahainaluna, 7 p.m.

End of regular season

Friday, Nov. 2

D-I overall championship: Baldwin vs. Maui High at War Memorial Stadium, 7 p.m.

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