Maui High remains in first-round contention

Sabers defeat Na Alii, set up key game with Bears next week

Maui High School’s Kainalu Tancayo runs for a touchdown in the first quarter of the Sabers’ 55-0 win over King Kekaulike on Saturday at War Memorial Stadium. -- The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

WAILUKU — The first win of the Rodney Figueroa era for the Maui High School football team set up a high-stakes game next week.

The Sabers rolled to a 55-0 victory over King Kekaulike on Saturday night at War Memorial Stadium, a result that kept Maui High (1-2) in contention for the Maui Interscho­lastic League Division I first-round championship — which will be decided next week when the Sabers face Baldwin.

Na Alii (0-4) lost their 26th MIL game in a row dating to 2014.

Maui High rolled up 505 yards of offense — 389 in the first half, including 128 on the ground by Naia Naka­moto on four carries. Kainalu Tancayo ran for 73 yards and two touchdowns on three carries to go with 94 yards and a touchdown passing. Nakamoto and Tancayo were kept out for the second half.

The Sabers scored twice on special teams, once on defense, four times via the run, once on a pass and on a fumble recovery on offense.

Naia Nakamoto caries the ball for the Sabers in the first quarter. -- The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

Tevita Takitaki started the barrage on a 28-yard punt return for a touchdown less than 2 1/2 minutes in to the game. Three minutes later, Tancayo capped a three-play, 46-yard drive with a 6-yard scoring run.

Two possessions later, Tancayo kept the ball after a fake handoff to Nakamoto and rolled through the defense for a 61-yard touchdown.

Any doubt it was to be the Sabers’ night essentially ended when Christian Lee recovered a fumble by Mitchell Hirose-Lee and ran the ball 10 yards to the end zone after Hirose-Lee’s 39-yard catch.

Torryn Kauhaahaa-Sulusi caught a 25-yard pass from Tancayo for the next score and Nakamoto broke free for a 63-yard touchdown run on Maui High’s next snap on offense.

The Sabers led 43-0 at halftime after Kahoku Kealoha sacked Na Alii’s Trey Hunter for a safety.

King Kekaulike’s Trey Hunter fights to pull away from a diving tackle attempt by Maui High’s Johnathan Aunese in the first quarter. -- The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

With the mercy-rule running clock in effect for the entire second half, Maui High added two touchdowns in the third quarter to complete the scoring.

Justin Pulido ran for a 26-yard touchdown and Sione Lolohea blocked a Hunter punt and recovered the ball in the end zone.

The Sabers finished with 345 rushing yards spread between eight ballcarriers and 160 yards in the air, and limited Na Alii to six first downs.

* Robert Collias is at


Na Alii’s Shane Ribucan carries the ball in the first quarter. -- The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

Maui High 20 23 12 0 — 55

King Kekaulike 0 0 0 0 — 0

First Quarter

MH–Tevita Takitaki 28 punt return (Kalia Kapisi kick), 9:32.

MH–Kainalu Tancayo 6 run (kick failed), 6:47.

MH–Tancayo 61 run (Kapisi kick), 0:31.

Second Quarter

MH–Christian Lee 10 fumble return (Kapisi kick), 10:37.

MH–Torryn Kauhaahaa-Sulusi 25 pass from Tancayo (Kapisi kick), 9:10.

MH–Naia Nakamoto 63 run (Kapisi kick), 7:23.

MH–safety, Kahoku Kealoha tackles Trey Hinter in end zone, 1:20.

Third Quarter

MH–Justin Pulido 26 run (kick failed), 8:55.

MH–Sione Lolohea recovers blocked punt in end zone (kick failed), 5:29.

Junior varsity–Maui High 20, King Kekaulike 13.

KS Maui 0 7 0 7 — 14

Baldwin 13 19 7 7 — 46

First Quarter

B–Maluhia Plunkett 21 pass from Chayce Akaka (Plunkett kick), 7:43.

B–Plunkett 31 pass from Akaka (kick failed), 2:21.

Second Quarter

KSM–Nathan Facuri 52 pass from Kainoa Sanchez (Michael Singh kick), 10:32.

B–Akaka 1 run (run failed), 9:39.

B–Kainalu Lacno 1 pass from Akaka (kick failed), 7:10.

B–Akaka 3 run (Plunkett kick), 0:12.

Third Quarter

B–Plunkett 19 pass from Akaka (Akaka kick), 1:59.

Fourth Quarter

B–Nainoa Keahi 13 pass from Akaka (Akaka kick), 8:51.

KSM–Dane Abarra 7 pass from Sanchez (Singh kick), 4:40.


First downs 18 26

Rushes-yards 22-37 27-228

Passing yards 230 334

Total offense 267 561

Return yards 117 86

Comp-Att-Int 19-36-2 16-21-0

Fumbles-lost 1-1 1-1

Penalties-yards 5-50 9-90

Punts-avg 4-32.5 3-37.0


RUSHING–Kamehameha Maui, Damon Martin 12-31, Sanchez 6-22, Abarra 4-5, team 2-(minus 21); Baldwin, Akaka 12-100, Frank Galios 8-76, Aloalii Laga 2-28, David Enomoto 1-10, Plunkett 1-9, Austin Duarte 1-3, Kusunoki 2-2.

PASSING–Kamehameha Maui, Sanchez 19-36-2-230; Baldwin, Akaka 12-16-0-264, Kusunoki 4-5-0-70.

RECEIVING–Kamehameha Maui, Facuri 7-128, Karsyn Pupunu 4-39, Tristan Catan 3-26, Trystan Ah-Yat 2-20, Abarra 2-10, Kainalu Pahia 1-7; Baldwin, Plunkett 4-86, Akaka 4-70, Lacno 3-56, Brayden Reys-Sojot 2-59, Rohel Ruiz 1-40, Keahi 1-13, Kaikea Silva 1-10.






Baldwin 2 1 .667 123 49

Maui High 1 2 .333 81 53



Lahainaluna 3 0 1.000 105 33

KS Maui 2 1 .667 84 71

King Kekaulike 0 4 .000 19 206

Friday’s Result

Baldwin 46, Kamehameha Maui 14

Saturday’s Result

Maui High 55, King Kekaulike 0

Friday, Sept. 15

Lahainaluna at Kamehameha Maui, 7 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 16

Maui High vs. Baldwin at War Memorial Stadium, 7 p.m.