Farmers earn third straight league crown

Hauoli Caparida carries the ball for Molokai High School during its 73-38 win over Lanai in Saturday’s Maui Interscholastic league championship game in Hoolehua. -- RICK SCHONELY photo

The Molokai High School eight-player football team saved its best for last.

The Farmers finished their third straight unbeaten championship season Saturday, getting five touchdowns from Hauoli Caparida in a 73-38 win over Lanai in front of an estimated crowd of more than 500 in the Maui Interscholastic League title game in Hoolehua.

Molokai (4-0) and Seabury Hall have now split the six titles in the sport’s MIL history.

“We’ve been talking about it all year,” said Farmers coach Mike Kahale. “Seabury took the first three titles — we needed to at least match them. … Now, it’s time for us to see if we can break that tie.”

Molokai set a league record for points in an MIL title game, breaking the mark it set last year in a 45-25 win over the Spartans. The league has conducted a championship game three times.

Lanai’s Naighel Calderon heads upfield while Molokai’s Kukiai Kaopio pursues. -- RICK SCHONELY photo

The Pine Lads (2-2) were making their first appearance in a final. Lanai brought more than 100 fans along with the team on a chartered ferry.

“This is what dreams are made of, man, these small towns, communities, come in and battle for championships,” Kahale said. “It was great for both teams. Lanai came to play. … It was exciting.”

Caparida had touchdown runs of 2 and 4 yards, scored on receptions of 30 and 35 yards and returned a kickoff 80 yards for a touchdown.

Naighel Calderon had five of Lanai’s touchdowns. He caught scoring passes of 55 and 14 yards, ran for a 3-yard touchdown, returned a kickoff 80 yards for a touchdown and had an 88-yard interception return for a score.

“Calderon was a beast, man,” Kahale said.

“We had to start squibbing it so we didn’t give him the ball. … Once he’s gone we can’t catch him.”

Kaimana Na­kayama caught first-quarter touchdown passes of 23 and 85 yards from Shraedon Naeole-Starkey. The Far­mers led 43-20 at halftime.

“We came out in the first half and played really well,” Kahale said. “We had a game plan. We needed to make sure that we executed offensively. In the past we’ve kind of struggled to start a game and then came on strong. So, we really wanted to make sure that we were on the throttle right from the beginning.”

Molokai’»s Braiden Asuncion scored on a 50-yard interception return, and Kolee Pedro-Tabilangan had a 9-yard touchdown run.

Kane Tubera had a 41-yard touchdown catch for Lanai.

Hana defeated Seabury 8-6 at War Memorial Stadium in Wai­luku in the third-place game. Each team finished 1-3.

* Robert Collias is at rcollias@mauinews.com

Lanai 0 20 12 6 — 38

Molokai 24 23 20 6 — 73