Sabers hold off Na Alii

Maui High’s Michael Cruz tackles King Kekaulike’s Zack Hokoana in the second quarter Saturday. -- The Maui News / CHRIS SUGIDONO photo

PUKALANI — It certainly wasn’t pretty at times, but the Maui High School football team presented James Kammerer with his first win as a head coach on Saturday night at King Kekaulike Stadium.

The Sabers gave their first-year coach a 41-20 win over Na Alii in front of about 1,500 fans on a cool night Upcountry to open Maui Interscholastic League play for both teams.

The two teams traded turnovers to begin the second half — King Kekaulike’s Mark Amaral recovered a fumble before Maui High’s Kevin Cacho grabbed an interception that led to the first offensive touchdown of the night.

Mitchell Hirose hauled in a 16-yard scoring pass from Taelen Bates to cap a six-play, 49-yard scoring drive that gave the Sabers a 21-0 lead just over two minutes into the second half. Bates was 5-for-5 passing on the possession for 44 yards — he ran for the other 5 yards on the possession.

Cacho grabbed his second interception of the night on the next possession to thwart another Na Alii possession.

Maui High’s Solomone Tongi intercepts a pass in the second quarter. -- The Maui News / CHRIS SUGIDONO photo

Late in the third quarter Maui High’s Torryn Kauhaahaa-Sulusi picked off a pass and returned it 29 yards to Na Alii’s 22. On the next play, Kauhaahaa-Sulusi caught a pass from Bates in the end zone to push the lead to 28-0 with 1:32 to go in the third.

Trey Hunter broke free and hauled in a 96-yard touchdown pass from T.J. Perkett early in the fourth quarter to put King Kekaulike on the scoreboard, closing within 28-7.

Hunter caught 10 of the 13 Kekaulike completions in the game, for 342 yards and three scores.

After a 22-yard kickoff return by Kauhaahaa-Sulusi, Naia Nakamoto ran through traffic for a 28-yard touchdown to give the Sabers a 34-7 lead with 10:20 to play.

Hunter answered with a 22-yard crossing pattern to score and make it 34-14. Late in the game, he broke free across the middle and outraced the Maui High defense to the end zone on a 51-yard touchdown with 2:56 to play — all of the scoring passes came from Perkett.

Maui High’s Naia Nakamoto breaks free from King Kekaulike's Kaina Logan in the second quarter on Saturday. -- The Maui News / CHRIS SUGIDONO photo

Hunter also had two interceptions on defense, rushed 10 times for 21 yards, had two kick returns for 35 yards, and punted twice for 71 yards.

Bates dove in from 1 yard out with 52 seconds to go to account for the final margin.

Maui High led 14-0 at halftime despite doing very little on offense.

King Kekaulike dominated from the line of scrimmage early in the game, but the Sabers took a 7-0 lead when Trey Gaspar scooped and scored on a fumble return of 69 yards with 3:40 left in the first quarter.

The ball was knocked loose on a voracious hit by Atu Falekaono, the reigning MIL Defensive Player of the Year who had been slowed by shin splints this fall.

King Kekaulike’s Trey Hunter catches a pass in the first quarter. -- The Maui News / CHRIS SUGIDONO photo

Earlier, Na Alii reached the Maui High 13-yard line on their first possession, recording three first downs before Hanalei Akina missed a 34-yard field goal.

After the fumble return score, Na Alii again drove deep into Sabers territory and Akina nailed a 38-yard field goal with 2:37 left in the first quarter.

Akina was roughed on the play and King Kekaulike chose to accept the penalty, taking the points off the scoreboard in favor of a first down on the Maui High 11-yard line.

The Maui High defense then forced Na Alii to turn the ball over on downs, stopping Hunter for a loss of 1 yard on fourth-and-7 from the Maui High 8.

After the King Kekaulike defense forced a punt from deep in Maui High territory, Na Alii got another chance at a field goal.

On the final play of the first half, Akina’s 32-yard attempt was blocked by Solomone Tongi, who then grabbed the ball and raced 78 yards to the end zone and a 14-0 lead for the Sabers.

The Sabers were in command at the break despite being outgained 148 yards to 18 on offense. Hunter had three receptions for 112 yards in the first half for King Kekaulike.

* Robert Collias is at


Maui High 7 7 14 13–41

King Kekaulike 0 0 0 20–20

First Quarter

MH–Trey Gaspar 69 fumble return (Brex Delray kick), 3:40.

Second Quarter

MH–Solomone Tongi 78 blocked field goal return (Delray kick), 0:00.

Third Quarter

MH–Mitchell Hirose 16 pass froim Taelen Bates (Delray kick), 9:48.

MH–Torryn Kauhaahaa-Sulusi 22 pass from Bates (Delray kick), 1:32.

Fourth Quarter

KK–Trey Hunter 96 pass from T.J. Perkett (Peighton Akina kick), 11:39.

MH–Naia Nakamoto 28 run (pass failed), 10:20.

KK–Hunter 22 pass from Perkett (Akina kick), 4:06.

KK–Hunter 51 pass from Perkett (kick blocked). 2:56.

MH–Bates 1 run (Rusty Lopaka-Abalos kick), 0:52.

# # #

Friday’s Results

At War Memorial Stadium


Lahainaluna 21 14 14 0–49

Baldwin 0 0 0 6– 6

First Quarter

LL–Derek Perez 13 run (Pablo Rico kick), 10:40.

LL–Perez 33 run (Rico kick), 6:19.

LL–Perez 1 run (Rico kick), 2:19.

Second Quarter

LL–Etuati Storer 3 run (Rico kick), 9:29.

LL–Kamalei Watson 2 run (Rico kick), 5:15.

Third Quarter

LL–Storer 10 run (Rico kick), 3:31.

LL–Joshua Tihada 3 run (Rico kick), 0:17.

Fourth Quarter

B–Ben Tokanang 10 fumble return (kick blocked), 4:03.


First downs 23 7

Rushes-yards 37-296 30-32

Passing yards 44 40

Total offense 340 72

Return yards 139 24

Comp-Att-Int 4-15-2 8-22-2

Fumbles-lost 3-1 1-1

Penalties-yards 6-50 4-45

Punts-avg 0-0 5-36.0


RUSHING-Lahainaluna, Perez 4-58, Tihada 6-46, Watson 5-41, Tre Rickard 1-30, Lennox Kahahane-Lived 3-34, Storer 4-28, Ken Lee 1-11, Sheldon Frias 2-10, Zeff Dudoit 1-10, Kainalu Kaililaau 1-8, Nainoa Kulukulualani-Sales 1-7, team 3-7, Paea Tasini 1-3, Nainoa Irish 1-2, Jesse Dudoit 1-2, Ronald Criste 1-0, Jonah Damasco 1-(minus 1); Baldwin, Bishop Wickes 18-37, Bubba Varner 1-6, Maluhia Plunkett 1-5, Isaiah Souza 1-0, La’a Asuega-Stark 7-(minus 3), team 2-(minus 13).

PASSING-Lahainaluna, Irish 4-11-1-44, Esekielu Storer 0-4-1-0; Baldwin, Asuega-Stark 8-21-2-40, Varner 0-1-0-0.

RECEIVING-Lahainaluna, Watson 1-14, Kai Bookland 1-12, Z. Dudoit 1-10, Devon Sa-Chisam 1-8; Baldwin, Kapena Kamai 3-15, Wickes 2-29, Varner 1-3, Plunkett 1-(minus 2), Kili Madrid 1-(minus 5).

MISSED FIELD GOALS-Lahainaluna, Rico 59 (SH).

At Kanaiaupuni Stadium



American Leadership 6 6 6 0–18

Kamehameha Maui 14 17 14 6–51

First Quarter

KSM–Makani Smith-Kemfort 3 pass from Tiliti Adams (Ostermiller kick), 8:52.

KSM–Dane Abarra 3 run (Ostermiller kick), 2:07.

ALA–Kayden Orona 4 run (kick failed), :26.

Second Quarter

KSM–Abarra 11 pass from Adams (Ostermiller kick), 9:42.

KSM–Abarra 11 pass from Adams (Ostermiller kick), 7:09.

ALA–Taggart Caskey 45 pass from Jack Ricedorff (2-point failed), 5:04.

KSM–FG Sam Ostermiller 20, :02.

Third Quarter

KSM–Karsyn Pupunu 5 run (Ostermiller kick), 6:41.

ALA–Caskey 24 pass from Ricedorff (2-point failed), 4:16.

KSM–Teva Pimental 27 run (Ostermiller kick), 3:28.

Fourth Quarter

KSM–Kainoa Monkres 30 pass from Adams (kick failed), 5:46.


First downs 15 11

Rushes-yards 28-187 16-77

Passing yards 181 232

Total offense 378 30

Return yards 29 87

Comp-Att-Int 18-28-0 13-24-2

Fumbles-lost 1-1 4-4

Penalties-yards 8-70 3-35

Punts-avg 2-27.5 1-15


RUSHING-Kamehameha Maui, Adams, Tiliti 8-56, Pimental, Teva 6-55, Abarra, Dane 8-54, Tau-a, Ty 3-8, Catan, Tristan 2-9, Pupunu, Karsyn 1-5; American Leadership Academy, McAleavy, Jacob 6-51, Orona, Kayden 5-22, Ricerdorff, Jack 4-4, Baker, Greg 1-0.

PASSING-Kamehameha Maui, Adams 18-28-3-181; American Leadership Academy, Ricedorff 13-23-1-232, Caskey, Taggart 0-1-0-0.

RECEIVING-Kamehameha Maui, Hamasaki, CJ 5-63, Ah-yat, Tristan 3-43, Abarra 3-30, Catan 5-22, Pupunu 2-26, Smith-Kemfort 1-3; American Leadership Academy Caskey, 7-121, Baker 4-65, Binion, Jacob 3-32, Wardrop, Weston 2-14.






Maui High 1 0 1.000 41 20

Baldwin 0 1 .000 6 49



Lahainaluna 1 0 1.000 49 6

KS Maui 0 0 .000 0 0

King Kekaulike 0 1 .000 20 41

Friday’s Results

Lahainaluna 49, Baldwin 6

Kamehameha Maui 51, American Leadership Academy (Ariz.) 18 (nonleague)

Saturday’s Result

Maui High 41, King Kekaulike 20

Friday, Aug. 24

Maui High at Kamehameha Maui, 7 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 25

King Kekaulike at Lahainaluna, 7 p.m.