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Warriors run past Farmers 39-0 Saturday

Kamehameha Schools Maui shuts out Molokai in football preseason opener

Molokai quarterback Kaimana Nakayama is chased by Kamehameha Maui defenders Iverson Dudoit (left) and Michael Kalalau before being sacked in the first quarter. The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photos

PUKALANI — This game was a beginning for both teams.

The Kamehameha Schools Maui football team ran past Molokai 39-0 in the preseason opener for the Warriors at Kanaiaupuni Stadium on Saturday night.

Junior quarterback Alex Tolentino made his varsity debut, threw for three touchdowns and 224 yards on 17-for-25 passing. He had no interceptions and also ran 13 times for 27 yards and a touchdown.

“It was a pretty good feeling because we’ve got a good, nice, young squad,” Tolentino said. “So, I’m just trying to get used to varsity.”

He got the ball to seven different receivers, led by the 93 yards that Ezekiel Weber had on three receptions. Carsyn Pupunu had four catches for 63 yards and a score, and Kahiau Kaniho had six grabs for 28 yards and a touchdown.

Kamehameha Maui quarterback Alec Tolentino throws a first-quarter touchdown pass to Kahiau Kaniho Saturday against Molokai High School.

“It’s really cool, I love having a lot of weapons, even at running back,” Tolentino said. “But at the end of the day it’s a team sport, so I love it.”

Kamehameha Maui coach Ulima Afoa said, “You like some positive things to happen to a rookie. And he did a lot of good things, did a lot of positive things, but we still have some things that we have to work on.”

The Farmers played their second 11-player game in the last two weeks and the second in the last 50-plus years. At times, it showed for the four-time defending Maui Interscholastic League eight-player champions.

Molokai coach Mike Kahale was clearly a bit exasperated after quarterback Kaimana Nakayama was sacked seven times for a loss of 39 yards. The Farmers had minus 16 yards total for the game, although they did manage to get 72 yards in the passing game.

“Kamehameha Schools, they’re the real deal,” Kahale said. “They’ve got some playmakers over there. They took advantage of mismatches that we had and now we just have to play with the guys that we have.”

Kamehameha Maui's Ezekiel Weber sheds a tackle attempt by Molokai's Kanalu Kahale after catching a first-quarter pass Saturday.

Last week, Molokai traveled with just 24 players; Saturday night they had 47 dressed.

“I think they’ve got some ways to go,” Afoa said of the Farmers. “Their kids played hard, but, you know, it’s a big transition that they have got to have between eight-man and 11-man. It’s a big difference. Those three guys make a big difference, but at the same time it’s good that they’re trying to make the transition. You know what? They’ll have a really good program if they stay 11-man.”

Last week, the Farmers lost 37-0 to Nanakuli in their first 11-player game since the early 1960s.

“They’re a good team, they just need to develop,” Tolentino said. “They’ll be good. They have a good squad there.”

Kahale added, “We wanted them to play every down, be competitive. We tried to come in with a positive attitude — we were going to take our licks if we get them.”

Kamehameha Maui turned on the mercy-rule running clock with 5 minutes, 14 seconds left in the third quarter on a 38-yard punt return for a touchdown by Teancum Aiwohi that pushed the lead to 39-0.

The Warriors took a 26-0 lead into halftime on the strength of three touchdown passes by junior quarterback Tolentino and a stifling defense that limited the Farmers to 17 total yards of offense.

Tolentino capped a six-play, 74-yard drive on the opening possession with an 8-yard touchdown pass to Kaniho with 10:31 left in the first quarter. The big play on the drive was a 66-yard pass from Tolentino to Weber.

After Molokai lost nine yards on its first possession, Kamehameha Maui took over on the Farmers’ 30-yard line and needed just three plays to score on Tolentino’s 6-yard scoring pass to Pupunu.

C.J. Hamasaki’s 1-yard scoring dive made it 19-0 with 5:36 to go in the first quarter. That culminated a three-play, 29-yard drive that was highlighted by a 22-yard Tolentino pass to Weber that put the ball on the 1.

Tolentino’s 9-yard scoring pass to Aiwohi with 7:49 to go in the second quarter pushed the lead to 26-0.

Tolentno’s 1-yard scoring run capped an 11-play, 57-yard drive on Kamehameha Maui’s first possession of the second half, pushing the lead to 32-0.

The bottom line for Molokai is this was a learning experience on their way to transitioning to the 11-man game. Their eight-man season starts in three weeks.

“This is going to be a tough road, this is not going to be easy, we knew that coming in,” Kahale said. “Wish we could have been a little more competitive. We’ve got to shore up some things all the way around. Our 11-man season is over in an instant and now we’ve got to focus on eight-man.

“But if we’re looking to move in that direction there’s a lot of work that needs to be done on our behalf. For sure, for sure.”

* Robert Collias is at rcollias @mauinews.com.

Molokai 0 0 0 0–0

KS Maui 19 7 13 0–39

First Quarter

KSM–Kahiau Kaniho 8 pass from Alex Tolentino (kick failed), 10:31.

KSM–Carsyn Pupunu 6 pass from Tolentino (pass failed), 8:03.

KSM–C.J. Hamasaki 1 run (Cruz Braun kick), 5:36.

Second Quarter

KSM–Teancum Aiwohi 9 pass from Tolentino (Braun kick), 7:49.

Third Quarter

KSM–Tolentino 1 run (kick failed), 6:38.

KSM–Aiwohi 38 punt return (Braun kick), 5:14.

Mol KSM

First downs 3 19

Rushes-yards 20-(minus 88) 27-73

Passing yards 72 241

Total offense (minus 16) 304

Return yards 22 92

Comp-Att-Int 9-18-0 19-29-0

Fumbles-lost 3-2 0-0

Penalties-yards 6-37 5-55

Punts-avg 7-32.0 0-0

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING–Molokai, Nalima Puaa-Aki 4-(minus 3), Jordan Kupau 2-(minus 7), Kolee Pedro-Tabilangan 1-(minus 7), Jayden Kaupu 1-(minus 8), Team 4-(minus 23), Kaimana Nakayama 8-(minus 40); Kamehameha Maui, Hamasaki 7-33, Tolentino 13-27, Kamahao Kang 2-13, Tiliti Adams 1-11, Zachary Genobia 1-6, team 3-(minus 17).

PASSING–Molokai, Nakayama 9-17-0-72, Kaupu 0-1-0–0; Kamehameha Maui, Tolentino 17-25-0-224, Adams 2-4-0–17.

RECEIVING–Molokai, Kupau 5-27, Kahalu Kahale 2-36, Isaiah Wond 1-9, Kali Hirashiama 1-0; Kamehameha Maui, Kahiau Kaniho 6-28, Pupunu 4-63, Ezekiel Weber 3-93, Aiwohi 2-29, Adams 2-18, Genobia 1-10, Pookela Aiu 1-0.

MISSED FIELD GOALS–none.