Bears lock up first-round crown
WAILUKU — The Baldwin High School football team put on a methodical performance to beat crosstown rival Maui High 33-0 on Friday night at War Memorial Stadium in front of a crowd of about 3,000 fans.
The win clinched the Maui Interscholastic League first-round crown in Division I for the Bears (2-1). The Sabers fell to 0-3 and have been outscored 78-20 in MIL play.
The game got chippy in the final minutes, resulting in a Baldwin player being ejected with 3 minutes, 32 seconds to go after a sideline scuffle.
Baldwin took a 27-0 lead on its first play from scrimmage in the second half, a highlight-reel 84-yard run by Isaiah Souza with 7:21 to go in the third quarter. Souza finished with 214 yards on 21 carries, the highest rushing performance in the MIL this season.
Ben Tokanang’s 4-yard scoring run up the middle pushed the Baldwin lead to 33-0 with 11:04 left in the game. That capped a 35-yard, six-play drive that was set up by a fumbled punt by the Sabers.
The game started about 30 minutes late due to a long junior varsity contest — and both teams came out sluggish.
The Bears broke the ice with a three-touchdown outburst in the second quarter to take a 20-0 lead into the locker rooms at halftime.
Baldwin went 71 yards in seven plays to take a 7-0 lead on a 2-yard plunge by Ben Wagner with 6:44 left in the first half.
The drive was helped by a pair of Maui High penalties for a total of 20 yards, and the big play was a 33-yard strike from Laakea Asuega-Stark to Isaiah Richards, a transfer from Maui High, that put the ball on the Sabers’ 15-yard line.
Baldwin went 78 yards in six plays on its next possession, scoring on a 27-yard run up the middle by Souza. A pretty pass from Asuega-Stark to Kapena Kamai put the ball on the Maui High 32.
The Bears then used strategic timeouts and forced a three-and-out possession by the Sabers to set up a third straight scoring drive.
Baldwin needed just two plays to go 64 yards — a 22-yard Asuega-Stark strike to Kamai and a 47-yard pass to a wide-open Nathen Foster over the middle — to make it 20-0 with 50 seconds left on the first-half clock.
Souza had 117 yards on 16 carries in the first half, Kamai had three catches for 55 yards and Asuega-Stark passed for 136 yards and ran for 30 more.
The Baldwin defense limited the Sabers to 41 yards of offense and two first downs in the first half.
For the game, the Bears piled up 415 yards of offense, while limiting the Sabers to 142 yards and seven first downs.
Maui High finished with nine penalties for 80 yards, while the Bears committed 10 penalties for 60 yards.
* Robert Collias is at firstname.lastname@example.org
Baldwin 0 20 7 6–33
Maui High 0 0 0 0– 0
B–Ben Wagner 2 run (Isaiah Souza kick), 6:44.
B–Souza 27 run (Souza kick), 2:11.
B–Nathen Foster 47 pass from Laakea Asuega-Stark (kick failed), 0:50.
B–Souza 84 run (Justin Rivera kick), 7:21.
B–Ben Tokanang 4 run (kick failed), 11:04.
Junior varsity–Maui High 42, Baldwin 18.
W L Pct PF PA
x-Baldwin 2 1 .667 69 57
Maui High 0 3 .000 20 78
W L Pct PF PA
x-Lahainaluna 3 0 1.000 114 21
King Kekaulike 1 1 .500 26 58
KS Maui 1 2 .333 54 69
x-clinched first-round championship
Baldwin 33, Maui High 0
Kamehameha Maui at King Kekaulike, 7 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 20
Baldwin vs. King Kekaulike at War Memorial Stadium, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 21
Maui High vs. Lahainaluna at War Memorial Stadium, 7 p.m.