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Lunas match MIL record with victory over Bears

Lahainaluna High School quarterback Esekielu Storer steps up in the pocket to throw a touchdown pass to Tre Rickard during the second quarter of the Lunas’ 34-9 win over Baldwin on Saturday at Sue Cooley Stadium. The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

LAHAINA — The Lahainaluna High School football team tied the all-time Maui Interscholastic League win streak record of 19 with a methodical 34-9 victory over Baldwin on a damp Saturday night at Sue Cooley Stadium.

That didn’t matter a whole lot to Lahainaluna co-head coach Dean Rickard.

“I didn’t really think about (that) until you just mentioned it, but that’s nice to have,” Rickard said of the record. “But again, we’re just looking forward to preparing for next week and taking it one game at a time.”

The result left the Lunas 2-0 in MIL play, while Baldwin — which in its history has won 19 MIL games in a row on two occasions — fell to 1-1.

The Bears had a golden chance to even the score right out of the gate in the second half when Jonathan Bacos intercepted an Esekielu Storer pass and returned it 21 yards to the Lunas’ 10-yard line on the first play from scrimmage of the third quarter.

Lahainaluna's Nainoa Kulukulualani-Sales comes down with a second-quarter interception in front of teammates Kai Bookland and Brysen Rickard and Baldwin High's Nycholas Facuri.

After two runs and an incomplete pass netted eight yards, the Bears settled for Isaiah Souza’s 18-yard field goal to climb within 13-9 with 10 minutes, 33 seconds left in the third quarter.

The Lunas then scored the last three touchdowns — Storer finished 14-for-25 passing for 235 yards and three touchdowns, and also ran for the final score of the night.

“You know Baldwin, they’ve got top-notch athletes,” Rickard said. “Coming in defensively we knew they had their whole front four coming back and some other people in the secondary. We know every time we play Baldwin it’s going to be a tough battle and it’s going to come down to whoever makes the fewest mistakes. Fortunately, it worked out for us.”

After Souza’s field goal, the Lunas pushed the lead to 20-9 on the ensuing possession when they went 73 yards in 10 plays, scoring on Joshua Tihada’s 2-yard plunge. Tihada set up the touchdown with a nifty 24-yard run to the 2.

After forcing a three-and-out possession by the Bears, the Lunas struck quickly again to take a 27-9 lead after a 12-yard punt. They went 42 yards in two plays, scoring on a 30-yard pass from Storer to Tre Rickard.

Lahainaluna’s Kai Bookland (right) and Treven Tihada celebrate Bookland’s touchdown catch Saturday. The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

Lahainaluna scored their last touchdown with 7:55 to play on a 3-yard run by Storer. The 39-yard, five-play drive was set up by a 14-yard punt. Storer was 3-for-3 passing on the drive for 42 yards — the extra yardage was due to a penalty on Lahainaluna.

The Lunas took a 13-6 lead into the locker rooms at halftime on the strength of two touchdown passes by Storer.

Baldwin jumped on top 6-0 when Nephi Laga recovered a fumble in the end zone with 7:10 left in the first quarter. One play earlier, Lahainaluna’s Brysen Rickard intercepted a Laakea Asuega-Stark pass at the Bears’ 1-yard line.

The Lunas missed field goals of 37 and 40 yards on two first-quarter possessions, but they found the end zone when Kai Bookland broke free and hauled in a 42-yard scoring pass from Storer. Kai Casco’s kick gave Lahainaluna a 7-6 lead it would not relinquish, with 7:27 left in the first half.

After an interception by Tre Rickard gave the Lunas the ball at the Baldwin 43, Storer hit Rickard for a 21-yard touchdown pass with 56 seconds left in the half.

The Lunas’ Brysen Rickard intercepts a pass in front of Baldwin’s Kapena Kamai. The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

Souza missed a 53-yard field-goal try for the Bears on the final play of the second quarter.

Lahainaluna outgained Baldwin 174 yards to 107 in the first half. For the game, the Lunas had 369 yards, while limiting Baldwin to 143 yards.

Baldwin had just one first down in the second half.

“Plain and simple, they know what they’re doing,” Baldwin coach Pohai Lee said. “They’re well-coached and even though they make mistakes, they’re disciplined enough to recover from them. Totally my fault offensively, not getting guys ready, but we’ve got to be able to make more plays offensively. Again, it’s another thing we’ve got to work on.”

* Robert Collias is at rcollias@mauinews.com

Baldwin players celebrate a fumble recovery for a touchdown. The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

Baldwin 6 0 3 0– 9

Lahainaluna 0 13 14 7–34

First Quarter

B–Nephi Laga recovers fumble in end zone (kick failed), 7:10.

Second Quarter

LL–Kai Bookland 42 pass from Esekielu Storer (Kaihulali Casco kick), 7:27.

LL–Tre Rickard 21 pass from Storer (pass failed), 0:56.

Third Quarter

B–FG Isaiah Souza 18, 10:33.

LL–Joshua Tihada 2 run (Casco kick), 6:57.

LL–Rickard 30 pass from Storer (Casco kick), 4:47.

Fourth Quarter

LL–Storer 3 run (Casco kick), 7:55.

B LL

First downs 9 24

Rushes-yards 23-87 37-134

Passing yards 56 235

Total offense 143 369

Return yards 62 98

Comp-Att-Int 11-26-4 14-28-1

Fumbles-lost 2-2 1-1

Penalties-yards 6-50 10-77

Punts-avg 5-23.0 4-39.3

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING–Baldwin, Isaiah Souza 11-56, Laakea Asuega-Stark 7-34, Josiah Souza 2-8, Justin Rivera 1-1, Jaedon Santos-Kekona 1-(minus 2), team 1-(minus 10); Lahainaluna, Joshua Tihada 14-64, Storer 5-30, Treven Tihada 5-21, Devon Sa-Chisolm 3-18, Tysyn Estrella 1-4, Nainoa Irish 2-2, Tre Rickard 2-1, Nainoa Kulukulualani-Sales 1-1, Cyrus Freitas 1-0, Blare Sylva-Viela 1-(minus 1), team 2-(minus 6).

PASSING–Baldwin, Asuega-Stark 11-25-3–56, Rivera 0-1-1–0; Lahainaluna, Storer 14-25-1–235, Irish 0-3-0–0.

RECEIVING–Baldwin, Kapena Kamai 3-24, Isaiah Richards 3-13, Nathen Foster 2-18, Isaiah Souza 1-5, Jaron Davis 1-2, Danelle Daniels 1-(minus 6); Lahainaluna, Kai Bookland 4-70, Tre Rickard 3-77, Brian Sandoval 3-37, Sa-Chisolm 2-29, Kulukulualani-Sales 2-22.

MISSED FIELD GOALS–Lahainaluna, Brian Sandoval 37 (WR), 40 (SH), Casco 23 (WR); Baldwin, Isaiah Souza 53 (SH).

Junior varsity–Baldwin 14, Lahainaluna 0.

Friday’s Result

KAMEHAMEHA MAUI 31, MAUI HIGH 8

Maui High 0 0 8 0– 8

KS Maui 6 11 14 0–31

First Quarter

KSM–Tiliti Adams 15 pass from Alec Tolentino (kick failed), 2:05.

Second Quarter

KSM–FG Cruz Braun 33, 9:54.

KSM–Adams 3 run (Kahiau Kaniho pass from Adams), 1:18.

Third Quarter

KSM–Adams 1 run (Braun kick), 4:18.

MH–Brex Delray 1 run (Kaeo Miguel pass from Delray), 2:19.

KSM–Adams 2 run (Braun kick), 0:09.

MH KSM

First downs 12 24

Rushes-yards 33-71 27-126

Passing yards 132 243

Total offense 193 369

Return yards 20 63

Comp-Att-Int 11-26-1 15-31-1

Fumbles-lost 1-0 2-1

Penalties-yards 11-124 10-80

Punts-avg 9-28.6 4-38.3

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING–Maui High, Rusty Abalos 10-50, Naia Nakamoto 7-24, Delray 13-11, Keoki Kong 1-2, team 2-(minus 16); Kamehameha Maui, Teva Pimental 10-95, Adams 10-25, C.J. Hamasaki 1-5, Teancum Aiwohi 2-2, Tolentino 4-(minus 1).

PASSING–Maui High, Delray 11-26-1–132; Kamehameha Maui, Adams 8-15-0–127, Tolentino 6-15-1–89, Zachary Genobia 1-1-0–27.

RECEIVING–Maui High, Kaeo Miguel 4-49, Renzo Je Mendoza 2-38, Nakamoto 2-29, Riley Johnson 2-2, Abalos 1-14; Kamehameha Maui, Ezekiel Weber 5-40, Karsyn Pupunu 3-50, Hamasaki 2-45, Adams 2-33, Pimental 1-36, Braun 1-27, Kaniho 1-12.

MISSED FIELD GOALS–none.

MIL Standings

DIVISION I

W L Pct PF PA

Baldwin 1 1 .500 36 58

Maui High 0 1 .000 8 31

DIVISION II

W L Pct PF PA

Lahainaluna 2 0 1.000 80 21

KS Maui 1 1 .500 55 35

King Kekaulike 0 1 .000 12 46

Friday’s Result

Kamehameha Maui 31, Maui High 8

Saturday’s Result

Lahainaluna 34, Baldwin 9

Friday, Sept. 6

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

Saturday, Sept. 7

Kamehameha Maui at Lahainaluna, 7 p.m.