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MIL preseason roundup: Lunas top Vikings in Hilo; Warriors, Na Alii, Bears fall short

Kamehameha Schools Maui’s Frank Abreu smiles after scoring a second-quarter touchdown Saturday against Kamehameha Hawaii at Kanaiaupuni Stadium. The Warriors from Hawaii island rallied to beat the Maui Warriors 25-21. The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photos

The Lahainaluna High School football team has unquestionably been leading the way for the Maui Interscholastic League for the last six years, and the Lunas did it again on Saturday night.

Lahainaluna overcame three first-half turnovers inside Hilo’s 10-yard line to capture a 28-20 win over the Vikings at Wong Stadium, the only win for the MIL in four non-league games on Saturday night.

“We really wanted to play Hilo because of the caliber of team that they are,” Lahainaluna co-head coach Dean Rickard said at the Hilo airport Sunday morning. “We expected to see a lot of passing and that’s what Hilo gave us, good looks, a good matchup.

“But on our end, a lot of mistakes, a lot of inconsistency. We had some drives that we weren’t able to capitalize on, take advantage of field position. We had three turnovers … trying to get into the end zone. We need more consistency offensively and defensively.”

In statistics provided by scoringlive.com, Kaulana Tihada ran for 169 yards and a touchdown on 25 carries, and Ian-Jay Cabanilla ran for 109 yards and a touchdown on eight carries and caught two passes for 23 yards and a score to lead the Lunas.

Kamehameha Maui’s Teiva Kauhaa-Po carries the ball during the first quarter Saturday evening.

Cabanilla’s 47-yard touchdown run gave the Lunas a 28-17 lead with 7 minutes, 21 seconds to play in the game. They surrendered a 38-yard field goal with 4:00 to go, but the Lunas ran out the clock with three first downs after that.

“Our boys are down to dig deep down in the fourth quarter, and hold them,” Cabanilla said. “They came out strong at the end.”

The Lunas finished with 432 yards of offense, 305 on the ground.

“We’re trying to give them packages so we don’t bombard the kids with too much as far as plays-wise,” Rickard said of the offense. “Defensively we just need to get better at tackling, we had some poor tackling, nothing that can’t be fixed and that’s what you’d expect in a preseason game.”

*****

Tihada

KAMEHAMEHA HAWAII 25, KAMEHAMEHA MAUI 21

At Kanaiaupuni Stadium, the Maui Warriors built a 14-0 lead one play into the second quarter — the touchdowns were both long pass plays from quarterback Makana Kamaka-Brayce to Frank Abreu, 61 yards on their first possession and 36 yards with 11:50 to go in the first half.

After the Hawaii island Warriors pulled within 14-10 on a 3-yard run by Tobey Lau with 8:25 left in the third quarter, Kamaka-Brayce led a 14-play, 80-yard touchdown drive that was culminated by a 5-yard pass to Kauila Shiffler with 5:05 to go in the period.

The Big Island team responded on the next possession with a 10-play, 75-yard scoring drive of its own, climbing within 21-18 on a 1-yard TD plunge by Lau and a 2-point conversion run by Michael Perry.

Kamehameha Maui responded with a long drive and had third-and-7 at the Hawaii 13-yard line. Kamaka-Brayce hit his receiver, but the ball was bobbled and intercepted by Javan Feary, who returned it 52 yards to the KS Maui 43-yard line.

Cabanilla

The Hawaii Warriors faced third-and-17 on the ensuing possession after a pair of sacks, and Perry, the quarterback, was under heavy pressure again when he hit Feary for a 20-yard gain for the first down to the Maui 30.

Four straight runs by Lau, the last one a 12-yard scoring jaunt up the middle, gave the Big Island team the lead for good with 5:38 to play.

After a penalty on the kickoff, the Maui Warriors started on their own 8-yard line. They reached the Hawaii Warriors’ 25-yard line before losing the ball on downs with 52 seconds to go.

Kamaka-Brayce threw for 241 yards and three TDs, and Abreu caught five passes for 121 yards and two scores.

Kamehameha Maui’s defense sacked Perry 11 times.

“We made enough mistakes to cost us,” Kamehameha Maui coach Ulima Afoa said. “So, we don’t catch balls, there’s a bunch of different reasons why, but it’s good that we got it out of the way and we know what we need to work on and we just continue to work. It’s a long season.”

Afoa was impressed with Perry, a 5-foot-5, 155-pound senior who passed for 147 yards and ran for 18 despite the numerous losses on sacks.

“You gotta give them credit, too, that No. 15 is a pretty good player,” Afoa said. “You know, he gets himself out of a lot of jams. But, again, we can’t worry about what they do, we have to worry about what we do.”

*****

WAIMEA 21, KING KEKAULIKE 10

At King Kekaulike Stadium, Na Alii coach Tyson Valle was pleased with his team’s play, despite the loss.

Kamakalei Stone caught a touchdown pass of more than 20 yards from Kalelepono Wong early in the fourth quarter to cut King Kekaulike’s deficit to 14-10.

Waimea beat Kaimuki last week 48-6. King Kekaulike was playing its first game after an 0-6 all-MIL slate in 2021.

“I think we definitely improved,” Valle said. “We moved the ball. I think for us, we’ve got to wrap up a lot of our mistakes — missed tackles, missed blocks.

“We just got to make sure that we go through and we execute on everything that we do out there. This game was very, very competitive.”

King Kekaulike hosts Baldwin to open MIL play on Friday.

“We got to see what we wanted to see offensively, defensively,” Valle said. “We got to see what we’re after, I think we’re happy with that, but what we have definitely got to fix is our mistakes. That’s not just with our players, but with our coaches as well — we’ve just got to wrap up those mistakes, we go into MIL season next week.”

Kauai 56, Baldwin 8

At Vidinha Stadium, the Bears were delayed more than three hours due to flight issues from Maui to Lihue, with a layover in Honolulu. Once they got to the Garden Isle, the Red Raiders were tough to handle.

Baldwin’s lone touchdown was a pass from Kaimana Kahoopii to Joseph Randolph early in the fourth quarter. Kahoopii ran for the two-point conversion.

Baldwin threw two interceptions and struggled on special teams, with multiple punts blocked.

The Bears were playing their first preseason road game since 2017 when they lost 61-0 to Saint Louis at Aloha Stadium.

* Robert Collias is at rcollias@mauinews.com.

*****

KAMEHAMEHA HAWAII 25, KAMEHAMEHA MAUI 21

KS Hawaii 0 3 15 7–25

KS Maui 7 7 7 0–21

First Quarter

KSM–Frank Abreu 61 pass from Makana Kamaka-Brayce (Makaha Pang kick), 9:42.

Second Quarter

KSM–Abreu 36 pass from Kamaka-Brayce (Pang kick), 11:50.

KSH–FG Elijah Dinkel 42, 3:45.

Third Quarter

KSH–Tobey Lau 3 run (Dinkel kick), 8:25.

KSM–Kauila Shiffler 5 pass from Kamaka-Brayce (Pang kick), 5:05.

KSH–Lau 1 run (Michael Perry run), 1:10.

Fourth Quarter

KSH–Lau 12 run (Dinkel kick), 5:38.

KSH KSM

First downs 16 17

Rushes-yards 36-113 25-120

Passing yards 147 241

Total offense 260 361

Return yards 103 78

Comp-Att-Int 12-18-0 17-33-2

Fumbles-lost 1-1 0-0

Penalties-yards 9-75 4-45

Punts-avg 3-35.0 2-32.0

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING–KS Hawaii, Lau 16-93, Michael Perry 19-18, Xander Hoopai 1-2; KS Maui, Teiva Kauhaa-Po 11-53, Heno Stone-Han 3-28, Kamaka-Brayce 5-24, Duke Brown 5-13, Po’o Aiu 1-2.

PASSING–KS Hawaii, Perry 12-18-0–147; KS Maui, Kamaka-Brayce 17-33-2–241.

RECEIVING–KS Hawaii, Javan Feary 5-51, Makaiokalani Snyder 2-49, Kekoa Ah Loy 1-18, Ty Watterson 1-9, Shiloh Santos 1-9, Micah Perreira 1-6, Kekainalu Fuerte 1-5; KS Maui, Abreu 5-121, Aiu 4-52, Shiffler 4-38, Kapena Ueki 4-30.

MISSED FIELD GOALS–none.

*****

Friday’s Result

MAUI HIGH 16, NANAKULI 0

At War Memorial Stadium

Nanakuli 0 0 0 0– 0

Maui High 7 9 0 0–16

First Quarter

MH–Piercen Evans 11 run (Sevy Scofienza kick), 5:20.

Second Quarter

MH–FG Scofienza 33, 3:34.

MH–Charlie Peterson 27 pass from Joe Cariaga (kick blocked), 1:44.

Nan MH

First downs 6 15

Rushes-yards 25-59 36-145

Passing yards 40 70

Total offense 99 215

Return yards 163 137

Comp-Att-Int 6-13-2 4-8-1

Fumbles-lost 3-3 3-1

Penalties-yards 2-15 9-70

Punts-avg 3-22.7 3-38.0

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING–Nanakuli, Hansen Salausa-Kaawa 10-36, Christian “Imi” Asinsin 11-10, Allen Mahoe III 1-7, team 1-7, David Kalili 2-(minus 1); Maui High, Evans 12-63, Cariaga 7-43, Antonio Castro 7-34, Devontae Myrick 3-10, Falekaono 1-3, Kupono Soberano 2-8, Evan Tarasenko 3-(minus 3), Nathaniel Russell 1-(minus 13).

PASSING–Nanakuli, Salausa-Kaawa 6-13-2–40; Maui High, Tarasenko 3-5-0–43, Cariaga 1-3-1-27.

RECEIVING–Nanakuli, Mahoe 2-5, Asinsin 1-14, Richard Federico 1-14, Nathan Pele-Tukumoeatu 1-6, Blaze Baltazar-Conselva 1-1; Maui High, Braden Albrecht 1-39, Peterson 1-27, Evans 1-4, Soberano 1-0.

MISSED FIELD GOALS–Maui High, Scofienza 44 (WR).

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