MIL football races wide open

September 15, 2009, 9:21 AM HST · Updated September 15, 9:21 AM
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By Fred Guzman
MauiNow.com

It’s a tradition among MIL football coaches, whether they are favorites or underdogs, to proclaim each coming season as wide open. But guess what? This year — up to now, at least — you can correctly make the case that this MIL season is truly anyone’s to win.

In fact, after two weeks, there is only one team with an unbeaten mark in league play. That distinction belongs to Kamehameha at 1-0. Lahainaluna, King Kekaulike and Maui High all are 1-1, while four-time defending Division-I champion Baldwin is the only winless team at 0-1 in the MIL and 0-2 overall.

After being idle for four weeks, the Warriors opened their MIL campaign on Friday night with a 10-6 win over a Maui High team that had won two straight after a three-year victory drought.

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On Saturday, Lahainaluna – following a slow start to this season and in this game – finally got into an offensive groove and posted a 26-14 win over King Kekaulike, which was brought down to earth following its upset of Baldwin the week before.

Lahainaluna rolled up 272 yards on the ground and 40 more through the air, spreading the ball around to a variety of runners and receivers.

The plot thickens this week, when the Bears face the Lunas on Friday and Kamehameha visits neighboring Kekaulike on Saturday.

You can follow the action of all MIL games live on ESPN 550 or via the internet at ESPN550.com.

UH WINS: The best description of UH’s performance on Saturday in Seattle appeared in a headline in the Star-Bulletn: Warriors feast on apple turnovers.

Hawaii scored on three of its first four possessions and took advantage of five first-half Washington State turnovers en route to a 38-20 victory at Qwest Field.

With Nick Rolovich making his debut as the offensive play-caller, quarterback Greg Alexander passed for a career-high 453 yards and three touchdowns as UH built a 35-0 lead before the Cougars scored the next 20, taking advantage of Hawaii’s sloppy play.

Greg Salas caught seven of Alexander’s 26 completions for 195 yards and a TD and Hawaii amassed 623 total yards while improving to 2-0 going into this Saturday’s road game against UNLV.

Several other UH players put up impressive stats. Wide receiver Rodney Bradley had seven catches for 150 yards and two scores. Linebacker Corey Paredes had eight tackles and forced two fumbles. Safety Mana Silva had four tackles and two interceptions.

Alexander was named WAC offensive player of the week, while Paredes was honored as the league’s outstanding defensive player.

MORE UH: The sixth-ranked Rainbow Wahine defeated No. 10 Stanford to win a weekend volleyball tournament at the Stan Sheriff Center, while theUH women’s soccer team dropped to 1-4-1 for the season with a 2-0 loss at Pepperdine.

MAIVA: Kaluka Maiava, the first former MIL football player to compete in an NFL game, registered his first tackle in a regular-season game but his Cleveland Browns suffered a 34-20 home loss to Minnesota as star running back Adrian Peterson rushed for 180 yards and three touchdowns in Brett Farve’s debut as QB of the Minnesota Vikings.

MMA: Maui’s Brandon Visher, the reigning 145-pound Up and Up Extreme Cage Fighting state champion, remained undefeated at the expense of previously unbeaten Isaac de Jesus of California on Saturday in a mixed martial arts event at Blaisdell Arena.

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