MIL Football: Sabers End Victory Drought
By Fred Guzman
Not much was expected of Maui High and Kamehameha-Maui going into the campaign. And it will likely take a similar performance, or two, for either of them to be regarded as bona fide contenders. Still, those two teams packed lot of drama into the opening night of the MIL football season.
Down 14-6 in the third quarter, Maui High forced a 14-14 tie by the end of regulation and then rallied yet again, clinching a 28-27 victory over the Warriors in double-overtime before a crowd of about 1,200 fans at War Memorial Stadium.
Keone Kapisi provided the margin of victory by converting a point-after following 1-yard scoring plunge by quarterback Siueli Vaha. This, after the Warriors had taken a 27-21 lead to open the second overtime, but then gambled – and failed – on a two-point conversion attempt.
Maui High, which had only one win in its previous 37 league outings, ended a 15-game MIL losing streak and won for the first time in nine games since a non-league win over Waiakea last year. It also marked the first varsity win for Sabers’ head coach David Bui.
Kupono Cabanas carried a heavy load for the Warriors. He ran for 167 yards and three scores while also converting all three of his PAT attempts in addition to punting, getting some defensive reps in the secondary and serving as his team’s principal return man. Warriors’ QB Kalai Yap passed for 187 yards and TD, and also ran for 41 yards while tossing pair of picks.
Maui High’s Chastin Valdez rushed for 170 yards and a pair of touchdowns in regulation – including a 66-yard scoring scamper. Vaha finished with 100 rushing yards.
Earlier Saturday, Lahianaluna went to the air far more than is their custom behind promising sophomore quarterback Kiko Kohler-Fonohem. The Lunas also put on a dominant defensive performance in a 22-0 win over visiting King Kekulike, limiting Na Alii to just 90 total yards.
This is how things went for Baldwin on Friday night before about 2,000 fans at War Memorial: The Bears trailed 14-0 after just three minutes before running their first offensive play.
Chase Favreau threw for four scores in in the first half, and ran for another touchdown Edison of Huntingtion Beach routed Baldwin 48-10, out-gaining the Bears 410 yards to just 114.
The Bears will open defense of their MIL title on Friday night, hosting the Lunas. On Saturday, Kekulike will visit Kamehameha.
In key games from around the state, sixth-ranked Campbell blanked No. 3 Punahou 14-0, top-ranked Kahuku beat Kailua 23-7 and No. 2 Saint Louis dominated No. 10 Mililani 55-20.