Reinhardt’s Fumble For TD Lifts Baldwin over Maui
By Rodney S. Yap
Maui High head coach David Bui believes the outcome of every football game can be defined by one or two plays.
Ahead 2-0, thanks to a Baldwin safety on the Bears’ third play from scrimmage, the Sabers’ offense was trying to set up a field-goal when it called its strongest running play.
“It was our iso, which is our bread-and-butter play,” Bui said. “We wanted to get to fourth down and try and kick it.”
The ball was on the Bears’ 35-yard line, when Maui High quarterback Kalvin Aboy and junior running back Justin McCrary mishandled the exchange and the ball fell in the backfield.
That’s when Baldwin’s Abraham Reinhardt, playing outside linebacker, alertly picked up the loose ball and returned it 60 yards for a touchdown. The score, which came midway through the first quarter, proved to be the difference in the game as the Bears went on to win Saturday night’s Maui Interscholastic League contest, 25-5.
The victory, before a War Memorial Stadium crowd of about 4,200, extended the Bears’ winning streak over Maui High to 23 games — dating back to 2000.
The game marked Baldwin’s 2012 MIL debut, coming off 46-0 stinging loss last week to Saint Louis School at Aloha Stadium. The Bears are now 1-1 overall, while Maui High fell to 1-2 overall and 1-1 in the MIL.
“I think that was the biggest one,” said Bui, when asked if Reinhardt’s touchdown was the biggest play of the game. “You can always look back on a game and find two or three key plays, and it doesn’t matter if the game is close or a blow out. I believe that was one of the plays and that a was mental [mistake] on our part.”
For Maui High, the good thing is, the mistake can be fixed.
The bad thing is, mistakes are compounded when playing Baldwin, the MIL defending champions.
“I think our boys put out a good effort,” Bui said. “We are just a play here and a play there away. But like I told the boys, if we are going to beat Baldwin, we have to be alert every minute, every play. We can’t afford to make mistakes like that.”
Plays like that tend to take coaches out of their game plans.
“It changed the game plan for us,” said Bui, who relied more on the pass than the run following the fumble return for touchdown.
Following Reinhardt’s touchdown, Maui High executed their best drive of the first half, moving the ball 53 yards on seven plays. A 15-yard personal-foul penalty by the Bears and a 40-yard pass from Aboy to Raymon Ledesma gave the Sabers their deepest penetration in the first half, putting the ball at the Bears’ 13-yard line.
A bad snap, a false-start penalty and two incompletions later, one broken up by a Baldwin cornerback near the corner of the end zone, forced the Sabers to kick a field goal with two minutes, 39 seconds left in the first quarter. The score cut Baldwin’s lead to 6-5.
The Bears’ offense got its running game untracked in the second quarter behind quarterback Ryan Graham, a 5-foot-7 transfer from Kamehameha Schools Maui. Graham, making just his second varsity start in relief of injured all-star Keelan Ewaliko, completed 19 of 26 passes for 151 yards, and executed the Bears’ version of the power-I formation with converted defensive lineman Miki Fangatua to fullback.
When Fangatua wasn’t gaining yards he was opening holes for teammate Kaipo Lapenia-Lau, who scored on third-quarter runs of 10 and 1 yards, respectively.
Baldwin place-kicker Zachary Coloma-Mariano capped the scoring with a pair of fourth-quarter field goals from 38 and 25 yards.
“We are trying to close the gap (on Baldwin) and we are trying to close the gap in a hurry,” said Bui. “We are not there yet, but we are certainly making strides. We just have to continue to work hard.”
Saturday’s Scoring Summary
Baldwin 6 13 6 0—25
Maui High 5 0 0 0—5
MHS — Safety, ball kicked back of end zone, 10:37; 0-2.
BHS — Abraham Reinhardt 60 fumble return (kick failed), 6:11; 6-2.
MHS — Jared Kapisi 40 field goal, 2:39; 6-5.
BHS — Kaipo Lapenia-Lau 10 run (Zach Coloma-Mariano kick), 6:03; 13-5.
BHS — Lapenia-Lau 1 run (kick failed), :37; 19-5.
BHS — Coloma-Mariano 39 field goal, 8:00; 22-5.
BHS — Coloma-Mariano 25 field goal, 3:01; 25-5.
Junior Varsity: Baldwin 18, Maui High 7.