Maui High Grinds Out 14-6 Win With Ground Game
By Rodney S. Yap
Maui High School used a deliberate ground game, riding the strength of Justin McCrary’s 102 yards rushing and two touchdowns en route to a 14-6 win over King Kekaulike on Friday.
A crowd of about 1,800 watched the Sabers grab sole possession of first place in the the Maui Interscholastic League Division I standings, running the ball 41 times and passing it just three times.
Maui High (2-1) is a half-game in front of seven-time defending MIL champion Baldwin, which plays Kamehameha Maui tonight at War Memorial Stadium.
Maui High trailed 6-0 at halftime, but kept giving the ball to McCrary, and the 5-foot-5, 155-pound junior made good on his opportunities, scoring from 30 yards out with 5 minutes, 34 seconds to play in the third quarter. Jared Kapisi’s extra-point kick gave the Sabers a 7-6 lead.
Later, McCrary added a 42-yard scoring run on the first play of the fourth quarter.
“Justin’s always had the ability,” said Maui High head coach David Bui. “I think the difference in this game was the play of our o-line. They really came through and they are beginning to really play together. They are making that push to really finish their plays and I think this week they did that. Now we have to continue to build on that.”
Bui cited the play of seniors Kaohu Aki (6-3, 245), Kason Alves (6-1, 340, Jourdon Casio (5-8, 175), Josiah Sodetani (5-7, 235), and youngsters Pani Kapisi (6-2, 235, So.) and Villiami Pua (6-2, 205, Fr.) who rotate at one tackle position.
“We’re looking for some of these youngsters to step up. We have a good core of youngsters out there and I think it’s a new beginning for them. I think they feel good about it and I think they are going to take this and run with it.”
Defensively, “We were short-handed, but they did what they had to do and kept us in the game, which is our brand of football. It’s still a team effort.”
Coach Bui said the bottom line is the team has rules and only the players who abide by them will wear the Maui High colors.
“We have a code of conduct and expectation of how our kids act on and off the field, and right now we are happy with all of the players we have on the team at this point and the way they are behaving themselves.”
Maui High sophomore quarterback David Kahaleauki completed all three of his passes for 18 yards.
King Kekaulike quarterback Ryley Widell scored Na Alii’s first offensive points of the MIL season on a 5-yard touchdown run with 10:37 remaining in the second quarter.
An interception and 21-yard return by Chevy Vierra set up King Kekaulike’s touchdown. Widell also connected with Keegan Gregg on a 16-yard pass to the 6-yard line and Widell scored two plays later.
Widell finished 9-for-19 passing, for 146 yards.
Friday’s Scoring Summary
Maui High 0 0 7 7—14
King Kekaulike 0 6 0 0—6
KKH—Ryley Widell 5 run (kick failed), 10:37; 6-0.
MHS—Justin McCrary 30 run (Jared Kapisi kick), 5:34.
MHS—McCrary 42 run (Kapisi kick), 11:49.
Junior varsity-King Kekaulike 28, Maui High 27.