Ewaliko’s Return Sparks Baldwin’s Rout of Warriors
By Rodney S. Yap
Kamehameha Schools Maui prepared for the return of Baldwin High School’s Keelan Ewaliko.
That should be a warning to the rest of the Maui Interscholastic League. After all, Baldwin dismantled the Warriors, 62-18, as Ewaliko ran for three touchdowns and threw for two in his first MIL game of the season.
“We were well prepared defensively,” said Kamehameha Schools Maui defensive end Aydan Lopes. “We had a few little mistakes and Keelan turned those little mistakes into big mistakes.”
And eventually, touchdowns.
Ewaliko broke down the Warriors’ defense for touchdown runs of 25, 62 and 58 yards, respectively. Then, in a span of 2 minutes, the 6-foot, 180-pound quarterback, connected with Abraham Reinhardt and Ryan Garces for a pair of third-quarter touchdown passes, putting the game out of reach at 55-18.
“We expected him to play, but not like he played,” Lopes said of Ewaliko. “He was phenonenal. He’s a (NCAA) Division I prospect and it show.”
Ewaliko said it felt good to wake up sore this morning, it was his reward for contributing to the victory.
“I feel 100%. I got a few bumps and bruises, but it’s the good kind of pain, because you know you worked hard and gave it it your best,” Ewaliko said.
In the end, the MIL’s two-time offensive player of the year, said: “It just felt great to be out there with my teammates, contributing to our win. It was hard to just watch and not be able to help. I think my time on the sidelines just added fuel to my fire and helped me to push myself harder.”
Hearing the War Memorial Stadium crowd of about 2,500 cheer may have also spurred Ewaliko’s comeback performance.
Whatever the case, Baldwin appears to be back to its winning ways with Ewaliko at the controls. The do-everything back finished with 176 yards on nine carries. He also passed for 101 yards for a total offense of 277 yards, well above his 2011 average of 217 yards per game.
Kamehameha Maui was not short on offense in the first half as the two teams combined for 52 first-half points.
KS-Maui quarterback Connor Kala’i Yap tried to keep the game close, scoring on runs of 62 and 79 yards. In between his rushing touchdowns he hit tight end Lopes for a 44-yard play-action-pass for touchdown.
Minus a pair of long snaps that sailed over the KS-Maui’s punter’s head, Yap said he felt like the Division II Warriors were competitive with the Division I Bears through the first 20 minutes of the game.
“Definitely in the first quarter and through part of the second quarter we felt we played really good football and that we were hanging with Baldwin, playing good physical football,” Yap explained. “I thought our offensive line was playing well, executing their blocks, and allowed our backs to make things happen for us.”
Yap, who left the game with a headache in the third quarter, finished with 189 rushing yards on 17 carries. He was also 7-for-11 passing for 70 yards. Kamehameha finished with 285 in total offense.
With the win, Baldwin moved into a tie for the MIL Division I lead and can clinch the first round with a victory next week at winless King Kekaulike.
Kamehameha Maui (1-3) has a bye next week.
Baldwin’s Dusty Flores finished with 141 yards and two touchdowns on nine carries. The Bears, who averaged 165 yards per game without Ewaliko, had 438 yards in total offense.
Saturday’s Scoring Summary
Kamehameha Maui 6 12 0 0—18
Baldwin 7 27 21 7—62
BHS—Keelan Ewaliko 25 run (Zacharia Coloma-Mariano kick), 10:36.
KSM—Kalai Yap 62 run (kick failed), 0:00.
BHS—Abraham Reinhardt 89 kickoff return (Coloma-Mariano kick), 11:45.
KSM—Aydan Lopes 44 pass fro Yap (run failed), 8:57.
BHS—Ewaliko 62 run (Coloma-Mariano kick), 8:41.
BHS—Dusty Flores 2 run (kick failed), 7:15.
KSM—Yap 79 run (kick failed), 3:53.
BHS—Flores 5 run (Coloma-Mariano kick), 1:33.
BHS—Ewaliko 58 run (Coloma-Mariano kick), 9:19.
BHS—Abraham Reinhardt 5 pass from Ewaliko (Coloma-Mariano kick), 6:28.
BHS—Ryan Garces 8 pass from Ewaliko (Coloma-Mariano kick), 4:30.
BHS—Graham 1 run (Coloma-Mariano kick), 8:33.
Junior varsity-Baldwin 30, Kamehameha Maui 6.