Lunas Clinch First Round, Face Maui High Next
By Rodney S. Yap
At Lahainaluna High School, football is always a work in progress.
Saturday, the Lunas drew another step closer to their league goal of winning the 2014 Maui Interscholastic League championship, clinching the Division II first-round title with a 42-7 victory over Baldwin.
A War Memorial Stadium crowd of more than 3,200 watched the Lunas continue to build their winning brand behind the stellar play of quarterback Makoa Filikitonga, who contributed to four first-half touchdowns — two by rushing and two by passing — for the second straight week.
Lahainaluna extended its MIL win streak to 12, dating back to 2012, and raised its season mark to 4-0 overall. On the other hand, Baldwin dropped to 0-3, getting outscored by the state’s No. 1 Div. II school by a combine score of 118-17 in their last three meetings.
Still looking for its first win of the season, Baldwin travels to King Kekaulike on Friday, Sept. 12. On Saturday, Sept. 13, Div. I first-round champion Maui High (3-0) meets Lahainaluna at War Memorial Stadium. Both games kick off at 7 p.m. and can be heard live on ESPN Radio 900AM. Junior-varsity action starts at 4:30 p.m.
Filikitonga, the MIL’s premier offensive player, ran for 78 yards and passed for 102 yards. He scored on runs of 9 and 19 yards, and threw a pair of touchdown passes —19 yards to Jared Rocha-Islas and 29 yards to Tyran Ku’u Palea, respectively.
The Lunas added their final score with 9 minutes, 23 seconds to play on a 21-yard run by Josten Saribay.
Baldwin avoided the shutout with 1:28 left when Taje Akaka-Foster found Ethan Oliveros for a 31-yard touchdown pass.
The Lunas’ offense got a boost with the return of Connor Mowat at center. It was Mowat’s blocking that paved the way for the Lunas first two rushing touchdowns and Rocha-Islas showed no negative signs in his return to the backfield after sitting out the second half last week against Kamehameha Maui. Rocha-Islas’ determined running style highlighted his 14-yard touchdown run in the third quarter when he bounced off a handful of Baldwin would-be tacklers, only to keep his feet moving before spinning into the end zone.
Lahainaluna dominated the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball, rolling up 352 yards in total offense, including 17 first downs in the first half. Baldwin was held to 95 yards in total offense and managed just three first downs in the first half.
Saturday’s MIL Summary
At War Memorial Stadium
LUNAS 42, BALDWIN 7
Lahainaluna ….. 7 ….. 21 ….. 7 ….. 7—42
Baldwin ……….. 0 …… 0 ….. 0 ……. 7—7
LL—Jared Rocha-Islas 19 pass from Makoa Filikitonga (Rocha-Islas kick), 4:53.
LL—Filikitonga 9 run (Rocha-Islas kick), 9:19.
LL—Filikitonga 19 run (Rocha-Islas kick), 2:04.
LL—Tyran Ku’u Palea 29 pass from Filikitonga (Rocha-Islas kick), 1:04.
LL—Rocha-Islas 14 run (Rocha-Islas kick), 2:30.
LL—Josten Saribay 21 run (Rocha-Islas kick), 9:23.
BH—Ethan Oliveros 31 pass from Taje Akaka-Foster (Kelii Kaiama kick), 1:28.
Junior varsity result: Baldwin 21, Lahainaluna 0.
* All individual statistics complied by Rob Collias of The Maui News.