Bears’ Kahoohanohano-Davis Sparks Win Over Lahainaluna
By Rodney S. Yap
All-purpose back La’akea Kahoohanohano-Davis continued his explosive ways Friday, creating a pair of highlight-video plays in the second quarter that ignited Baldwin High School’s homecoming celebration and sent Lahainaluna reeling.
As the Maui Interscholastic League’s top play-maker — on offense, defense and special teams — Kahoohanohano-Davis set-up a touchdown with a huge punt return and scored a 68-yard touchdown off a screen pass as Baldwin broke open a 3-2 yawner in a span of 2 1/2 minutes late in the second quarter.
The scoring boost provided the Bears a 17-2 halftime cushion and eventual 30-8 victory over the visiting Lunas, who fell to 2-4 in league play and 1-1 in the second round. Meanwhile, Baldwin improved to 4-1 and 1-0 in the second round.
Like a man among boys, Kahoohanohano-Davis used his open-field skill set to slow the game down or speed it up, depending on the situation. The 6-foot, 1-inch, 180-pound senior, who is also an accomplished track athlete who led the state last year in three events — 110 high hurdles, long jump, and high jump — leads the league in touchdowns with eight.
Among the 4,000 plus who attended Friday’s game was former Baldwin head coach Chad Kauhaahaa, the current defensive line coach at Oregon State. A bye in the Beavers’ schedule this weekend allowed Kauhaahaa to return to the Valley Isle and see Kahoohanohano-Davis play live. He has plans to go to Kahuku today before returning to Corvallis, Ore, on Sunday.
In addition to defending a pair of passes in the end zone, Kahoohanohano-Davis maximized his only two touches of the ball in the first half when he returned a punt 40 yards and set the table for Dalton Mata’s 37-yard touchdown reception from Chayce Akaka on third down.
His other touch was the screen pass he caught that resulted in the Bears’ second touchdown with 3 minutes, 56 seconds left in the first half. On that play, he managed to avoid three Luna defenders closing in on him, slowing down and then leaping to his. He reset his pace and continued to run, this time down the Makai sidelines away from the pursuit and defensive angles.
But in the end, it wasn’t all Kahoohanohano-Davis. Teammate Kamaki Gouveia added touchdown runs of 18 and 4 yards in the third quarter.
Akaka had a solid outing, throwing for 253 yards, and Baldwin finished with 351 yards in total offense.
Baldwin’s defense was stellar again, as Chris Kaniho’s 1-yard run in the fourth quarter for Lahainaluna was the first touchdown allowed since Sept. 5 against Kamehameha Maui.
Nainoa Keahi, Andre Vaivela, Sidney Fonohema-Hamamoto, Leroy Mafatini Jr. and Leafi Satele led the Bears up front. Keahi is only a sophomore and Satele is the lone senior. The linebackers were also active, including captain Kawena Alo-Kaonohi, Aloalii Laga, Jac Keoni Yoruw and Kaohu Pua’a.
Lahainaluna had 195 yards in offense, but managed just four first downs and nine punts through the first three quarters.
Friday’s MIL Scoring Summary
At War Memorial Stadium
BEARS 30, LUNAS 8
Lahainaluna 2 0 0 6—8
Baldwin 3 14 13 0—30
BH—FG Kelii Kaiama 27, 9:07.
LH—Safety, Kaylon Santos-Kekona tackled in end zone, 0:00.
BH—Dalton Mata 37 pass from Chayce Akaka (Kaiama kick), 6:20.
BH—Laakea Kahoohanohano-Davis 68 pass from Akaka (Kaiama kick), 3:56.
BH—Kamaki Gouveia 18 run (Kaiama kick), 7:20.
BH—Gouveia 4 run (kick failed), 1:50.
LH—Chris Kaniho 1 run (pass failed), 6:49.
Junior varsity: Lahainaluna 36, Baldwin 23.
* Note: All individual and team statistics complied by Robert Collias of The Maui News.