Lotulelei’s Four Rushing TDs Lead Sabers Over Warriors
By Rodney S. Yap
Maui High School’s Hanisi Lotulelei finished with a career high 222 yards rushing and four touchdowns Friday night as the Sabers’ football team spoiled Kamehameha Maui’s senior night with a lopsided 26-7 win.
The Saber senior, who gave up his linebacker position to become the team’s primary running back just before midseason, has been the team’s go-to guy on offense, running for 468 yards in the last three games. Lotulelei has 530 yards and nine touchdowns this season.
Maui High improved to 5-2 overall and 2-1 in the Maui Interscholastic League’s second round. The win sets up a potential Division I second-round title game with Baldwin on Saturday, Oct. 22, at War Memorial Stadium.
The unbeaten and two-time MIL champion Bears (6-0) play Lahainaluna (4-2) tonight at War Memorial Stadium. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. and the game can be heard live on Maui’s ESPN 900AM.
The Warriors capped their 2016 season at 2-6.
Lotulelei scored all four Maui High touchdowns, including the game’s first score from five yards away two plays after teammate Mahonri Anitema blocked a Kamehameha Maui punt attempt and Antonio Savou recovered the ball on the Warriors’ 9-yard line.
Anitema and Savou, blocked and recovered the loose ball of another KS-Maui punt attempt in the third quarter. The Sabers’ 3-4 defense wreaked havoc in the Warriors’ backfield all night long with Jamie Fisher, Kahoku Kealoha, and Savou leading the rush from the point of attack.
The back-breaking play of the game was Lotulelei’s second touchdown run, which went for 93 yards and came with 3 minutes, 15 seconds before halftime.
Leading 14-0 at the break, the Sabers extended their lead to 20-0 on Lotulelei’s third rushing touchdown, from 4 yards out to cap Maui High’s first offensive drive of the second half.
Maui High went ahead 26-0 on Lotulelei’s final rushing touchdown from 2 yards away. The Sabers’ two-point try failed.
Kamehameha Maui avoided the shutout when Jayden Delatori returned a fumble 34 yards for a touchdown. The score came with 8:35 to play in the game.
Friday’s Scoring Summary
SABERS 26, WARRIORS 7
At Kanaiaupuni Stadium
Maui High 7 7 6 6—26
KS Maui 0 0 0 7—7
MH—Hanisi Lotulelei 5 run (Kalia Kapisi kick), 9:32.
MH—Lotulelei 93 run (Kapisi kick), 3:15.
MH—Lotulelei 4 run (kick failed), 9:19.
MH—Lotulelei 2 run (run failed), 9:33.
KM—Jayden Delatori 34 fumble return (Kealaula Keliikoa kick), 8:35.
JV Result: Maui High 28, Kamehameha Maui 7.
Note: All individual and team statistics were compiled by Rob Collias of The Maui News.