Tuesday, August 30, 2011

MIL JV Football: LAHAINALUNA 33, KING KEKAULIKE 7 - August 27, 2011

Lahainaluna's junior varsity football team made its debut in the MIL opener against King Kekaulike. It was a much anticipated debut, after a scrimmage against Maui High scheduled on August 13, 2011 failed to materialized. Needless to say, the players were eager to play and the parents and fans were excited to see their boys on the field.
2011-12 Team Captains: (L to R) #11 Christian Whitehead, #55 Connor St. John, #21 Bubba Jaramillo, #71 Solomone Loketi
The first play of the game started in Lahainaluna's favor as a squib kick was mishandled by one of the King Kekaulike players upfield. The Lunas recovered and took over.

#11 Christian Whitehead takes the hand-off and scores the first touchdown of the game.

Lahainaluna JV cheerleaders celebrate the touchdown

Lunas #55 Connor St. John, #50 Turner Wyckoff combine on a sack
Lunas #55 Connor St. John, #50 Turner Wyckoff combine on another sack as #32 Brandon Kaina arrives.
Lunas #21 Bubba Jaramillo wards off a would-be tackler on a punt return in the first quarter.
Lunas #35 Ansen Makoa Cabanilla takes the hand-off and races down the sideline for
a 35 yard touchdown. Lunas up 14-0.

Lunas #35 Ansen Makoa Cabanilla showing he can get the job done on defense, too.
Lunas #55 Connor St. John with another sack.
Lunas' classic gang tackling forces a fumble which is recovered by the Lunas.

Lunas quarterback #10 Kawika Kinimaka dops back for a pass on 3rd and long

Kinimaka's pass is caught by a leaping #42 Jared Purdy over two defenders
close to the goal line.

Lunas #21 Bubba Jaramillo busts through the line for a touchdown, despite
a defender's attempt to pull his pants down. Extra point blocked. Lunas up 20-0.

Jaramillo celebrates with some break-dancing moves in the end zone.
Lunas #22 Nainoa Steward with the interception in Na Alii territory.
Lunas' quarterback #13 Sione Filikitonga rolls out for a pass

which is caught by #42 Jared Purdy

Lunas #15 Lauren Corpuz hauls in a touchdown pass in the corner of the end zone
from Filikitonga. 2-point conversion failed. Lunas up 26-0.

The look on the coach's face reflects the score nearing halftime as Lunas are up 26-0 in the 2nd quarter.
The players gather around Coach Kaniho prior to the start of the second half.
After Kekaulike completed a long pass downfield, Lunas #44 Nathaniel Hapakuka-Nunuha
sacked the quarterback on the next play.

The Hapakuka, Lono, and Nunuha ohana all enjoyed that play by Nate Boy!

Lahainaluna's hard working JV coaching staff.

Lunas #13 Sione Filikitonga breaks up the pass
with a hard hit on the Na Alii receiver.

Lunas' defense: #68 Penisimani Taufa, #33 Ekolu Chang and #44 Nate Hapakuka-Nunuha
#68 Taufa and #11 Whitehead lay a hit on the Na Alii ball carrier.

#68 Taufa putting the pressure on the Na Alii quarterback

Resulting in a pass into the heart of the Lunas' defense, which is ulimately
tipped up by #11 Whitehead and intercepted by #12 Ryan Ginoza

Final score: Lahainluna 33, King Kekaulike 7

Lunas celebrate in front of the home crowd.

My Two Cents

Overall well played first game by Lahainaluna’s junior varsity squad. The two-headed quarterback combination of Kinimaka and Filikitonga were effective – both could run and pass. There were several times when a play broke down and the quarterback was sacked for relatively large losses. Hopefully they can iron out those problems.

Last year’s 2-headed quarterback combo of Kaimana Ancog and Kiko Fonohema was pretty effective. This year, Fonohema moved up to the varsity. I did not see Ancog’s name on either the varsity or junior varsity roster. Hopefully he has not quit the sport of football because he is a very talented athlete.

The back-to-back sacks by St. John and Wyckoff in the first series of the game were pretty impressive. If they can develop to be like the hard-hitting Loewen brothers (Cole and Mitch), the Lunas defense will be solid for the next couple years.

Sophomore Bubba Jaramillo provided steady running, punt/kick returning and toughness throughout the game.

Ansen Makoa Cabanilla, a true freshman, added some spark immediately with an electrifying run down the sideline for a touchdown in the second quarter. Cabanilla started on the varsity but moved down to the JV for this game. I anticipate that several more JV players may move up to the varsity sooner, rather than later, as depth on the varsity roster continues to be an issue.

It was great to see the Hapakuka, Nunuha, Lono, Polido and Purdy/Fernandez families back. They made it a lot of fun to shoot pictures last year. Also a shout out to the Kaleikini family on Oahu – hopefully they can make it to one of the games on Maui this year to see their son Jordan play.

This game was the debut for the JV team. Originally, they were slated to play a scrimmage against Maui High on August 13th but that did not occur because I think Maui High backed out. With this game being the only JV game being played on the home field at the Imu (as compared to 3 last year), I tried to make sure I got photos of every player on the roster. It was tough, with about 54 players on the roster, but I think I got almost everybody. I shot a total of 1942 photos, and posted about 346 on Facebook. YIKES!

Despite all the shots I took, I did miss one particular play. King K attempted a long pass to the goal line, in the near corner. Two Lunas' defenders converged on the receiver at the same time the ball came and the ensuing collision resulted in the Kekaulike player's helmet flying off his head! I wish I had that shot but I missed it because I had been kneeling down at the edge of the team sideline box, in between the chain gang. I got up from my kneel just as the pass was thrown, so I didn't have my camera trained on the action. I didn't bother to bring my camera up to take shots, which I normally would do, because I figured it was too late. Because of that, I missed out on a spectacular shot. I think Mr. Fillazar may have gotten a shot of it. I hope someone did!

Next game is against Baldwin at War Memorial Stadium on Friday, September 2, 2011. King Kekaulike was a good match up to start the season. But the real test will come against Baldwin to see how this year’s JV squad matches up.

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