Lahainaluna grinded out a 25-0 win against Division II rival Kamehameha Schools Maui to wrap up the MIL Division II title and guarantee their 5th straight trip to the postseason.
The Lunas’ victory was costly. They lost starting quarterback Kiko Fonohema for the season when on the first series on offense, another high snap sailed over his head. As he ran back and fell on the ball, a defender’s knee came down and hit him in the face, breaking his jaw in 2 places.
It was a disappointing setback for the team and for Kiko. He had missed a game earlier in the month after being knocked out of the
Baldwin game with a concussion. With the almost 3 week break before tonight’s game, the Lunas came out with some trickery on offense. On the very first play on offense, after recovering a fumble on the kickoff, Fonohema went in motion from his quarterback position and became a wideout. The snap went to JR Kenolio-Dusenberry but his pass to the opposite side wideout Kaena Felicilda was long. Unfortunately, by the 3rd play, Fonohema was gone for the year. Looks like he will require surgery to reset his jaw. Best of luck to Kiko on a quick and full recovery.
With the long break, the Lunas were finally able to field a fairly full roster as many of their previously injured players were suited up, including senior standout John Mishima. Recovering from a broken foot, you could tell he still needs time to get into playing shape and his timing was not quite there yet in the defensive backfield. That’s okay – better to see him on the field in uniform than on the sideline on crutches.
With Fonohema out, the Lunas turned to backup quarterback JR Kenolio-Dusenberry. Himself sporting a large cast on his left (non-throwing) forearm, JR did an admirable job guiding the offense. Unfortunately, with all the injuries and lack of depth, the offense has frankly never gotten into sync all season.
One bright spot on the offense has been freshman Jared Rocha. In addition to having a knack of making positive yardage on all of his carries, he definitely has a nose for the endzone. I’m not talking about cheap 1 yard runs. Tonight, he had a 10 yard and a 17 yard touchdown run.
|Jared Rocha rumbles in from 10 yards out for a touchdown.|
As has been the theme all season long, the Lunas’ defense has been winning games for them. With the struggles on offense, the defense has consistently come up big in creating scoring opportunities for the offense.
Their first touchdown was set up when BJ “Bullet” Pagdilao-Bala blocked a punt which was picked up and returned by lineman Feleti Taufa to the Kamehameha 17 yard line. On 4th and 2, Rocha scored on a bruising 10 yard run.
Their second touchdown came just four plays later when the defense put a huge hit on Warrior quarterback Kalai Yap, causing a fumble which Kaena Felicilda scooped up and ran untouched for a 84 yard touchdown.
|John Mishima, Kaena Felicilda and Tytus Lucas|
|Lahainaluna varsity cheerleaders clowning for the camera at halftime|
|#42 Jared Rocha follows the powerful lead blocks of #55 Feleti Taufa and #57 Sam Filiai|
|#7 JR Kenolio-Dusenberry unleashes a bomb|
|#50 Hercules Mataafa putting a stop on the Warriors' QB|
|JR Kenolio-Dusenberry rumbles in for an apparent touchdown. Unfortunately it was called back due to a penalty|
The final touchdown was set up by an interception by Tytus Lucas, who returned it 30 yards to the Kamehameha 30 yard line. The Lunas drove to the 6 yard line, thanks to some nifty quarterbacking on the part of Kenolio-Dusenberry, and Pagdilao-Bala scored on a 6 yard run with under 3 mintues remaining.
|Coach Garret Tihada is glad for the win and the Division II MIL championship, |
but realizes the team still has a long way to go
|Good job, Coaches!|
For Maui News article on the game, click here.
For stats of the game, click here.
For my photos from the game, click here.