Sunday, November 6, 2011

MIL Football: LAHAINALUNA 0, Baldwin 41 - November 4, 2011

With both teams clinching state playoff berths in their respective divisions, and Baldwin having already clinched the MIL title with Lahainaluna's loss to Maui High last week, there really was nothing on the line in tonight's match up between rivals Lahainaluna and Baldwin. Rare for a match-up between these two teams to lack any intensity or excitement coming into the game, but for Lahainaluna, the important thing was to not get any more key players injured heading into the state playoffs. For Baldwin celebrating their homecoming, it was about tuning up and getting their offense and defense in sync. If that was the goals coming in for both teams, then I must say their goals were met.

Lahainaluna only suited up 23 players. Sitting out with injuries were John Mishima, Kiko Fonohema, Jared Rocha, John Lacuesta, and Brandon Kaina. Also sitting out for undisclosed reasons were Justin Hong, BJ Pagdilao-Bala, Katoni Filikitonga, Jacob Kenolio-Dusenberry, Mark Ventura, and Chanse Uyeda. Tytus Lucas started at quarterback, but he fumbled on his first offensive snap. Appearing extensively in the backfield in addition to regular Misi Filikitonga were Reece Sinenci (in his first extended playing time since preseason) and Jarrin Pasco-Cabanilla. Freshmen Robert Campos, Scott Medeiros-Tongatailoa played extensive minutes on defense. Junior Jake Ryan usually plays wide receiver but he saw extended time as a defensive back.

The youthful, undersized, inexperienced Lunas were no match for the bigger, stronger, more experienced Baldwin players. It was like men against boys. But the Lunas who suited up and played did the best they could. They played hard on every snap, despite the score. And aside from a hard hit taken by Tytus Lucas in the second half taking him out of the game and forcing the Lunas 5th quarterback (Misi Filikitonga) to appear in the game, it appears that no other key players were hurt.

The final score was irrelvant. Baldwin 41, Lahainaluna 0. Together with the 40-0 loss earlier in the season, the Lunas were outscored 81-0 in the two losses - the most lopsided season series in recent history. Nothing we can do but to wipe this from the memory bank and load up for next year. Hopefully the JV players coming up, as well as the returning varsity players, can dedicate this offseason to getting bigger, stronger and hungry for some payback next year.

The good news is that the season will continue for Lahainaluna. They take on the BIIF Division II winner Konawaena at War Memorial Stadium on Saturday, November 12, 2011. Too bad OC-16 is only covering the Division I game on Friday at War Memorial between Baldwin and OIA runner up Farrington. Baldwin may have their hands full with Farrington, who lost to Kahuku when their dominant running back had an off night. At least it aint Leilehua.

For the Maui News article on this game, click here.

For stats from the game, click here.

For more photos of the game, click here.

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