Friday, November 4, 2011

MIL Football: LAHAINALUNA 13, MAUI HIGH 14 - October 29, 2011

The Maui High Sabers ruined Lahainaluna’s homecoming festivities by pulling out a fourth quarter comeback to win 14-13. After the close victory over King Kekaulike the previous week, I had expected the Lunas to come out fired up. A win here would mean the final game against Baldwin would mean something – a win there would mean they would be co-MIL champions.

The Lunas defense directly led to their first score. Halfway through the first quarter, Hercules Mataafa broke through and blocked a Maui High punt. Robert Campos recovered the ball on the Maui High 28 yard line. 

On the very next play, Mr. Touchdown Jared Rocha took the ball up the middle and raced 28 yards for the touchdown. Extra point was good. Lunas up 7-0. That would be the Lunas’ easiest and best play on offense all night. From then on, it was a struggle.

In the second quarter, though, the Lunas defense had a let down. They allowed a Maui High runner to make a big run – 22 yards by Justin McCreary. 

Then the killer – quarterback Siueli Vaha unleashed a bomb – a 42 yard pass that was caught at the Lunas 2 yard line. Hopefully, the Lunas can adjust whatever it is in the defensive backfield, but they cannot continue to give up big plays like that. The Sabers scored and it was tied 7-7 at halftime.

The Lunas came out of the locker room with a purpose. They drove the ball 52 yards on 4 plays for a touchdown.

JR Kenolio-Dusenberry had a 33 yard run on the first play, taking to the Maui High 19. Three plays later, Kenolio-Dusenberry found Ernest Fatagonia in the end zone for a touchdown. Unfortunately, late substitutions and a bad snap resulted in a failed extra point conversion. This would turn out to be a crucial mistake. Lunas up 13-7.

Lunas seemed to be in control. If the offense could move the chains and keep possession, things would be okay. But they couldn’t.

Midway through the fourth quarter, Maui High’s Vaha rumbled for 55 yards on the first play. First and goal. Three straight runs up the middle were stuffed by the Lunas defense. It was 4th and goal from the 1 yard line. Vaha lined up in the shotgun this time, and gathered enough momentum to power his way into the end zone. Their extra point was good and suddenly, Maui High was up 14-13.

The Lunas were unable to sustain a drive to get into field goal position. Final Score 14-13, Maui High.

My Two Cents

On paper, it looks like a shocker. Based on past years, the Lunas could not have lost to Maui High, right? But given the youth and experience of this current Lahainaluna team – at least 5 freshmen playing significant minutes on the roster – and injuries to key players (including John Mishima, who appeared to reinjure his left foot in the third quarter), we have to be patient with this team. They have potential. We just have to have patience.

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

For the stats of this game, click here.

For more of my photos of this game, click here.

No comments:

Post a Comment