Finally, Lahainaluna beats Baldwin
By Fred Guzman
For Lahainaluna, it was a welcome end to a seven-game drought against MIL nemesis Baldwin, a victorious celebration of homecoming and a great tune-up for the state Division-II football tournament.
For the Bears, it was a disappointing end to the regular-season and a source of concern going into a major challenge in the opening round of the D-I tournament.
Rallying from an early 7-0 deficit, the Lunas immediately responded with a touchown of their own as a trick play resulted in a 71-yard pass play between TJ Rickard and Paula Toa.
Lahainaluna never relinquished the momentum en route to a 28-14 win in a game that meant more in terms of bragging rights than it did in the standings. Both had already clinched their respective MIL division titles and both ended their MIL campaigns with two losses.
Baldwin is seeded third in the D-I tourney and will host Leilehua in a quarterfinal game on Friday, Nov. 20. The 6 o’clock game will be televised statewide on OC 16 and carried live on Maui’s ESPN 550.
Leilehua let the lead slip between its fingers in the OIA-Red title game as top-ranked Kahuku rallied for a 24-20 win over the Mules, who are led by standout QB Andrew Manley.
Despite being seeded No. 4, the Lunas will have to go on the road on the same night for its game at OIA-White runnerup Aiea, which suffered a 21-7 loss to Moanalua.
In Saturday’s MIL regular-season finale, Kamehameha-Maui senior quarterback Eli Ferreira had a night to remember, throwing for five touchdowns and running for another in a 56-22 romp past visiting Maui High. Ferreria completed 20 of 35 attempts for 358 yards.
By my unofficial count, the Sabers were assessed 225 yards on 19 penalties – including 13 of the major variety.
VOLLEYBALL: The nationally third-ranked Rainbow Wahine volleyball team celebrated Senior Night by extending its winning streak to 19 matches with a 25-11, 25-12, 25-21 rout of Utah State, giving UH its 14th straight WAC title before a crowd of more than 6,000 fans at the Stan Sheriff Center. The Wahine are 25-2 overall and 13-0 in the conference. Hawaii ends the regular season on the road, at Boise State on Thursday, Idaho on Saturday and Utah State next Monday.
UH FOOTBALL: Hawaii ended a six-game slide with an impressive 49-36 win over Utah State before a modest homecoming crowd of 25,883 at Aloha Stadium on Saturday night.
There was more run than shoot in UH’s offense for the first time since June Jones’ arrival and departure at Manoa as pass-oriented Hawaii rolled up 360 of its 697 yards in total offense on the ground.
The running back tandem of Leon Wright-Jackson and Alex Green combined for 277 yards. Wright-Jackson had a career night with 167 yards on 15 carries and three touchdowns. Green came off the bench and rushed for 110 yards on 10 carries.
It marked first time since 1995 that UH had two rushers each with at least 100 yards rushing in a game.
QB Bryant Moniz picked up 76 rushing yards, including a 31-yarder, in addition to throwing for 337 and four touchdowns, while Greg Salas had 10 catches for 187 and two scores.
Hawaii’s offensive line, under scrutiny and criticism most of the season, finally had a game that it could be proud about as UH improved to 3-6 overall and 1-5 in the WAC.