Baldwin, Lunas Clinch …and Now on Hold
By Fred Guzman
So what do the Baldwin and Lahainaluna football teams do for motivation until the state high school tournament rolls around? That’s a question the coaching staffs for both squads will have to wrestle with during the coming weeks.
Although three weeks remain on the MIL schedule, the two schools have already clinched their respective division titles following weekend victories at War Memorial Stadium.
Meantime, teams from the Oahu public-school OIA find themselves in the midst of league playoffs that will help those squads gear up for their respective state tournaments.
On Friday, Baldwin rode the strong right arm and the fleet leet of junior quarterback Keelan Ewaliko for a 28-6 win over King Kekaulike.
The Bears were missing their top two tailbacks for the game. One was suffering from an injury and another was attending a showcase baseball tournament in Arizona. No problem, as things turned out.
Ewaliko threw for 215 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another 155 yards and two more scores on 12 carries as the eighth-ranked Division-I Bears improved their MIL record to 6-0 to capture their seventh straight league title.
Ewaliko won league offensive player of the year honors as a sophomore last season and he’s a virtual lock to do so again.
He’s the only player in memory to be on track to lead the MIL in both passing and rushing. He has thrown for 726 yards and 12 touchdowns in addition to rushing for 643 yards and eight scores.
On Saturday, Lahainaluna clinched the D-II crown with a 25-0 win over Kamehameha-Maui, improving its league record to 4-1.
It was a strong performance by the Lunas given the sophomore starting quarterback Kiko Kohler-Fonohema suffered a broken jaw early in the game, resulting in JR Kenolio-Dusenberrto enter the turnover-filled game in a backup role.
Two games are on tap this week. The Lunas visit Kekaulike on Friday and Maui High celebrates homecoming against Baldwin on Saturday at War Memorial.