Lunas Post Sixth Shutout of the Season in 31-0 Win
By Rodney S. Yap
The Lahainaluna High School football team closed out the 2012 MIL regular season Friday with an unprecedented sixth shutout, blanking Maui High, 31-0, before a sparse crowd of about 1,500 at War Memorial Stadium.
The Lunas’ 31-point performance was just above their season average, but more importantly, the shutout served notice to the state’s Division II tournament officials that the Lunas are worthy of the state’s No. 2 seed, which comes with a first-round bye.
Five-time defending D-II state champion Iolani is a virtual lock for the No. 1 seed. The top two seeds are awarded byes and host their semifinal game.
Lahainaluna improved to 8-1 overall, 7-1 in the MIL and will be making its sixth consecutive Division II state appearance, a run that started in 2007 when the Lunas came up short in the championship game against Iolani, 28-21.
Since the state football tournament created a small-school division in 2003, Lahainaluna has represented the MIL in seven of nine tournaments.
Konawaena (8-1) is the Division II Big Island champion and other team being considered for the No. 2 seed. The Wildcats had to rally from a 21-14 halftime deficit on Friday to beat fourth-place Hawaii Preparatory Academy (5-4), 56-49.
The Lunas destroyed Konawaena twice last year by a combine score of 72-0.
The D-II seeding committee will decide on Sunday, Nov. 4, following the conclusion of the OIA playoffs. The Division II state tournament quarterfinals are Nov. 9-10, while the semifinals are Nov. 16-17.
The Sabers ended the 2012 campaign 3-5 in the MIL and 3-6 overall.
Lahainaluna had another impressive outing defensively, keeping Maui High on its side of the field most of the night, giving up only 66 yards of offense to the Sabers.
The Lunas’ defense allowed its opponents an average of 98.5 yards per game, becoming only the third team to allowed fewer than 100 yards per game in more than three decades.
* In 1985, Maui High finished 6-0 in league play and 8-0 overall, outscoring its opponents 208-40. The Sabers allowed 93.2 yards per game that season and 44 first downs, 15 fewer than the next best defense that year.
* In 1987, Maui High’s defense finished with a league best 88.1 yards per game, allowing a total of 529 yards in six games — 296 on the ground and 233 passing.
Playing mostly a four-man front, the Lunas were led by defensive end Hercules Mataafa, middle linebacker Bronson Kaina and defensive backs Semisi Filikitonga and Tytus Lucas.
Lucas had three of the Lunas’ five interceptions, marking the second time this year Lahainaluna picked off its opponent five times in a game.
Offensively, the Lunas were without starting quarterback Kiko Kolher-Fonohema because of an ankle injury and backup quarterback Jeffrey Ancog has not been cleared to return to practice after suffering a concussion against Badwin two weeks ago.
In stepped junior varsity signal-caller Sione Filikitonga, a sophomore and younger brother of Semisi, who threw for 171 yards and two touchdowns on 7-of-9 passing in his debut.
Filikitonga connected with Scott-Isaac Medeiros-Tangatailoa for a 47-yard touchdown pass with 7:22 left in the first half after Lucas’ first interception.
Filikitonga’s second touchdown pass came almost three minutes later when he found Lucas for a 35-yard scoring strike.
The Lunas’ other touchdowns came on a pair of first-quarter runs by Semisi Filikitonga (12 yards) and Jared Rocha-Isalas (30 yards) more than 10-minutes apart.
Kolher-Fonohema’s injury may have cost him the MIL scoring title. Although Kolher-Fonohema still leads with 64 points, Baldwin quarterback Keelan Ewaliko has 60 points, based on his league-leading 10 touchdowns. The Bears celebrate homecoming tonight, Oct. 27, against King Kekaulike at War Memorial Stadium. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.
Lahainaluna 14 14 3 0—31
Maui High 0 0 0 0—0
LHS—Semisi Filikitonga 12 run (Christian Cardenas-Ayala kick), 10:40.
LHS—Jared Rocha-Isalas 30 run (Cardenas-Ayala kick), 0:29.
LHS—Scott-Isaac Medeiros-Tangatailoa 47 pass from Sione Filikitonga (Cardenas-Ayala kick), 7:14.
LHS—Lucas 35 pass from Sione Filikitonga (Cardenas-Ayala kick), 4:36.
LHS—Cardenas-Ayala 36 FG, 4:11.
Junior varsity: Maui High 18, Lahainaluna 14.