Sabers Win With Dominating Performance, 48-0
By Rodney S. Yap
For the first time in more than a decade, the Maui High School football team did not have to take a backseat to the school’s marching band.
That’s because the football team was busy scoring touchdowns on each of its first five possessions Friday, orchestrating a 35-0 halftime lead against King Kekaulike en route to a commanding 48-0 triumph.
A crowd of about 1,800 watched the Sabers dominate Na Alii in all facets of the game, improving to 3-1 in the Maui Interscholastic League standings and 4-1 overall. A depleted King Kekaulike roster, riddled with injuries to key players, including starting quarterback Kawika Homalon for the second game in a row due to a shoulder injury.
King Kekaulike, now 1-3 in the MIL and 1-4 overall, finished the game under Mercy Rule (running clock) with its third quarterback of the season, Jesse Chavez, calling plays.
While the Sabers were playing their best half of football this season, stockpiling 273 yards of offense on 13 first downs, the school’s marching band could be heard warming up under the north end zone bleachers.
At halftime, the highly-decorated marching band and color guard, under the direction of Kerry Wasano, made its 2014 debut by playing a song from its program “Wind Shift.” The entire halftime production will highlight Maui High’s homecoming against Lahainaluna, on Saturday, Oct. 25.
To Wasano’s credit, and the dedication of his band members and parents, the school’s marching band has garnered trophies and awards in competitions on Oahu and the Mainland. Since Wasano’s arrival in 1998 — two years before Maui High won its last MIL football championship — the Sabers have become one of the state’s most successful high school band programs.
Under Wasano’s leadership, the band toured San Francisco in 2005, and have seen participation doubled to approximately 120 members.
The reward for the program’s on-going success came earlier this year when it was announced that the marching band and color guard had been invited to participate in the prestigious 126th Rose Bowl Parade in Pasadena, Calif. on Jan. 1, 2015.
Barring a second-half debacle, the Sabers’ football program is looking at its first postseason playoff in 13 years. And like Wasano, head football coach David Bui has been marching the hallways of the school sharing his positive message in hopes of recapturing lightning in a bottle.
For the 26 seniors, who shared Bui’s plan four years ago, being on the other end of outcomes like Friday’s 48-0 rout, were bitter doses of reality. Reward for their hard work and dedication now come in the form of games like Friday’s, when preparation meets opportunity and you are lucky enough to accomplish your pre-game goals.
Sharing the offensive load for the Sabers were Onosai Emelio, who ran for three touchdowns and 42 yards. Soane Vaohea picked up 101 yards rushing and two touchdowns, and Daniel Kelley had 64 yards and a touchdown.
Maui High finished with 372 yards, all but 109 coming via the run.
Balancing the team’s output was the Sabers’ stellar defense, which held King Kekaulike to 2 yards total offense. Anchoring the defensive attack were Alexander Vainikolo, Atunaisa Vainikolo, Jonathan Pono Lolohea, Lucas-John Ibanez, Justin Cravalho, Alani Malafu,Tyson Takabayashi, and Vaohea.
Saturday’s MIL Scoring Summary
At War Memorial Stadium
SABERS 48, NA ALII 0
King Kekaulike ….. 0 ……. 0 ….. 0 ……. 0—0
Maui High ………. 14 ….. 21 ….. 7 ….. 6—48
MH—Onosai Emelio 9 run (Jayden Wilhelm kick), 9:08.
MH—Soane Vaohea 44 run (Wilhelm kick), 5:10.
MH—Emelio 3 run (Tristan Nichols pass from Tyson Takabayashi), 11:14.
MH—Daniel Kelley 33 run (Wilhelm kick), 8:52.
MH—Wilhelm 1 run (pass failed), 6:04.
MH—Emelio 6 run (Wilhelm kick), 8:01.
MH—Vaohea 8 run (kick failed), 8:51.
Junior varsity result: Maui High 36, King Kekaulike 0
* All game / individual statistics compiled by Rob Collias of The Maui News.
Today, Sept. 21, Times Supermarket in Kihei hosted a “Football Rally and Chicken BBQ.” Ironically, all proceeds are being donated to the Maui High School athletic department and school’s marching band.
The Sabers earned the right to participate in the annual fund-raiser by claiming the MIL Division I first-round title. Lahainaluna, winner’s of the MIL Division II first-round title, had its fund-raiser on Saturday at the Times Supermarket in Napili.