Recharged Lunas Earn 14th Straight MIL Victory
By Rodney S. Yap
The Lahainaluna High School football team revved its engine Saturday and the noise it made on the field hushed the homecoming crowd at Kamehameha Maui.
Idle last week, the Lunas’ motor — on offense and defense — appeared to be recharged and raring to go, posting a runaway 49-7 rout of the Warriors before an estimated crowd of 1,800 at Kanaiaupuni Stadium.
The top-ranked Lunas in Division II polls across the state, welcomed back several of their walking wounded and the result was a dominating 14th straight Maui Interscholastic League victory.
Lahainaluna improved to 5-0 overall and 1-0 in the MIL second round, the next championship on the team’s radar.
In typical fashion, Lahainaluna used its stout defense, that has given up an average of 8 points per game, to ignite its offense and quarterback Makoa Filikitonga, who accounted for four touchdowns.
By the time Filikitonga shifted the team’s wing-T offense into high gear, Lahainaluna had built a 28-7 halftime lead. Two more scores to open the second half, one via the pass from Filikitonga to tight end Ryan Delatori from 7 yards out and one via the run by workhorse Jared Rocha-Islas from 3 yards away, set in motion the 35-point mercy-rule running clock.
Lahainaluna gained 406 yards and held the Warriors to 146.
Filikitonga continued to build his confidence throwing the ball, completing 8-for-18 passing and 109 yards. He found Delatori twice in the end zone and sparked the team’s scoring spree when he hooked up with Ansen Cabanilla for a 43-yard touchdown toss midway through the first quarter.
Filikitonga scored his league-leading seventh rushing touchdown of the season with 2 minutes, 11 seconds left in the first quarter, but the bulk of the running was left to the MIL’s returning Offensive Player of the Year in Rocha-Islas, who scored twice and finished 165 yards on 20 carries — his most productive game of the season.
In addition to his seven rushing touchdowns, Filikitonga has thrown for an MIL best eight touchdowns with no interceptions.
Kamehameha Maui suffered its fifth defeat (5-0) and its 12th straight since opening the 2013 campaign with head coach Cody Nakamura’s only win.
The Warriors capped a seven-play 62-yard drive when quarterback Chase Newton found Keoni Keanini for a 22-yard touchdown 16 seconds left in the first half.
Keanini and Joshua Hiwatashi combined for 88 yards receiving on 16 passes.
Lahainaluna is at King Kekaulike, Friday, Oct. 3, while Kamehameha Maui will host Maui High on Saturday, Oct. 4. Both games kick off at 7 p.m. and can be heard live on ESPN 900AM.
Saturday’s MIL Scoring Summary
At Kanaiaupuni Stadium
LUNAS 49, WARRIORS 7
Lahainaluna …………. 14 ….. 14 ….. 14 ….. 7—49
Kamehameha Maui ….. 0 ……. 7 ……. 0 …… 0—7
LH—Ansen Cabanilla 43 pass from Makoa Filikitonga (Jared Rocha-Islas kick), 5:21.
LH—Filikitonga 3 run (Rocha-Islas kick), 2:11.
LH—Rocha-Islas 17 run (Rocha-Islas kick), 10:32.
LH—Ryan Delatori 1 pass from Filikitonga (Rocha-Islas kick), 7:16.
KS—Keoni Keanini 22 pass from Chase Newton (Colton Cabanas kick), 0:16.
LH—Delatori 7 pass from Filikitonga (Rocha-Islas kick), 9:11.
LH—Rocha-Islas 3 run (Rocha-Islas kick), 5:09.
LH—Christopher Kaniho 2 run (Rocha-Islas kick), 10:08.
* All statistics compiled by Rob Collias of The Maui News.