Rocha-Islas, Newton lead MIL’s Top Performers
By Rodney S. Yap
Lahainaluna High School’s Jared Rocha-Islas and Kamehameha Maui’s Chase Newton are repeat winners in two of the final four statistical categories for the 2014 Maui Interscholastic League season.
Rocha-Islas, last year’s rushing and scoring champion, successfully defended his scoring title with 85 points — 17 better than runner-up Onosai Emelio of Maui High. As a junior in 2013, Rocha-Islas scored an MIL single-season record 13 touchdowns and his 46 extra-point kicks gave him a record 124 total points.
The four-year varsity player from Lahainaluna had a league-high 814 yards rushing last year, but injuries slowed his running production this year, finishing No. 2 with 606 yards to MIL rushing champion Keanan Luis of Baldwin. Luis had 30 more carries than Rocha-Islas for a season-best 797 yards.
As the league’s top passer, Newton completed 52 percent of his passes and finished with 1,412 yards and nine touchdowns. He had twice as many yards as the next best passer and he was also his team’s top rusher for the second straight season with 518 yards.
Newton, the Warriors’ all-time, all-purpose career-yardage leader, accounted for 33 touchdowns in his last two seasons — throwing for 2,933 yards and rushing for 931 yards.
Newton’s favorite target Joshua Hiwatashi caught a single-season record 71 passes to win the receiving category. Teammate Keoni Keanini had a league-best 776 yards receiving and seven touchdowns
Lahainaluna topped the MIL team statistics on both sides of the ball for the third straight year.
The Lunas’ league-leading offensive average of 332 yards is about 70 yards fewer than the 2013 championship team.
In the last three seasons Rocha-Islas has scored 24 touchdowns and rushed for 1,636 yards.
In two seasons, Lahainaluna quarterback Makoa Sione Filikitonga-Lukela has 1,283 yards rushing and 17 touchdowns on 151 carries (8.5 yards per carry). He has also passed for another 1,026 yards and 17 touchdowns.
The Sabers had four players finish among the top 10 rushers with a minimum of 284 yards. The foursome also accounted for 24 rushing touchdowns in 2014.
* All statistics compiled by The Maui News Sports Staff.