Maui Sports

Bears Force D-I Playoff With Comeback Win Over Sabers

October 18, 2015, 10:20 AM HST
* Updated October 18, 6:37 PM
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Baldwin wide receiver Kaelon Wainui hauls in this pass from quarterback Chayce Akaka as Maui High’s Nathan Vierra tries to defend. Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

By Rodney S. Yap

Baldwin High School needed an extraordinary performance Saturday and wide receiver Kaelon Wainui delivered.

The 5-foot, 10-inch, 165-pound senior caught three passes for 91 yards and a touchdown, helping the Bears earn a come-from-behind 35-21 victory against Maui High before an estimated crowd of 3,500 at War Memorial Stadium.

Because Baldwin was in a must-win situation, Wainui’s efforts were magnified coming above and beyond the big-play contributions the Bears’ received and were counting on from their proven players.

Wainui had 115 yards receiving coming into the game. On Saturday he averaged 30 yards a catch.

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The win secured the Maui Interscholastic League Division I second-round title, forcing a playoff for the overall championship against first-round champion Maui High on Friday, Oct. 30 at War Memorial Stadium.

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Ahead 22-21, Baldwin quarterback Chayce Akaka found Wainui in the end zone from 31 yards out, padding its lead to 28-21 with 8 minutes, 41 seconds to play in the game. The touchdown put the Bears two scores ahead and appeared to take the wind out of the Sabers’ comeback hopes.

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Maui High’s Soane Vaohea tries to shake a Baldwin would-be tackler. Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

Akaka, the Bears’ sophomore quarterback, had a tremendous game throwing the ball on the run, finishing with three touchdown tosses and 325 yards passing. He was also dangerous as a runner, scoring on a 66-yard scamper with 2:33 to play in the first half — getting a clutch down-field block from Wainui, after avoiding a collision with an MIL official.

Baldwin is now 6-1 overall in the MIL and 3-0 in the second round. Maui High is 5-2, 1-2.

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The Bears’ defense came up big when it needed to, keeping Maui High’s Soane Vaohea under wraps down the stretch. The Bears’ ability to run the ball with Kamaki Gouveia in the fourth quarter helped seal the win. The junior protected the ball well and finished with 99 yards on 16 carries. He also scored twice, the second one with 2:29 remaining for 9 yards.

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Baldwin’s Kawena Alo-Kaonohi (5) clamps down on Maui High’s Ronson Malacas. Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

Vaohea operated the team’s version of the “Wildcat” throughout most of the second half — running the ball out of the shotgun formation. The MIL’s leading rusher rolled up 106 yards rushing on 19 carries. His touchdown run from 3 yards out late in the third quarter gave there Sabers their last lead in the game.

It was Vaohea’s 59-yard pass to Justine Dancel in the second quarter that really energized the Sabers in the first half. Vaohea rolled to his right and found Dancel on the sidelines as Baldwin’s La’akea Kahoohanohano-Davis just missed intercepting the pass.

Dancel caught four balls for 109 yards, including a 28-yard touchdown from quarterback Austin Hoe to ignite the scoring with 4:04 in the first quarter.

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Saturday’s MIL Scoring Summary

BEARS 35, SABERS 21

At War Memorial Stadium

Maui High 7 7 7 0—21

Baldwin 7 9 6 13—35

First Quarter

MH—Justine Dancel 28 pass from Austin Hoe (Chevee Freitas kick), 4:04.

BH—Laakea Kahoohanohano-Davis 28 pass from Chayce Akaka (Kelii Kaiama kick), 2:22.

Second Quarter

MH-Dancel 59 pass from Soane Vaohea (Freitas kick), 11:48.

BH—Akaka 66 run (Kaiama kick), 2:33.

BH—Safety, fumble goes through end zone, 2:11.

Third Quarter

MH-Vaohea 3 run (Freitas kick), 2:52.

BH—Kamaki Gouveia 11 pass from Akaka (pass failed), 0:50.

Fourth Quarter

BH—Kaelon Wainui 31 pass from Akaka (pass failed), 8:41.

BH—Gouveia 9 run (Kaiama kick), 2:29.

Junior varsity: Maui High 31, Baldwin 7.

* Note: All individual and team statistics compiled by Robert Collias of The Maui News.

Friday’s Result

Lahainaluna 14, King Kekaulike 0

Saturday’s Result

Baldwin 35, Maui High 21

Friday, Oct. 23

Baldwin vs. King Kekaulike at War Memorial Stadium, 7 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 24

Maui High vs. Kamehameha Maui at War Memorial Stadium, 7 p.m.

End of regular season

Friday, Oct. 30

Division I championship playoff: Maui High vs. Baldwin at War Memorial Stadium, 7 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 31

Division II championship playoff: Lahainaluna vs. Kamehameha Maui at War Memorial Stadium, 7 p.m.

Friday’s MIL Scoring Summary

LUNAS 14, NA ALII 0

At King Kekaulike Stadium

Lahainaluna 0 0 7 7—14

King Kekaulike 0 0 0 0—0

Third Quarter

LH—Kiakahi Kenolio 78 pass from Etuati Storer (Haaheo Au kick), 4:19.

Fourth Quarter

LH—Donovan Defang 1 run (Au kick), 5:55.

Junior varsity: Lahainaluna 24, King Kekaulike 15.

* Note: All individual and team statistics compiled by Robert Collias of The Maui News.

Baldwin's Kamaki Gouveia stays on his feet and lunges for a touchdown after chucking this Maui High would-be tackler. Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

Baldwin’s Kamaki Gouveia stays on his feet and lunges for a touchdown after chucking this Maui High would-be tackler. Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

Baldwin's Kamaki Gouveia chucks this Maui High would-be tackler. Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

Baldwin’s Kamaki Gouveia chucks this Maui High would-be tackler. Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

Baldwin's Taje Akaka (2) stays inbounds and works for extra yardage against Maui High's defense Saturday. Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

Baldwin’s Taje Akaka (2) stays inbounds and works for extra yardage against Maui High’s defense Saturday. Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

Baldwin's Kaelon Wainui turns upfield after making this catch in the flat. Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

Baldwin’s Kaelon Wainui turns upfield after making this catch in the flat. Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

Baldwin's Kaelon Wainui is wide open in the end zone when he catches this touchdown pass from quarterback Chayce Akaka. Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

Baldwin’s Kaelon Wainui is wide open in the end zone when he catches this touchdown pass from quarterback Chayce Akaka. Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

Baldwin's Kaelon Wainui (3) keeps his eye on the ball as Maui High's Nathan Vierra (6) keeps pace. Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

Baldwin’s Kaelon Wainui (3) keeps his eye on the ball as Maui High’s Nathan Vierra (6) keeps pace. Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

Baldwin's Taje Akaka (2) looks for running room as Maui High defenders are in hot pursuit. Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

Baldwin’s Taje Akaka (2) looks for running room as Maui High defenders are in hot pursuit. Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

Maui High's Soane Vaohea (1) sees an opening in the Bears' goal-line defense and scores a touchdown. Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

Maui High’s Soane Vaohea (1) sees an opening in the Bears’ goal-line defense and scores a touchdown. Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

Maui High's Soane Vaohea (1) stiff arms Baldwin's Nainoa Keahi (35) during second-half action Saturday. Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

Maui High’s Soane Vaohea (1) stiff arms Baldwin’s Nainoa Keahi (35) during second-half action Saturday. Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

Baldwin's La'akea Kahoohanohano-Davis finishes tackling Maui High's Hunter Hoe. Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

Baldwin’s La’akea Kahoohanohano-Davis finishes tackling Maui High’s Hunter Hoe. Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

Baldwin's La'akea Kahoohanohano-Davis tries to rip the ball away from Maui High receiver Hunter Hoe (19). Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

Baldwin’s La’akea Kahoohanohano-Davis tries to rip the ball away from Maui High receiver Hunter Hoe (19). Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

Baldwin's quarterback Chayce Akaka avoids MIL official Mike Simmonds en route to a touchdown run in the first half. Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

Baldwin’s quarterback Chayce Akaka avoids MIL official Mike Simmonds en route to a touchdown run in the first half. Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

Maui High quarterback Austin Hoe awaits the snap from center Nathan Garduque (57). Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

Maui High quarterback Austin Hoe awaits the snap from center Nathan Garduque (57). Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

Maui High defenders converge on Baldwin's La'akea Kahoohanohano-Davis (21) after he makes a catch in the open field. Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

Maui High defenders converge on Baldwin’s La’akea Kahoohanohano-Davis (21) after he makes a catch in the open field. Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

Baldwin's La'akea Kahoohanohano-Davis hauls in this pass from quarterback Chayce Akaka. Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

Baldwin’s La’akea Kahoohanohano-Davis hauls in this pass from quarterback Chayce Akaka. Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

Baldwin quarterback Chayce Akaka is finally brought down by Maui High's Alanai Malafu (2). Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

Baldwin quarterback Chayce Akaka is finally brought down by Maui High’s Alanai Malafu (2). Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

Baldwin quarterback Chayce Akaka is sandwiched between Maui High's Kahoku Kealoha (9) and Alanai Malafu (2) trying to run wide. Kealoha loses his helmet on the play. Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

Baldwin quarterback Chayce Akaka is sandwiched between Maui High’s Kahoku Kealoha (9) and Alanai Malafu (2) trying to run wide. Kealoha loses his helmet on the play. Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

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Maui High's Justine Dancel heads down the sidelines for a 59-yard touchdown catch Saturday against Baldwin. Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

Maui High’s Justine Dancel heads down the sidelines for a 59-yard touchdown catch Saturday against Baldwin. Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

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