Molokai Caps Perfect 8-man Season with Rout of Seabury
By Rodney S. Yap
Motivated by three seasons of heartbreak — all to Seabury Hall — the Molokai High School eight-player football team celebrated a perfect season Saturday by knocking off its Valley Isle nemesis.
The Farmers made quick work of the Spartans, scoring touchdowns on their first two possessions of the game en route to a comfortable 55-16 triumph at War Memorial Stadium.
Molokai finished its first championship season with a perfect 6-0 record, outscored its opponents 281-38. The Farmers’ two wins over Seabury Hall this year was by a combined margin of 117 to 23.
“We were anxious to play,” ” said Molokai quarterback John-Michael Mokiao-Duvachelle, who hooked up with receiver Kaimana Kahale on three first-half touchdown throws. “We put in a lot of hard work throughout these years and came up short. So coming into this game it was important that we stay grounded so we could do what we came here to do.”
Molokai stayed on the throttle from the get go, building a 35-0 lead at halftime, and a 49-8 advantage after three quarters of play. Ena Victorino accounted for the Farmers’ other two first-half touchdowns, scoring on runs of 15 and 59 yards, respectively.
Molokai head coach Mike Kahale received the traditional Gatorade bath on the sidelines before the final buzzer sounded. Afterwards he shared his feelings: “I’m excited, I’m happy, I’m relieved — all of those different emotions. We’ve been battling for three years and came close a couple of years and we’re finally getting the monkey off our backs. I am happy for the seniors and the guys that put in the time.”
Not bad for a team coming off a five-week hiatus due to a bye and a pair forfeits.
Kahale said keeping the players focused for over a month without a game was a major challenge this year.
“We haven’t played in five weeks, so it’s been difficult to keep them motivated and to keep the morale up.
It was a little bit challenging, but we kept it together and the boys stuck it out.”
The Spartans managed a pair of touchdowns against Molokai’s second-team unit in the second half. Seabury’s first score came on an 81 yard pass from Cole Christe to Kenneth Belew in the third quarter and Ben Belew added a 12-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
“I’m overwhelmed right now, because we pulled it off,” said senior two-way lineman Kuikamoku Han. “It was all a matter of staying mentally tough. We remembered what it was like last year and how we felt. And we wanted to accomplish our goal. The seniors that have been with the program the last couple of years were hungry to come back.”
Han is one of three players looking to extend their football playing careers to college.
“I’m looking at Santa Rosa and Pacific right now, it’s exciting.”
Saturday’s 8-Man MIL Scoring Summary
FARMERS 55, SPARTANS 16
At War Memorial Stadium
Seabury Hall 0 0 8 8—16
Molokai 15 20 14 6—55
MO—Ena Victorino 15 run (Victorino kick), 10:24.
MO—Kaimana Kahale 18 pass from John-Michael Mokiao-Duvachelle (Kahale run), 6:23.
MO—Kahale 23 pass from Mokiao-Duvachelle (Victorino kick), 4:35.
MO—Victorino 59 run (James Lee kick), 3:25.
MO—Kahale 56 pass from John-Michael Mokiao-Duvachelle (kick failed), 3:21.
SH—Cole Christie 81 pass from Kenneth Belew (Ben Belew run), 11:13.
MO—Jaymen Bagay-Cenal 52 run (Lee kick), 6:30.
MO—Kaiea Dowling 35 interception return (Lee kick), 5:35.
MO—Alden Adafo 1 run (run failed), 10:32.
SH—Ben Belew 12 run (Kili-Scott Madrid run), 4:02.
* Note: All individual and team statistics complied by Brad Sherman of The Maui News.