Varsity football Warriors take home win on ‘the hill’

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Photo by Dylan Godsey

Senior Jordan Nauka epitomizes the Kamehameha Maui Warrior spirit as he fights his way forward against an Ali’i defender, Oct. 28, at King Kekaulike. The Warriors won 32-18 and became “kings of the hill” for 2011.

By Dylan Godsey, sports co-editor

PUKALANI-Amid their opponents’ homecoming celebrations, chilly weather, and a team of evenly matched athletes  last night at King Kekaulike High School, the Kamehameha Maui varsity football team defeated Nā Aliʻi 32-18.

“Today’s game was outstanding. They [the Warriors] played with their hearts, and they played physical,” said Defensive Line Coach Robert Vickers.

The game started with an early touchdown by Nā Aliʻi followed later with a Warrior touchdown on a long pass to wide receiver Daylan Machado with 3:37 left in the first quarter. A clean kick by senior Nazareth Thibodeaux brought the Warriors into the lead, 7-6.

The Warriors boosted their lead when quarterback Kalaʻi Yap dove through the line for another Warrior touchdown in the beginning of the second quarter. Thibodeaux’s extra point kick went wide, and the score was 13-6 Warriors.

Junior Ryan Graham, the second of the pair of quartebacks utilized in the game, added another 6 points when he pushed over the goal line with 25 seconds left in the first half. The point after touchdown was again no good, and the Warriors went into the locker room at halftime leading 19-6.

In the second half both teams had many turnovers as well as fumbles and interceptions sending the ball ricocheting up and down the field.

The Warriors were the first to score in the second half as Daylan Machado clinched another 6 points on another long pass into the endzone for a touchdown, increasing the Warriors’ lead, 25-6.

This was followed by an interception and 80-yard run back for a touchdown by junior Kamaka Keawekane of the Warrior defense, followed by a clean PAT by junior Stephen Barut, putting the score at 32-6 with 11:42 left in the game.

Though Nā Aliʻi were able to score twice before the end of the fourth, they were unable to overcome the Warriors who were fueled with the adrenaline of a long-awaited victory, and the game ended with a final score of 32-18.

This was a second victory for the Warriors this season, having also defeated King Kekaulike once before. This also earns the Maui Warriors the unofficial title of “King of the Hill.” The King of the Hill competition is a school tradition that recognizes the one of the two upcountry high school football teams that wins the most games against each other every year. The koa trophy was carved by KS Maui safety officer Mr. Louis Silva to encourage a friendly and healthy rivalry. It is on display in the lobby of Ka’ulaheanuiokamoku.

“This win means a lot to the team, it brings up our spirits and helps to get us ready for our next game,” said Alika Sanchez, linebacker for KSM.

The Warriors’ final game of the season, their homecoming, against the Sabers of Maui High School will be Saturday, Nov. 5, at 3:00 p.m.

The daytime game is the result of a student government request to have a homecoming dance after the game according to Ms. Naomi Ashman, KSM student activities coordinator. In order to allow the team enough time to clean up and still attend the dance, the game had to be scheduled midday. Students did not want to hold the dance on Friday night, prior to the game, as it could affect the performance of the team the following day, Ms. Ashman said.