KS Maui varsity football successful in 2nd run at Sabers


The Warriors had their rematch against the Maui High Sabers on September 29, 2012. The Warriors won 21-14 at the KS Kana’iaupuni Stadium.

Reid Cairme

The KS Maui varsity football Warriors evened it up in their second encounter with the Maui High Sabers winning 21-14, yesterday, Sept. 29, at Kanaʻiaupuni Stadium.

“We played as a team,” senior Stephen Barut said. “I’m proud of my team.”

The Warriors improved over their first game against the Sabers on August 24, when they lost 10-7.

“We capitalized on what is known in football terminology as ‘sudden change,’” KSM Head Coach Kevin O’Brien said. “We cashed in all of our scoring opportunities.”

Those scoring opportunities included four Saber fumbles, an interception and good field position on turnovers.

The Warriors came out fast and strong in the first quarter scoring a touchdown and extra point in less than two minutes.

The Sabers barely moved the ball when they had possession, and, seven minutes into the quarter, the Warriors recovered a fumble on the Sabers’ 25-yd. line.

From there, senior Makoa Medeiros made a run to the Sabers’ 15, then the 11, and finally into the end zone for a second touchdown for the Warriors with four minutes left in the first quarter. The Warriors led at 14-0.

The Sabers were unable to make a touchdown in the first quarter, and senior Aydan Lopes blocked an attempted field goal. Lopes then picked up the ball and ran it most of the way to a touchdown, when a referee blew the whistle and called it a dead play.

“We got a raw deal,” Coach O’Brien said. “It was an inadvertent whistle, but the referee apologized for being wrong.”

The first quarter ended 14-0, Warriors.

The Sabers launched an aggressive drive when they found themselves in possession on their own 15-yard line after the Warriors failed to convert on a fourth down about halfway through the second quarter, but Maui High quickly fumbled on their own 9-yard line, and the Warriors recovered the ball.

Less than a minute later, Medeiros ran in his third touchdown of the night, and shortly thereafter, the first half ended 21-0, Warriors.

The Sabers returned from halftime with renewed vigor, coming at the Warriors with the intensity they had shown in their first game. The Sabers planted a foot into Warrior territory and continued to slowly inch their way forward. Then they caught a break.

A high snap to Acer Pahukoa put the ball in the hands of the Sabers on the KSM 15-yard line. The Warriors held them to five yards of progress on that possession, but Kamehameha fumbled again after the turnover, and the Sabers ran the ball nine yards into the end zone on the next play.

“We got comfortable when we were up,” Barut said. “We let our guard down.”

The third quarter ended 21-7, Warriors.

Things started to heat up in the fourth quarter when sophomore Bryant Kubo intercepted a Saber pass near the KSM goal line and ran it back nearly 60 yards, but the Sabers held the Warriors to less than 10 yards’ progress and then took over, working the ball all the way back to the Warrior 1-yard line.

The tough Warrior defense held them there, and the ball went back and forth between the two teams until the Sabers built off a 55-yd run, and eventually got a dramatic touchdown on a dive into the end zone, putting the Sabers down by one touchdown with a minute and a half left in the game.

The fans on both sides, the coaches, and the players knew what was coming next — an onside kick. The technique worked perfectly. The Warriors failed to make the recovery, and the Sabers’ hopes for another score were kept alive as they took possession on the 50-yard line.

The hopes faded when the Sabers were unable to complete a pass while they had possession, and the ball was returned to the Warriors at the 50. Quarterback Chase Newton finished the last 30 seconds of the game by taking a knee twice.

The Warriors had their second win of the season, 21-14.

“There were many errors,” Junior Rusty Hue Sing said, “but we were able to make good plays when we needed them.”

The Warriors’ starting quarterback, senior Kalaʻi Yap, remained on the disabled list while he continues to recover from a hard hit he took in the Warriors’ engagement with the Baldwin Bears on September 15.

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