JV football: Warrior no-quit spirit brings win against Lunas


Photo by Destinee Murray

Covy Cremer plunges into a field of Lunas, August 31, 2013 at War Memorial Stadium. The Maui Warriors won 28-27 with an edge-of-your-seat touchdown in the last two seconds of the game.

By Destinee Murray, staff writer

KAHULUI – In a back and forth game between Kamehameha Schools Maui and Lahainaluna, the Warriors closed it out by scoring a game-winning touchdown in the last two seconds of the game.

“I feel amazing,” said freshman Chyalis Min, “I wasn’t expecting [to win with the Lunas ahead in the last minute of the game].”

The final score was 28-27  last night at War Memorial Stadium.

The Lunas started the game by scoring with a pass into the end zone. Their point after kick was low and no good, and the score was 0-6.

The Warriors answered with two touchdowns, the first by running back Covy Cremer and the second by wide receiver Maikaike English, who received a long pass, then ran for a total of 61 yards. Both of Min’s extra point kicks went through the uprights to increase Kamehameha’s lead to 14-6.

About halfway through the second quarter, the Lunas were in good position at the Kamehameha 33-yard line. After three plays and a gain of only two yards, sophomore Chris Kaniho pulled off an impressive quarterback sneak and ran about 30 yards for a touchdown. The Lunas’ Kaya Phillips ran the ball right up the middle and converted for two more points, evening the score to 14-14.

Kamehameha had a minute and a half to go in the first half, but on the second play, a pass to Kamuela Kaniaupio was intercepted deep in Warrior territory. Min tackled the Luna’s interceptor, Joseph Campos, but the damage was done.

Within just two pass plays, Kalalani Kaaikala-Caban of the Lāhaina scored a touchdown. The extra point kick hit the uprights, and the Lunas left the Warriors just 20 non-scoring seconds before the half.

Going into halftime, the score was 14-20 with the Lāhaina leading.



Despite the penalties that began to spring up one after another, the third quarter started with a steady drive forward. The Warriors moved the ball 46 yards over four downs and almost four minutes. They had gotten to the Lunas’ 15-yard line when the Lāhaina’s Joseph Campos intercepted a pass in the end zone, and giving possession to Lāhaina.

The Lunas could barely get out of their own red zone and set up for a punt on the 5-yard line, but their snap went into the end zone for a Warrior safety.

Warrior quarterback Kulana -Alika Wilhelm called a successful combination of runs and passes until they got to the Lunas’ 20-yard line. From that point, the first run was stopped, the next two passes were incomplete, and the last pass was intercepted.

A few minutes later, the Lunas had only been able to gain 10 yards when English picked up a fumble and ran it in for a Warrior touchdown. The extra point kick was low and ruled no good.

The quarter ended with a score of 22-20, Warriors.

On their first possession in the fourth quarter, KS Maui earned 20 yards in penalties for a false start and for having an extra man on the field.

The Lunas ran the ball well, helped along by a Warrior penalty for a late hit, and Kaniho eventually punched the ball into the end zone from the Warrior 1-yard line. The PAT was good, and the Lunas led 27-22 with 31 seconds left in the game.

Kamehameha pushed toward the end zone as time was ticking. Of their final seconds left, Head Coach Jojo Chong-Kee said, “That was Warrior spirit they showed.”

In those final wild 31 seconds, the Warriors got the ball out of bounds to stop the clock, completed a long pass that was called back on a penalty, fumbled and recovered their own ball, and took advantage of a 15-yard penalty against the Lunas for helmet-to-helmet contact.

With two seconds left, Wilhelm said, “At first, I thought the game was over,” but he threw a long Hail Mary to Kamuela Kaniaupio who caught it just before the goal, turned and twisted his way into a touchdown, and brought the team to victory.

The crowd went as wild as the football boys who crowded the field and threw at least one towel in the air. The referees called a penalty on the Warriors for excessive celebration, but the touchdown stood with zero seconds left.

“I was super stoked,” Kaniaupio said of their win.

“I felt excited, kind of speechless”, Wilhelm added. He said the win gives them a “confidence boost, more energy and momentum” for their next game against Baldwin.

The JV Warriors will play the Bears next week at 4:30 p.m. at .War Memorial Stadium.