Sabers sour homecoming hopes with win over KSM varsity

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Photo by Maile Sur

Quarterback Chase Newton scrambles during Kamehameha Maui’s game against the Maui High Sabers, Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013, at Kana’iaupuni Stadium.

By Maile Sur, staff writer

With homecoming spirits high, the Kamehameha Maui Warriors were not about to give up against the Maui High Sabers last night, September 14, at Kana’iaupuni Stadium, but the Warriors ultimately fell to the Sabers, 27-14.

The Sabers made the most of their first possession, working the ball up 49 yards to the two-yard line over five downs. After seven minutes of tough opposition, running back Onosai Emelio ran in the touchdown and senior Jared Kapisi made the kick giving the Sabers 7 to the Warriors’ 0.

Emelio, as well as Justin Cravalho, were key players in last night’s game for Maui High. Cravalho, who was the Sabers backup quarterback, played exceptionally well.

“How he played tonight was going to determine the outcome of our game,” said Maui High School’s head coach, David Bui. “He stepped in and stepped it up.”

The first quarter ended quickly with no other points being scored. In the second quarter the Warriors worked the ball up the field with short passes and runs. Chase Newton threw an interception to Maui High’s Andre Pierman, who ran a touchdown increasing the Saber lead to 14-0.

On the Warriors’ next possession, they completed many runs and short passes, working their way up to the Sabers 5-yard line. Chase Newton threw a pass to Keoni Keanini on the 1-yard line. He ran it in for a touchdown with 6:30 left on the clock for the half. Kailoa Akoi’s kick was good, giving the Warriors their first touchdown of the night. The Warriors were down 14-7.

The Sabers came back four minutes later when Chazzainiel Sau ran in another touchdwon from the Warriors’ 25-yard line, and Kapisi scored again with the PAT.

The half ended with a 36-yard field goal attempt by the Sabers, but the kick was no good.

Starting off the second half, the Warriors brought the heat. Moving the ball up the field consistently. They had four first downs in the first three minutes. Facing a fourth down and still on the Sabers’ 43-yard line, the Warriors faked a rushing play, but Newton actually executed a quick kick and turned the ball over to the Sabers possession on their own 4-yard line.

“In the second half we started to click,” said junior, Joshua Hiwatashi, who scored one of the Warriors’ two touchdowns. “But that’s the problem; we need to click the entire game.”

The Sabers worked the ball up to the KSM 28-yard line on their next possession. On their fourth down, Kapisi tried for a field goal, but it was short.

With 2:10 left in the third quarter, Newton threw a 34-yard pass to Joshua Hiwatashi in the end zone. Kailoa Akoi scored the PAT, and the score was now 21-14, in favor of the Sabers.

In the fourth quarter the Warrior defense stepped it up, stopping many of the Sabers attempts to move up the field.

With 9:34 left in the game, Emelio ran another touchdown for the Sabers. Pierman had trouble setting up the kick for Kapisi and tried to run it but was stopped by the Warrior defense. The score was now 27-14, the Sabers with the lead.

The fourth quarter was difficult for the Warriors with the referees ruling two of the Warriors’ attempted fumble recoveries incomplete passes instead.

Quarterback Chase Newton said that the main thing lacking in last night’s game was the team’s “mental toughness.”

“It’s just about having heart, and knowing there always is a chance to win,” said Coach Cody Nakamura, head coach for the Kamehameha Maui Warriors.

The game ended with the Warriors in possession, making dramatic last-ditch effort after effort, including a trick play, but they didn’t score again, and the Sabers won, 27-14.

To prepare for their second-round game against their next opponents, Nā Aliʻi, the team plans to increase their mental game.

Come out to support the varsity Warriors at 7:00 p.m. as they defend their King of the Hill title on Friday, Sept. 27, at King Kekaulike High School.

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