Warriors score historic win over Lahaina


Photo by Tre Cravalho

Senior Covy Cremer runs past Luna’s Radon Sinenci. Junior Kai Segundo has got him covered at the August 22 away game against Lahainaluna. In their first regular season outing, the Warriors triumphed, beating the Lunas, 11-7, for the first time in the school’s history.

LAHAINA–Cheers boomed throughout the stadium because history had been made. For the first time ever, the Kamehameha Maui Warriors varsity Football team won a game against Lahainaluna.

The team broke through an 11-year losing streak against the Lunas last night by beating them, 11-7, under sultry, cloudy skies that lit up with lightning in tropical depression Kilo, which was passing by. With fans and players dripping in the 90% humidity, the game got underway.

The first quarter started with the Warriors kicking and Lahainaluna receiving. Around the middle of the quarter Lahainaluna fumbled the ball, which was picked up by the Warriors, putting them at the Lunas’ 14-yard line. Kamehameha punted for a field goal, and it was a success. The first quarter ended 3-0, Warriors.

At the start of the second quarter, Kealaula’s Keliikoa’s kicking technique (running first, then kicking the ball low along the ground) backfired when the Lunas recovered the ball on the Warriors’ 35-yd line. After a Kamehameha penalty and several short rushes, the Lunas worked their way to the 12-yd line, and David Kawabata ran the ball in to score for the Lunas. They also got the extra point and ended the second quarter 3-7, Lahaina.

The third quarter was a true testament to Kamehameha Maui’s defense this year. They pushed hard and kept the Lunas at bay in the middle of the field for most of the quarter. With a little less than three minutes left, a snap to Nau Filiai sailed over his head and into the end zone, giving the Warriors two points for a safety and possession of the ball. The score at the end of the third quarter was 5-7, Lunas.

The fourth quarter began, and the crowd was going insane. The pure adrenaline from the game had the crowd roaring. About halfway through the quarter, the Warriors moved the ball 76 yards in a series of short passes and running plays that gave them 7 first downs. They turned that opportunity into a touchdown when Sanchez handed the ball off to Matthew “Ikaika” Brown-Chong Kee on the Lunas’ 9-yd line, and he ran it into the end zone.

The Warriors attempted the 2-point conversion, but failed after an incomplete pass, making the score 11-7, Warriors. On the Lunas’ next possession, Kamehameha sophomore Logan Cabanilla-Aricayos (this information has been updated) made his second interception of the night during their third down, putting the Warriors on their own 42-yd line.

The Warriors made no progress in the next three downs, but when Keliikoa tried to punt, Lahaina’s Ivan Upfold-Pante picked the ball up after only about 10 yards and returned it to the KSM 43-yd line with about three-and-a-half minutes left in the game.

The Lunas worked the ball all the way up to the Warriors’ 5-yd line, but the Warrior defense held them there, and with 1:21 left in the game, the Lunas turned the ball over to the Warriors on downs.  The Warriors took knees, running down the clock and winning 11-7.

“We just have to go week by week and see how it goes. The season is long, and we’re going to keep going with every game,” head coach Cody Nakamura said.

Since last season, the first without a junior varsity level team, the young Warriors have matured and improved, and a major part of it is due to the their summertime preparation.

“The boys, this summer, have been put to agility and weight training which has definitely helped them grow a lot,” Coach Nakamura said.