Maui High defeats Warriors at homecoming

Spirited crowd still has fun

Sophomore+Damon+Martin+runs+the+ball+as+Kealaula+Keliikoa+blocks+Maui+High%27s+Kainoa+Davis+at+the+Warrior+homecoming+game+in+Kana%27iaupuni+Stadium+on+September+19%2C+2015.+The+Sabers+won%2C+9-0%2C+in+front+of+a+spirited+Kamehameha+crowd.

Photo by Tre Cravalho

Sophomore Damon Martin runs the ball as Kealaula Keliikoa blocks Maui High's Kainoa Davis at the Warrior homecoming game in Kana'iaupuni Stadium on September 19, 2015. The Sabers won, 9-0, in front of a spirited Kamehameha crowd.

Instead of the traditional rainbow of class colors, a wave of white filled the stands at the homecoming game on Saturday as Warrior supporters made an unprecedented show of unity.

Despite the spirited cheering from the stands and on the field, the Warriors lost, 9-0, to the Maui High Sabers.

In addition to the football game, this year’s homecoming game showcased school unity by eliminating individual class competitions.

Senior cheerleader Rachel Hillen said, “Everyone in the crowd [was] really participating, they were really loud, and seemed to be having a lot of fun.”

“Everyone in the crowd [was] really participating…”

–Rachel Hillen

 

The high school band was also there to entertain the crowd with music throughout the night.

On the field, both teams were strong defensively overall, but the Sabers made more of their offensive opportunities.

In the first quarter, the Warriors missed a chance when they recovered a fumble on Maui’s 27-yd line and worked the ball down to the 2-yard line, but were unable to score over four downs.

The Warriors had a rough second quarter when sophomore quarterback Kainoa Sanchez threw an interception on the Warriors’ second possession. It was caught by Saber Feleti Afemui deep in Warrior territory, and he ran in for a touchdown. The Sabers tried to do an end run for two points, but were stopped short by the Warrior defense. The score was 6-0, Sabers.

Senior Kulana Wilhelm came in to quarterback for the next two quarters. On the next third down, Wilhelm threw an interception, intended for Kealaula Keliikoa, to the Sabers’ Kainoa Davis, but Maui High was unable to score on the opportunity.

The teams turned the ball over two more times near the end of the half, and the Sabers attempted a field goal from the Warriors’ 25-yd line, which fell short.

During halftime, floats from each high school class paraded down the track. Marching students kept the crowd entertained by throwing plastic bead necklaces of Kamehameha blue into the stands.

The third quarter began with Maui High in possession of the ball, covering 68 yards over three first downs, eventually kicking a field goal from the Warriors’ 20-yd line and making the score 9-0, Sabers.

On the next possession, the Warriors moved the ball 43 yards over three first downs, and Keliikoa attempted a field goal from the 27-yd line, but it missed, going off to the side of the uprights.

In the fourth quarter, both teams seemed tired and were having trouble making first downs. They turned the ball over 10 times.

The Warriors missed a few opportunities. One was when Sanchez completed a 41-yd pass to Nathan Facuri down the Warriors sidelines, but on the next play, the Sabers intercepted the same play and ran the ball back for 42 yards.

The Warriors had another chance on the next Saber possession when Tyerell Baldonado-Kaleiopu recovered a fumble on the Warrior 34-yd line, but they were only able to move the ball 20 yards and eventually turned it over on downs.

At the end of the night the Sabers won with a score of 9-0.

“We’re definitely unhappy with the loss, but we got to move on. There’s a big game next week, and we need to prepare for what’s ahead,” Head Coach Cody Nakamura said.

 

The Warriors will be playing at home against King Kekaulike High School on Friday, Sept. 25. Kamehameha bested Nā Aliʻi in the first round.

Coach Nakamura said that they will start preparing for the next game by “watching film, get[ting] more mental preparation, and get[ting] everyone on the same page.”

Defensive back/wide receiver Kamuela Kaniaupio said that he is ready to do his part both individually and as a senior leader. “I need to get my cardio in and not only prepare myself, but help and prepare my teammates as well,” he said.

Leading rusher, sophomore Damon Martin, also said that, “I am going to go out to the field every day and just practice my hardest.”