Big second quarter lifts Lahainaluna, 52-20
By Kyle Sakamoto
Advertiser Staff Writer
By Kyle Sakamoto
WAILUKU, Maui — It took Lahainaluna four series — two on offense and two on defense — to figure out Kaimuki last night.
Once the Lunas did, it was all over.
Lahainaluna scored 30 points in the second quarter after going three-and-out on its first two possessions in a 52-20 victory in the semifinals of the First Hawaiian Bank/HHSAA Division II State Football Championships at War Memorial Stadium.
"We did it for the fans of Lahaina, the families that came," said Lunas linebacker Bryson Williams, who had two interceptions. "Every time we were down, we just looked at the stands."
Lahainaluna will play Interscholastic League of Honolulu champion and No. 2 seed 'Iolani in the state final at 5 p.m. Friday at Aloha Stadium.
Blaise Smith rushed 15 times for 93 yards and three touchdowns for Lahainaluna, the Maui Interscholastic League champion and No. 1 seed. Smith, a 5-foot-11, 160-pound senior, had success on inside handoffs from the slot position.
"The linemen made their blocks. Everyone carried out their fakes and it helped me out," Smith said.
In all, the Lunas gained 252 yards on the ground and scored six rushing touchdowns from the wing-T formation.
"We basically ran our base plays all the time," Lahainaluna coach Robert Watson said. "The kids blocked and worked hard out there. Things fell into place for us early."
Lahainaluna (9-1) gained nine yards on its first two possessions, then scored touchdowns on four of its next five.
The scoring drives averaged 3.7 plays and 41 yards.
Lahainaluna had a first-round bye and its last game was Oct. 16.
"Kaimuki came to play ball and took it away from us," Watson said. "We had to make some adjustments early and the kids did that, and we were able to take it in."
On the first play of the second quarter, Smith scored on a 6-yard option keeper to the left side.
Kaimuki was forced to punt on its next possession and the snap forced Maua Tuitele to lunge to his right to catch the ball. He tried to run for the first down and was dropped for a 7-yard loss at the Bulldogs' 16.
Three plays later, Smith scored on a 2-yard run with 9:37 left before halftime. The Lunas lined up for the conversion kick, but holder Jordan Casco threw a pass to Matthew Lawless in the end zone for a 15-0 lead.
The Bulldogs decided to take a huge gamble on their next possession by going for it on fourth-and-2 from their 28. Kaimuki's running back was stopped for a 1-yard gain up the middle, and Lahainaluna used two plays to score with Jake Manning hitting Lake Casco on a 26-yard scoring pass with 6:58 left to make it 22-0.
Casco took a low snap in shotgun formation, ducked under a defender and ran 26 yards for a touchdown with 3:35 left before halftime. A penalty after the play moved the PAT attempt to the 1 and Simione Vehikite powered in to make it 30-0.
"We were in position to make plays and we didn't make the plays we should have made," said Kaimuki coach Darren Johnson. "They made the plays, they executed well, they were well-coached."
KAIMUKI (11-2) 0 0 12 8—20
LAHAINALUNA (9-1) 0 30 15 7—52
Lah — Blaise Smith 6 run (Ivan Delaney kick)
Lah — Smith 2 run (Matthew Lawless from Jordan Casco)
Lah — Lake Casco 26 pass from Jake Manning (Delaney kick)
Lah — Casco 26 run (Simione Vehikite run)
Lah — Vehikite 11 run (Lawless from Jordan Casco).
Kaim — Kapono Kaiwi-Barrionuebo 1 run (pass failed)
Kaim — Romnick Pagurayan 14 pass from Nainoa Hiapo (pass failed)
Lah — Smith 16 run (Delaney kick)
Kaim — Kapono Kaiwi-Barrionuebo 1 run (Desmond Tautofi from Kaiwi-Barrionuebo)
Lah — Jake Manning 30 run (Delaney kick)
RUSHING—Kaimuki: Justin Paderes 13-27, Kaiwi-Barrionuebo 7-5, Maua Tuitele 1-(minus 7), Joshua Gacusana 2-3, Tevita Aholelei 1-1, Chezz Ramos-Dias 1-(minus 6). Lahainaluna: Kailas McGhee 9-48, Manning 4-47, Smith 15-93, L. Casco 6-20, Jacob McCarthy 2-14, Vehikite 1-11, Imihana Ampong 3-11, Jared Paniasigui 1-6, Ikaika Azcueta 1-2, Wesley Antolin 2-5, team 2-(minus 5).
PASSING—Kaimuki: Kaiwi-Barrionuebo 10-29-4—149, Hiapo 1-14. Lahainaluna: Manning 5-12-0—83.
RECEIVING—Kaimuki: Chris Fiamate 3-36, Pagurayan 5-104, Ramos-Dias 1-12, Paderes 2-11. Lahainaluna: L. Casco 2-52, Chris Wanke 1-3, Smith 1-23, Paniasigui 1-5.
Reach Kyle Sakamoto at email@example.com.