Kaimuki spoils Anuenue’s debut
The Kaimuki Bulldogs don't really feel like a Division II team, but with dwindling enrollment and smaller numbers in the football program, they'll take it one step at a time.
Perry Faleao ran for 94 yards in 14 attempts and fullback Chase Nanod rambled for 53 yards on 13 carries as Kaimuki wore down Anuenue 26-6 last night at Kaiser Stadium. The Bulldogs moved down to the White Conference of the Oahu Interscholastic Association this season and are a definite contender for the title.
There was no joyful celebration for Na Koa of Anuenue, but they certainly earned a measure of respect in their first league game at the varsity level. The game was 13-6 until the closing seconds of the third quarter.
"They left it all on the field. I'm proud of them," Anuenue coach Kealoha Wengler said. "We just got overpowered."
It was a battle for the pride of Palolo Valley since many players on both teams were once teammates for the Pop Warner champion Palolo Vikings squad a few years ago.
"It was competitive tonight. They stopped us, we stopped them," said slotback-cornerback Christopher Etuale. "They played with their hearts, and we did, too."
Kaimuki played smashmouth football out of its I slot sets. The Bulldogs ran 41 times for 209 yards. Quarterback Craig Cabudol completed five of his seven pass attempts for 55 yards and guided the offense almost flawlessly.
The first varsity game in Anuenue's brief existence was close much of the way. Kaimuki simply outmuscled Anuenue's 21-man squad in the final 13 minutes.
"We're taking a step forward," Kaimuki coach Daniel Mafua said. His 26-man roster didn't show effects of fatigue against a team that threw the ball 35 times. "These Anuenue kids, 21 of them, showed a lot of heart. As a coach, I've learned a lot from them tonight. They kept fighting to the end. It was awesome to see."
Anuenue, a team with no seniors, had some success out of its shotgun attack. Quarterback Ka'ehukai Nauka was 15-for-34 for 148 yards.
"He did an excellent job," Wengler said. "Our line did a good job of picking up the blitz, but we need to catch the ball more."
Na Koa dropped five catchable passes.
Kaimuki got an early break when a high snap sailed over the head of Anuenue punter Kawika Po'aha. He was sacked at the Anuenue 16-yard line, and Kaimuki scored two plays later on a 2-yard burst by Nanod.
The PAT kick was blocked by Keli'i Kon, but Kaimuki led 6-0 with 8:02 remaining in the first quarter.
Spreading the field with a shotgun, four-receiver set, Anuenue responded with a seven-play, 50-yard drive to paydirt. A 33-yard catch and run by Kon took Na Koa deep into Kaimuki territory. Nauka scored on a draw from the 1, and the game was tied at 6 with 5:28 left in the opening quarter.
Fatigue began to show for both teams in the third quarter as penalties mounted. Kaimuki, continuing its relentless ground attack, got an interception by cornerback Cabudol. He then guided the Bulldogs on a five-play, 41-yard drive as their quarterback. Faleao's 25-yard jaunt up the middle set the 'Dogs up at the 1, where Dolly Ainuu scored on a pitch to the right. Kaimuki led 19-6 with 11 seconds left in the third quarter.
Anuenue drove from its 24-yard line to the Kaimuki 11, but Kamahoe Cookman intercepted Nauka's pass near the goal line.
"We're hoping to step back into the Red," Mafua said. "Hopefully, we can keep winning and get more kids out."
Baldwin 41, Maui 0
Jordan Helle passed for three touchdowns and ran in another score as the Bears shut out the Sabers in the teams' Maui Interscholatic League opener at War Memorial Stadium.
Colton Quinabo and Skyler Cabacungan added rushing touchdowns for Baldwin, which jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter and never looked back.