Lahainaluna High School running back Joshua Tihada carried the Lunas to their fourth-consecutive Hawaii High School Athletic Association Division II championship football title — quite literally.
The Lunas beat Kapaa High, 21-10 at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu on Friday. About 70 people watched the game on pay-per-view TV at Kapaa High School.
The Lunas fed the ball to Tihada, who operated almost exclusively out of the wildcat formation, and generated 339 team rushing yards and attempted only two passes for no yards.
Tihada finished his record-setting day with 314 yards and three touchdowns on 36 carries.
Lahainaluna’s first drive was highlighted by a 55-yard Tihada run that pushed them to the Kapaa 33-yard-line.
After four consecutive small gains, and converting a fourth-and-one on the Warriors’ four-yard-line, Tihada scored his first touchdown running out of the wildcat formation, giving the Lunas the early 7-0 advantage with 5:13 left in the first quarter.
The Warriors, who lost to the Lunas in last year’s title game, refused to back down from the top-rated team in the state.
Kapaa answered with 73-yard, 10-play scoring drive that culminated in a 7-7 tie with Baba Na-O reaching the end zone from a yard out with 35 seconds left in the first quarter.
Warriors’ quarterback Kahanu Davis and Na-O combined for 51 yards on the ground on the drive. Davis also connected with Dreyden Iwamoto on a pass play.
In the second quarter, the Lunas and the Warriors exchanged punts before the Lunas changed the pace of the game.
Lahainaluna drove 80 yards on seven plays, with Tihada concluding the journey with a 22-yard touchdown run with 4:03 left in the second quarter.
Before halftime, the Warriors answered with a score of their own, starting from their own 33. The 61-yard drive was highlighted by Na-O’s 19-yard run on third-and-one to Luna’s 39-yard-line.
The Warriors finished the drive with a La‘akea Gonsalves 23-yard field goal with 20 seconds left to go in the half and cut the deficit to 14-10.
Both teams were scoreless in the third quarter.
In the fourth quarter, with the Lunas still going exclusively to their wildcat formation, Tihada took over. The Lunas’ 11-play, 92-yard scoring drive,was capped by Tihada’s 40-yard touchdown run with 8:16 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Davis finished the game with 73 yards on 21 carries, and Na-O finished with 20 carries for 108 yards, and a touchdown.
Kapaa has lost three consecutive games against Lahainaluna, including a 21-18 loss on Aug. 17.
Scoring Summary (Final)
Kapaa Warriors (7-1)
vs. Lahainaluna Lunas (10-0)
Date: Nov 29, 2019 • Site: Honolulu, Hawaii • Stadium: Aloha • Attendance:
Kapaa Warriors7 3 0 0 10
Lahainaluna 7 7 0 7 21
05:13 LAHAINA – 33 Tihada, J 4 yd TD RUSH (KICK by 5 Rickard, T), 9-89 3:54 0-7
00:35 KAPAA – 22 Na-O 1 yd TD RUSH (KICK by 2 Gonsalves), 10-71 4:337-7
04:03 LAHAINA – 33 Tihada, J 22 yd TD RUSH (KICK by 21 Casco), 7-80 3:187-14
00:20 KAPAA – 2 Gonsalves 23 yd FG 11-61 3:35 10-14
08:16 LAHAINA – 33 Tihada, J 40 yd TD RUSH (KICK by 21 Casco), 11-92 5:3210-21
Kickoff time: 1:07 pm • End of Game: 3:24 • Total elapsed time: 2:17