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'Iolani rallies to beat Lahainaluna in thrilling D-II title game

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 08:58 p.m. HST, Nov 23, 2012

J.T. Los Banos had three interceptions and Reece Foy five touchdown passes Friday, leading 'Iolani over Lahainaluna 36-33 for the Raiders sixth consecutive First Hawaiian Bank football state championship.

'Iolani of the Interscholastic League of Honolulu finished at 9-3 and Lahainaluna of the Maui Interscholastic League ended at 9-2.

The thrilling Division II game full of big plays at Aloha Stadium preceded the Division I game between Kahuku and Punahou.

"This was a great game," 'Iolani coach Wendell Look said. "They are just as deserving to be state champions as we are."

Los Banos's third pick came with 27 seconds left and Lahainaluna driving, from the 'Iolani 34.

Foy had just thrown his second 26-yard TD pass to Tanner Nishioka with 1:53 left.

Chad Hanaoka caught the three other TD passes from Foy.

Lahainaluna got its first lead when Taylor Kohler-Fonohema scored on a 2-yard run with 7:21 left in the game.

The Lunas rushed for 441 yards, with Jared Rocha-Islas (11 carries, 106 yards), Makoa Filikitonga Lukela (14-103) and Christian Whitehead (11-101) all going over 100 yards each.

Foy, who led 'Iolani to three state titles in three years as a starter, completed 22 of 36 passes for 299 yards. Yuuya Kato rushed for 103 yards on 19 carries.

'Iolani led 22-14 after an exciting first half, capped by Chad Hanaoka's second touchdown on a 2-yard pass from Foy — just 29 seconds after the Lunas closed the score to 15-14 on Scott-Isaac Medeiros-Tangatailoa's 26-yard reception from Filikitonga Lukela.

Hanaoka opened the scoring on a 7-yard strike from Foy with less than a minute left in the first quarter.

'Iolani quickly padded the lead to 15-7 as Foy hit Nishioka for a 26-yard TD, and Max Look rushed for a 2-point conversion. It was set up by the first of Los Banos's two first-half interceptions.

Filikitonga Lukela's 21-yard scoring run got the Lunas back into it, 15-7.

"It's a big game. Sometimes things don't go your way," Lahainaluna co-head coach Garret Tihada said.

"We have to look ahead. We don't have a choice. As soon as we get home to Maui, we have our banquet and we have to keep moving ahead."

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Fred01 wrote:
This is State news? Who cares?
on November 23,2012 | 07:26PM
walaau808 wrote:
Thanks for reading and commenting...guess you answered your own question.
on November 23,2012 | 07:29PM
t_faman wrote:
What a game, congratulations to Iolani. Coach Look is a class act having his team to show respect to the Lunas. Lunas represented Maui well.
on November 23,2012 | 07:45PM
jcb wrote:
Time for Iolani to man up. Does it mean anything to them if they win 6 consequtive Div 2 titles or 25? Give me a break.
on November 23,2012 | 07:58PM
SomebodyElse wrote:
I agree, why are they still Division II? Move up already.
on November 23,2012 | 08:41PM
lani_moo wrote:
No pride. They should start their own division. That way, they will be champions forever.
on November 23,2012 | 09:19PM
kuda1969 wrote:
Haters gonna hate. Unfortunately, your small mind missed the point completely. Iolani players are full of pride. They are undersized, undermanned, but execute with discipline, heart, and teamwork. Like I said, nothing but Pride, and they win with class. Congratulations to the Raiders on their championship, and to the Luna's who represented so well. Maui should be proud.
on November 23,2012 | 11:20PM
jcb wrote:
I agree with everything you say about the Iolani players. But why is the Iolani administration/coaches lowering the bar on their own kids? Doesn't make sense to me. It's not hate ... more like derision.
on November 24,2012 | 03:49PM
hunebasami wrote:
So many people crying because they are not over achievers. Iolani as a group are overachievers. They are really small and short but play together. I think without a good coach they would be like UH complaining about not having great players. Give credit to good coaching and boys that believe. You think they recuit for football. If they do they wouldn't be 5ft 6in and 140lbs.
on November 23,2012 | 10:19PM
808chubs wrote:
Ummm...they do "recruit", well, correction, I believe they call it athletic "scholarships". Whatever, congratulations Lahainaluna you played with heart, hope to see you back for states next year.
on November 24,2012 | 05:49AM
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