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Farmers Become First-Time Football Champs

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Willie Dela Cruz (16) runs upfield. Photo by Rick Schonely.

Running through the tunnel at war Memorial Stadium in Kahului, Maui, is a young football player’s dream. Running through that tunnel and then winning in the championship game against an archrival is a Molokai football player’s dream come true.

On a beautiful Saturday afternoon on the big stage, the Molokai Farmers football team won their first eight-man Maui Interscholastic League (MIL) championship by defeating Seabury Hall 55-16.

“We came out and scored on our first two possessions, then we lost our way a little bit at the end of the first quarter,” said Head Coach Mike Kahale. “But in the second quarter we played better and it’s how you respond to adversity. … I am so happy and very proud of our team.”

The Farmers came out strong and scored on their first two offensive possessions. Using a solid defense, they dominated the game against the Spartans.

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Ena Victorino, far right, prepares to take on a Seabury defender. Photo by Rick Schonely.

With a big crowd of Molokai supporters in the grandstand and an enthusiastic rally squad there to support them, the football team took care of business and executed on the field.

Quarterback John Michael Mokiao-Duvauchelle threw three touchdown passes to wide receiver Kaimana Kahale. Ena Victorino ran for two touchdowns and also anchored a dominant Farmer defense. Defensive back Willie Dela Cruz played a great game and also returned two punts for long gains. The offensive line and the defense were both solid in the victory.

“Finally we got the job done after the past two years of coming up short and that motivated us,” said senior offensive lineman Kui Han. “We came out today, and we executed and played well and gave them some Molokai power!”

Mokiao-Duvauchelle, a junior, echoed his offensive lineman’s words.

“It feels good to get this monkey off my back,” he said. “We came up short the past couple years and now we finally feel like we are on top, and I just love it right now.”

The Farmers end the year with a perfect record of 6–0 and will have a new eight-man MIL championship banner to hang proudly in The Barn.

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Players douse Coach Kahale in a victory bath. Photo by Rick Schonely.

It was a big moment for the island and the high school, which went without football for more than 50 years before joining the eight-player league in 2010.

“Seabury has been on top for the past few years and they had the target on their back,” said Kahale, who revived the program on Molokai. “[Our boys] came out and did their thing and I’m just excited for our team, our coaches and our community. Thank you to all the community that has supported Molokai High School football.”

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