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Football on Fire

Keola DeMello scored four touchdowns and Noah Caparida added three as the Molokai High School (MHS) club football team rolled to a 54-22 victory over host St. Anthony last weekend.

Head Coach Mike Kahale said players were excited to play their first game refereed by Maui Interscholastic League (MIL) officials on a regulation size field, and were motivated to make up for a loss to the Trojans last season. They channeled their excitement into a 40-0 halftime lead en route to the victory, which included additional touchdowns from Shauden Pedro, Braddah Ka`ai and Kaloko Akina, who scored on a 75-yard punt return.

“It takes a lot more effort to fundraise and put together an off-island trip, so they were excited to come over and play a full-on game,” Kahale said. “Defensively we were really tough, got a few interceptions and fumble recoveries, big stops at the goal line … and offensively they were just clicking.”

In their second year of a three-year plan to become an MIL-sanctioned team, Kahale said the Farmers are exceeding expectations; the big win followed the team’s 10-plus touchdown performance in a controlled scrimmage against Seabury last month. Players’ skills and execution are improving, he said, crediting motivated athletes and his solid coaching assistants.

“We had several people come up to us and congratulate us on our progress – coaches from other schools as well,” Kahale said. “They’re really surprised to see Molokai football. I just want everybody to know that we’re legit, we wanna keep upping the ante and taking it to the next level, and I think we can do it.”

Team captains DeMello, Jayven Dudoit-Tabilangan, Kaloko Akina and have provided quality leadership, Kahale said.

“[The captains] are stepping up, [being] real encouraging to the boys, keeping them accountable … but also letting them know that they believe in them,” he added. “They understand the importance of teamwork and unity and being disciplined.”

The Farmers return to Maui to play Seabury Oct. 15 before hosting St. Anthony at the MHS field Oct. 22.

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