Open Mic
Sa-Chisolm, Casco gave Lunas edge over Warriors




Defensive backs Devon Sa-Chisolm and Kaihulali Casco showed why they were missed in Lahainaluna's season-opening loss to Damien.

The pair of 2018 Maui Interscholastic League Football All-Stars were key in the Lunas' first win of the year, a 21-18 non-league victory over Kapaa at Sue D. Cooley Stadium last Saturday night.

Sa-Chisolm returned a kickoff 98 yards to the house to take the lead away from the Warriors in the second quarter and Casco ran in a 1-yard score for Lahainaluna's only points of the second half as the Lunas extended their winning streak over Kapaa to four games.

"We were fortunate enough to have them back," Lahainaluna co-head coach Dean Rickard said. "Of course, like anything else, you want to welcome your key players — and they were key players last year — they were able to make a difference for us."

Sa-Chisolm, a 6-foot, 180-pound junior, was unavailable in the game against the Monarchs on Aug. 3 after being diagnosed with a concussion during a scrimmage on Hawaii Island the week before. His kickoff return against Kapaa changed the tone of the game.

Lahainaluna DB Devon Sa-Chisolm lined up as a receiver on some snaps on offense.

After the Lunas turned it over on downs at the Warriors’ 1-yard line on their opening drive, Kapaa ran the ball 12 straight times before attempting its first pass of the contest on first-and-goal at the Lahainaluna 5-yard line. The drive ultimately led to a 25-yard field goal by Laakea Gonsalves to give Kapaa a 3-0 lead with 11:06 to play in the second quarter.

On the ensuing kickoff, Sa-Chisolm caught the ball near the right hash and ran across the width of the field before following a convoy down the left sideline to give Lahainaluna a 7-3 lead.

“He’s pretty fast isn’t he? It surprised me too,” Rickard said of Sa-Chisolm’s return. “One thing about him is he has good vision. That’s why we put him back there. He’s got good speed. It was a nice return. It was fortunate enough — and (co-head) coach Bobby Watson, all credit to him because he takes care of the special teams — it was set up just right and all of the other 10 guys helped him along.”

Devon Sa-Chisolm bounces a kickoff to the left sideline for a 98-yard Lahainaluna touchdown.

Sa-Chisolm also made 3 1/2 tackles on defense, caught a 12-yard pass and also had a 10-yard run on a fly sweep when the Lunas were trying to run out the clock in the fourth quarter.

While he did score on a 1-yard run to give the Lunas a 21-10 lead over the Warriors with 1:57 left in the third quarter, Casco’s biggest impact was felt on defensively against Kapaa’s run-heavy offense. The tag team duo of quarterback Kahanu Davis and running back Baba Na-o helped Kapaa run for 241 yards as the Warriors were able to stay in the game without completing a pass until there was less than 10 minutes left in regulation.

“We knew they can move the ball on the ground, we expected the battle. It was no surprise that they were able to move the ball the way they did,” Rickard said.

Kaihulali Casco was an enforcer in the Lahainaluna secondary.

Casco, who sat in the game against Damien due to not having enough days practiced in full pads, led all defenders with 11 tackles, 2 1/2 which were for a loss. The 6-foot-1, 190-pound senior also combined with a sack with Nainoa Kulukulualani-Sales on a third down play to force the Warriors to settle for a field goal on their opening drive.

“Defensively we didn’t have to rely on our younger players that didn’t have that experience,” said Rickard. “Kapaa, they’re a big physical tough team. We were fortunate to come out on top this time.”

The Lunas will open up MIL play on the road Saturday night against Kekaulike.

Lahainaluna DB Kaihulali Casco prepares to wrap up Kapaa RB Baba Na-o.



Reach Michael Lasquero at [email protected].


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