The game between the two largest schools in Maui County is always big and this one is no different.
Baldwin can clinch the MIL Division I first round with a win, while Maui High has to win to keep its hopes alive going into the final week.
Baldwin is fourth in MIL team offense (191.5 ypg) and defense (300.5 ypg); Maui High is third in each — 236.0 yards per game on offense, 292.5 yards allowed per game on defense.
The Bears won 26 games in a row in this rivalry from 2001 to 2013, but since then the Sabers have been the MIL’s Division I state tournament representative three in the last five years — each time under a different head coach.
Maui High has lost its last two state games against Hilo on the Big Island each of the last two seasons — the Sabers are 0-4 all-time in the state tournament.
Brex Delray is the No. 2 passer in the MIL so far, completing 32-of-58 for 358 yards. Naia Nakamoto, who set the MIL rushing single-season record last year (1,353 yards rushing, 16 TDs) has been battling injuries this season.
He and Rusty Abalos are eighth and ninth on the MIL rushing list, respectively, while Kaeo Miguel is No. 1 in receiving in the league with 11 receptions.
The Bears’ Laakea Asuega-Stark is the No. 3 passer in the league – he has completed 48.2 percent of his passes for 239 yards. Isaiah Souza is No. 6 on the MIL rushing list, and Maui High transfer Isaiah Richards leads the team with seven receptions.
Maui High was beaten by King Kekaulike last week, but battled back from 14-0 down with two late scores before falling 14-12.
“We told the kids, ‘we have a timeout, we have got to keep battling, we’ll come back, stay in the game, keep playing the game, and you know, we have to keep going, we have to keep battling,’ ” head coach Rodney Figueroa said after that game.