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KEALAKEKUA — Konawaena’s defense clamped down on a Maui running game that gashed the Wildcats in the first half, teaming with the offense to turn what was a close game into a rout.

Junior quarterback Lii Karratti threw for 270 yards and four touchdowns, and Konawaena turned two interceptions into two more scores as the Wildcats defeated the Sabers 38-17 in a nonconference game at Julian Yates Field.

Konawaena (1-1) took the lead for good at 19-17 with 5 minutes, 55 seconds left in the third quarter, when Karratti found Domonic Morris uncovered in the left corner of the end zone for an 18-yard touchdown pass. Karratti gave the Wildcats some breathing room when he capped a nine-play, 65-yard drive by scoring on a 1-yard plunge.

Then the defense took over.

On the Sabers’ next play from scrimmage, junior linebacker Evyn Yamaguchi sealed the victory by stepping in front of a David Kahaleauki pass in the middle of the field and returning in 29 yards for a touchdown and a 31-17 advantage.

Three plays into Maui’s next drive, Austin Denis returned a Kahaleauki interception 24 yards, setting up Karratti’s 24-yard touchdown pass to a wide-open Mikey Rabara near the goal line.

The Wildcats’ defense, which allowed 128 yards in the first half, limited the Sabers (0-1) to just 15 yards in the second half.

Rabara and Chayne Bohol each had six tackles, while Laimana Grace had two tackles for losses.

Junior running back Justin McCrary led Maui with 85 rushing yards and a touchdown on 20 carries.

Meanwhile, Karratti completed passes to six different receivers.

Morris caught three passes for 70 yards and two touchdowns, while Kenan Gaspar had four receptions for 96 yards and a touchdown.

c In the JV game preceding Saturday’s varsity game, Konawaena defeated Kealakehe 30-0.

Maui 0 17 0 0 — 17

Konawaena 7 6 6 19 — 38

First quarter

Kon — Domonic Morris 42 pass from Lii Karratti (Kenan Gaspar kick), 1:16 Second quarter Maui — Justin McCrary 5 pass from David Kahaleauki (Jared Kapisi kick), 10:43 Kon — Kenan Gaspar 47 pass from Karratti (kick failed), 9:23 Maui — Soane Vaohea 15 run (Kapisi kick), 5:47 Maui — FG Kapisi 44, 2:06 Third quarter Kon — Morris 18 pass from Karratti (pass failed), 5:55 Fourth quarter Kon — Karratti 1 run (kick failed), 11:57 Kon — Evyn Yamaguchi 29 interception return (pass failed), 11:37 Kon — Mikey Rabara 25 pass from Karratti (Gaspar kick), 9:06

Follow Joe Ferraro on Twitter (@jf_hawaiisports).