Thursday, October 14, 2004


OIA has its share of
teams on bubble

More playoff spots mean more
drama for OIA football

The Interscholastic League of Honolulu fosters relatively small doses of drama on the gridiron.

With just one state-tournament berth awarded to the league champion, such is the way for ILH watchers.

Life in the Oahu Interscholastic Association, meanwhile, is much more stressful. While the Red West has its playoff berths sewn up, the Red East has two spots still open.

The same goes for the OIA White, where two playoff positions are still up for grabs.

That puts the OIA on center stage for this weekend's action on Oahu.



OIA Red West
Mililani at Waianae, 7 p.m.
Nanakuli vs. Kapolei at Mililani Stadium, 7 p.m.
Pearl City at Leilehua, 7 p.m.
OIA Red East
Kahuku at Kailua, 7 p.m.
Castle at Roosevelt, 7 p.m.
OIA White
Waialua at Radford, 7 p.m.
Campbell vs. Kalani at Kaiser Stadium, 7 p.m.
Waipahu at Moanalua, 7 p.m.
Kalaheo at Kaiser, 7 p.m.
Ka'u at Hilo, 7 p.m.
Honokaa at Konawaena, 7 p.m.
Waimea vs. Kapaa at Hanapepe Ball Park, 7:30 p.m.
Baldwin vs. King Kekaulike at War Memorial Stadium, Wailuku, 7:30 p.m.


OIA Red East
McKinley vs. Farrington at Roosevelt Stadium, 6:30 p.m.
At Aloha Stadium
Pac-Five vs. Damien, 2 p.m.
Saint Louis vs. Iolani, 4:45 p.m.
Punahou vs. Kamehameha, 7:30 p.m.
Kealakehe at Hawai'i Prep, 2 p.m.
Keaau at Waiakea, 7 p.m.
Kohala at Kamehameha-Hawaii, 7 p.m.
Lahainaluna vs. Kamehameha-Maui at War Memorial Stadium, Wailuku, 7:30 p.m.

In the OIA Red West, the mystique of Waianae football -- and trying to win at Raymond Torii Field -- won't likely hamper Mililani (7-0, 5-0) at Waianae (2-5, 1-4).

The third-ranked Trojans rank first in the Red West in rushing and total yardage (353 per game).

Waianae fell to Kapolei 20-10 last week at home. The Seariders may find a way to stop Kekoa Perbera, who ranks second in the Red West with 84 yards rushing per game. Dealing with Maka Kahoano's play-action execution, however, will be tricky.

» Nanakuli (3-4, 2-3 league) vs. Kapolei (3-4, 3-2 league) -- The Golden Hawks clinched a playoff berth, but a win over their neighbors from Kapolei would improve their seeding. This is a "home" game for Kapolei, which means the teams travel to Mililani for this matchup. Both teams love the option, but Kapolei's receivers have proven more dangerous. Ikaika Tan leads the Hurricanes with 17 yards per reception.

» Pearl City (1-6, 0-5 league) at No. 8 Leilehua (6-1, 4-1) -- The Mules are in position to host a playoff game, but have to get past the pesky Chargers. Pearl City is at the bottom of the Red West statistically, but has proven able to stay close with the front-running teams of the division for at least a half.

The OIA Red East features a battle between what were supposed to be the league's two powers, as No. 1 Kahuku (6-1, 5-0) visits Kailua (3-2-1, 2-2-1). Last week's stunning 25-13 loss to Farrington leaves the Surfriders without a playoff berth.

Now in a battle with Roosevelt and McKinley for the final two playoff spots in the East, Kailua has the tools to keep Kahuku's defense honest. Kahuku's Micah Strickland ran for 305 yards in last week's win over Roosevelt.

» No. 7 Castle (5-2, 4-1 league) at Roosevelt (2-5, 2-3 league) -- The Rough Riders' backs are to the wall, and though Castle is a proven powerhouse, the matchups work well. Roosevelt quarterback Rudy Artuyo has struggled in recent weeks, but is still dangerous by air and land. He leads the East with 924 passing yards and is among the most elusive scramblers in the state.

In the OIA White, Waialua (1-6, 1-5) plays at Radford (4-3, 4-2) with the Rams in a fight for a playoff berth. Statistically, the Rams are outgained by an average of 60 yards per game. However, ball control and careful passing make up for the imbalance.

» Campbell (5-2, 5-1 league) vs. Kalani (1-6, 0-6 league) -- The Sabers don't have a rusher among the top seven in the White, but rank first as a team on the ground. A win seals home-field advantage for the first round of White playoffs.

» Waipahu (5-2, 5-1) at Moanalua (4-3, 3-3) -- The Marauders can seal home-field advantage for the playoffs by winning. Austen Benito's mastery of the option attack has Waipahu ranked second in White rushing (215 yards per game). Moanalua, though, is battling for a playoff berth and only gives up 140 rushing yards per game.

» Kalaheo (3-4, 3-3) at Kaiser (3-4, 3-3) -- In the White, the Mustangs rank third in passing, while the Cougars are first. Kaiser quarterback Shannon Wise is a double threat, and his 8.3 yards per pass attempt ranks second in the conference. Kalaheo's David Pershin leads the White with 10 touchdown passes. This could easily be the most heavily contested game of the weekend. A playoff berth is at stake.

The ILH does have games worth watching this week.

» Pac-Five (3-3-1, 0-2-1) vs. Damien (2-3-1, 0-2-1) -- Both teams need a win to stay within range of Iolani for a possible Division II state tournament berth. These squads played to a 19-all tie to open the ILH season. Bryson Beirne has completed 60 percent of his pass attempts, but the Wolfpack are averaging just 53 yards per game rushing. Damien's Va'a Faualo (99 yards per game) and Kealoha Pilares (55 ypg) rank second and third in ILH rushing.

» No. 2 Saint Louis (5-1, 3-0 league) vs. No. 9 Iolani (5-1, 2-1 league) -- The previously unbeaten Raiders are coming off a lopsided loss to Kamehameha, while the Crusaders have stifled opponents with a balanced defense. Iolani ranks last in the ILH in run defense (188 yards per game), and the Crusaders won't hesitate to switch out of their run-and-shoot to play smash-mouth football with running back Kevin Sullivan.

» Punahou (3-3, 1-2 league) vs. No. 4 Kamehameha (4-1-1, 2-1-1 league) -- The Buffanblu need to protect Brett Kan, but that will be difficult against Kamehameha's strong linebacker corps. Quarterback Pono Kam, who has yet to throw an interception in 55 attempts, guides the league's most balanced offense.



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