HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL
Intense Mules-Trojans football rivalry continues tonight
They're Central Oahu neighbors and football rivals.
No. 9 Leilehua visits No. 6 Mililani tonight in a key Oahu Interscholastic Association Red West battle.
From 1999 to 2005, the Trojans dominated the series with six wins in a row.
Then the Mules ended the drought with a 23-14 victory last year, only to lose against Mililani later in a playoff elimination game.
The Trojans' 23-21 win on Nov. 11 shut Leilehua out of a state-tournament berth.
All of the offensive principals from last year's matchups -- Mililani's Jordan Torres and Leilehua's Bryant Moniz and Micah Laybon-Abreu -- have graduated.
However, Mililani quarterback Rustin Funakoshi is a year older and wiser, and he now has standout sophomore Dalaunte "Taz" Stevenson to throw to.
In other games this weekend:
Moanalua at Castle
Na Menehune and the Knights went seven years between games before Castle won 27-14 last season.
Though Castle lost its first two games (Mililani, Kamehameha), it is off to a positive start in league play after edging McKinley last week.
Moanalua (1-1-1) is trying to get above .500.
Anuenue at Waialua
A year ago, Na Koa visited the Bulldogs and were routed by quarterback Caleb Fore with his offensive prowess.
The good news for Anuenue? Fore has graduated. More good news: Ehukai Nauka and Kamaki Sherman, Anuenue's aerial stars, are back.
Kaimuki at Kaiser
Even with a standout team last year, the Cougars fell to the Bulldogs twice, 13-12 and 26-13.
This year's Kaiser squad is younger and rebuilding, coach Pat Samsonas said.
Kaimuki is already 2-0 in league play. Justin Paredes ran for 152 yards in last week's big win over Pearl City.
Roosevelt at Waipahu
The Rough Riders have outscored two White opponents 83-7, but the defending conference champion Marauders will prove more resistant.
St. Anthony at KS-Maui
The Trojans are back in town, so to speak. After merging with Seabury Hall and Kaahumanu Hou to form Pac-3 for a few years, tradition reigns again for the proud St. Anthony program. The Warriors will be on their toes after pulling out a 34-28 win last season.
Vacaville Christian (Calif.) vs. Hilo (at Wong Stadium)
The Vikings pulled out an overtime win over archrival Waiakea last week to start off league play.
The week before, Hilo was zapped by Kauai. Vacaville was 11-1 in the Sacramento Metro Athletic League last season, averaging 54 points per game.
Pac-Five vs. Damien (at Aloha Stadium)
Since 2000, the Monarchs have won eight of the duels with the Wolfpack, while Pac-Five has won five, and they tied once. They split last season.
No. 10 Kalaheo at No. 3 Kahuku
The Mustangs went through a stretch of four coaches in seven years, but Chris Mellor is giving the program stability. After a 1-7 mark last year, Kalaheo is off to a 3-0 start. Kahuku is 0-2 and hungry for its first win.
Pearl City vs. Kalani (at Kaiser Stadium)
The Chargers will be fired up after the close loss to Kaimuki. Kalani, meanwhile, is looking for its first touchdown.
Kapaa vs. Kauai (at Vidinha Stadium)
The Warriors have a new coach and a 2-1 nonconference mark. The four-time defending champion Red Raiders, also with a new coach, await.