Punahou and Kamehameha tangle in ILH football opener
Old rivals Kamehameha and Punahou have some new faces.
They'll get a good look at each other tonight in their Interscholastic League of Honolulu regular-season opener at Aloha Stadium.
Punahou won last year's early-season battle with Kamehameha 14-13. The Warriors returned the favor with a 27-20 win in the season finale, long after Saint Louis had sewn up the league title.
Gone is Kanani Souza, and in is new Kamehameha coach David Stant.
Gone are Punahou's lethal aerial combination of Brett Kan and Miah Ostrowski, but in is a posse of new slingers and receivers who could go beyond last year's production levels.
Here's a look at this weekend's other matchups:
Castle (2-2, 2-0)
vs. No. 10 Kalaheo (3-1, 1-1) at Kailua field
Castle is en fuego and looking much like the Knights of yesteryear. Blake Rapozo threw for 215 yards in a win over Moanalua last week with no interceptions. He was extremely accurate, going 23-for-27. Since 2000, Castle has won its three meetings with Kalaheo by a combined score of 117-27.
Farrington (1-1-1, 1-0) at Moanalua (1-2-1, 0-2)
The Governors had a week off to heal up and prepare for Na Menehune. Farrington's normally stalwart defense has been generous on the ground: 205 yards by Waianae, 165 by Damien and 122 by Kailua. The Govs won last year's matchup with Moanalua 61-14.
Radford (0-3, 0-1) at Aiea (2-2, 1-1)
The Rams are young and learning on the job under guru Fred Salanoa, and a road trip to Aiea will be another fiery test. Aiea has won the last three meetings with Radford, including last season's 44-34 shootout.
Anuenue (2-1, 2-1) at Kaiser (0-3, 0-2)
Na Koa are on a roll since losing the league opener against Kaimuki. Makaio Liua had perhaps his best game ever with a touchdown catch and a game-winning 90-yard kickoff return for another score at Waialua last week.
Waipahu (2-1, 2-0) vs. Kaimuki (3-1, 3-0) at Roosevelt field
Since a nonconference loss to Aiea, Darren Johnson's 'Dogs have solidified the ground attack and Justin Paredes has become a weapon. Waipahu's Keo Palimoo, who ran for 122 yards against Roosevelt, may be the best running back in the White.
Kauai (3-0, 1-0) vs. Waimea (3-0, 0-0) at Hanapepe Stadium
Andrew Renaud threw two picks last week and the Red Raiders still trounced Kapaa by 42 points. A resurgent Waimea program has its chance to knock down four-time defending KIF champion Kauai. Waimea is off to a hot start, outscoring foes 93-19.
Kamehameha-Maui (0-1, 0-0) vs. Lahainaluna (2-0, 0-0) at War Memorial Stadium
A tough MIL opener for the Warriors, who lost a busload of seniors to graduation. The Lunas, meanwhile, have won their two nonconference games by a composite score of 78-7 and have visions of the league's overall championship.
Hilo (2-1, 2-0) at Honokaa (0-3, 0-2)
The Vikings and their defensive-minded coach, Albert Kawelu, can smell a BIIF title. Honokaa, meanwhile, is coming off a close loss to Waiakea.
Waiakea (1-3, 1-1) at Keaau (1-1, 0-1)
The Warriors ended a skid and gave coach Will Tolentino his first victory last week against Honokaa. The host Cougars went to Kealakehe last week and nearly upset the league champions.
No. 3 Kahuku (1-2, 1-0) at Kailua (1-3, 1-1)
Kailua's talented linebacker corps will face a severe test against Kahuku's mammoth offensive line.
The Red Raiders rushed for 364 yards against Kalaheo last week (9.6 per attempt).
No. 5 Mililani (3-1, 1-1) at No. 8 Kapolei (3-0, 1-0)
The Trojans are showing strength in several areas, including special teams.
Last week's game-winning field goal by Colin Lund against Leilehua was a pivotal moment. Lund sent several kickoffs into the end zone, and he also walloped a 78-yard punt. Since Kapolei's promotion to the Red Conference, Mililani has won all three matchups, including last year's 34-6 win.
Roosevelt (2-1, 2-1) at Nanakuli (1-2, 1-1)
The last time the Golden Hawks played at home, they fell to Kalaheo by 43 points. Last week's road win at Kaiser was uplifting, but the Rough Riders have proven that they can play well away from home.
Waialua (1-3, 0-3) vs. Kalani (0-3, 0-3) at Kaiser field
The Falcons broke the scoring drought with a pair of touchdowns against Pearl City last week. The visiting Bulldogs, meanwhile, need a win to keep playoff hopes alive.
Maui (0-2, 0-0) vs. Baldwin (1-1, 0-0) at War Memorial Stadium
Baldwin's Jordan Helle passed for 2,292 yards and 32 touchdowns last season and had two stellar games against Maui. In those games, Helle threw for a combined 619 yards.
Ka'u (0-1, 0-1) at Hawaii Prep (2-1, 2-0)
Ka Makani are looking more and more like the favorite in BIIF Division II. Mana Purdy rushed for 135 yards on just 11 carries in last week's 43-12 win over Kohala.
Kealakehe (3-0, 2-0) at Konawaena (1-3, 1-1)
With former Konawaena coach Todd Brown and former Wildcats starting quarterback Kawai Kanuha now donning blue and silver, this could be personal for the Waveriders.
Kohala (1-1, 1-1) at KS-Hawaii (0-3, 0-1)
The Cowboys have won and lost big already, while the rebuilding Warriors have lost all three home games so far -- a rarity.