Governors, Raiders to collide
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Monster rivalry games aren't very common, and that makes this weekend one for the most loyal fans.
Tomorrow, all questions about Kahuku and Farrington will come to the forefront when they meet at Carleton Weimer Field. Is Farrington finally ready to break the scoreless drought and even win at Kahuku? Are the Governors stout enough defensively -- they certainly are experienced enough -- to halt Kahuku's mammoth offensive line and running back Junior Mataafa?
A win by ninth-ranked Farrington would put the Govs in a first-place tie in the Oahu Interscholastic Association Red East with the Red Raiders. Farrington would hold the tiebreaker by virtue of a win over Kahuku.
But that's not the only major showdown this weekend. On Saturday, No. 1-ranked Saint Louis goes to battle against No. 8 Kamehameha.
Kamehameha needs a win to keep its title hopes alive.
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RICHARD WALKER / RWALKER@STARBULLETIN.COM
Quarterback Jray Galeai has Kahuku undefeated in OIA Red East play so far. The Red Raiders host 3-1 Farrington tomorrow.
Trade the red and maroon uniforms, and they might not look so different.
In fact, when it comes to sheer size, Kahuku and Farrington have few peers. Yet, even with some of their best offensive units ever, the Governors have struggled in recent seasons against the Goliaths of Oahu Interscholastic Association football.
Kahuku has won nine of the last 10 meetings between the schools, including the last five since 2003. Since 1999, Kahuku has outscored Farrington 438-67, and the Red Raiders have shut out the Govs in the past four meetings.
If anything, Kahuku has been a nemesis for the proud Governors and the three coaches who have guided them in the past decade.
Will this year be different?
Here's a look at this weekend's matchups:
No. 9 Farrington (3-1-1, 3-1) at No. 3 Kahuku (3-2, 3-0)
-- Both teams rely on bone-crushing ground attacks to set up their passing games. Kahuku loves its old-school I formation; Farrington likes its West Coast set.
Even the quarterbacks are both quick-footed southpaws. The Govs' Alefesio Iu had a near-perfect game -- 10-for-11 with 204 passing yards -- against Kalaheo last week. Kahuku's Jray Galeai, meanwhile, is a converted defensive back who is starting to find his groove and accuracy.
Perhaps the edge still belongs to Kahuku, which has extremely fast linebackers in Alema Tachibana and Paipai Falemalu, and a power running back in Junior Mataafa. He ran for 167 yards as Kahuku outlasted McKinley last week. The most effective opposing quarterback against Kahuku has been Cody vonAppen of Kalaheo, who reads a defense as well as any prepster. Iu, a first-year starter, is more of a system quarterback. The challenge at Carleton Weimer Field will be compelling.
Kalaheo (4-2, 2-2) at Kailua (1-5, 1-3) -- The Surfriders have played better than their record shows. Kailua's stellar defense limited Kahuku to less than 200 rushing yards when they met recently, but its offense has struggled. Against Farrington, Kahuku and Castle, the Surfriders have scored 22 points. Still, Kailua topped Kalaheo in last year's game 20-7 and the urgency is there. A loss would severely diminish Kailua's playoff hopes.
No. 6 Leilehua (3-2, 2-1) at Kapolei (3-2, 1-2) -- The Mules are coming off a restful bye week, while the Hurricanes are reeling after two conference defeats. Last year's game was tied at 14 in the final 2 minutes before Leilehua pulled away for a 23-14 win. Mason Koa, who ran for 143 yards as a quarterback last time, could line up there or at wide receiver this time. He figures to be the X-factor in another close game.
No. 7 Waianae (5-1, 3-1) at Aiea (3-3, 2-2) -- Since 2000, Waianae has won five of eight matchups with Na Alii, including last year's 34-21 and 46-0 wins. Both of those games, however, were at Waianae, and quarterback Ben McQuown's shoulder injury is a key factor. Aiea's air attack is possibly the most dangerous in the OIA with Keenan Naeole at the controls, but Waianae has already beaten Farrington, Mililani, Iolani and Radford -- teams that can throw the ball well.
Kaimuki (4-1, 4-0) at Roosevelt (4-1, 4-1)
-- The Bulldogs are well rested following a bye week. Running behind a massive offensive line, Justin Paderes has been prolific. He ran for 126 yards and three touchdowns against Waipahu. Roosevelt, meanwhile, is having its best start in recent years and has shown an ability to handle physical teams. No defense has held the Rough Riders below 19 points so far.
Anuenue (3-3, 2-3) at Nanakuli (2-3, 2-2) -- The spirited Na Koa haven't quite been the same since pulling out a thrilling win at Waialua three weeks ago. Anuenue was shut out at Kaiser and limited to seven points at Roosevelt last week. Nanakuli won last year's matchup 28-6.
Kauai (3-1, 1-1) vs. Kapaa (2-3, 2-1), Vidinha Stadium
-- The Warriors have once again fallen on tough times in league play after a solid nonconference slate. Kauai, meanwhile, has had two weeks to mull over its loss at Waimea.
Konawaena (1-4, 1-2) at Ka'u (0-5, 0-5)
-- The old rivals may have relatively similar records, but the young Wildcats have been competitive, including a win at Kamehameha-Hawaii.
Kealakehe (5-0, 3-0) at Waiakea (1-4, 1-2) -- The Warriors are steadily improving under first-year coach Will Tolentino, but this is a tough order against the defending league champions.
No. 8 Kamehameha (1-1-1, 0-1) vs. No. 1 Saint Louis (4-0, 1-0), Aloha Stadium
-- The schedule doesn't get easier for the Warriors, who had a bye last weekend. Kamehameha last topped Saint Louis in 2004, during the Warriors' state title season. Since then, the Crusaders have won five in a row by an average of 6.8 points. Kamehameha coach David Stant has a new offensive approach for his team, but protecting Michael Hoke is priority one against a standout Saint Louis defense.
McKinley (0-5, 0-3) vs. Moanalua (1-3-1, 0-3), Roosevelt field
-- Both teams need a win to get the edge for a playoff berth. The Tigers pushed Kahuku hard last week, but might be banged up after playing the biggest team in the league. McKinley won last year's meeting, 30-13.
Radford (0-5, 0-3) at Campbell (1-2-1, 1-2) -- The Sabers exorcised a lot of negatives in last week's big win over Kapolei, but they can't take a nap against the Rams. Epa Maika could throw 40 or 50 times against Campbell's defense.
Kalani (0-5, 0-5) at Waipahu (3-2, 3-1)
-- The Marauders have been in lopsided wins and losses. Four games were decided by at least 21 points. Keo Palimoo ran for 191 yards against Pearl City last week.
Kaiser (2-5, 2-4) at Pearl City (2-2-1, 2-2) -- The young Cougars are making a playoff run after losing their first four league games. The Chargers, however, may be feisty after last week's loss at Waipahu. Kaiser shut out Waialua last week, but will have to contend with Pearl City's prolific running back, Antoin DeWalt.
Kamehameha-Hawaii (2-3, 2-1) at Hawaii Prep (3-1, 3-0)
-- The young, rebuilding Warriors face a tough test on the road -- a day game -- against Ka Makani. Mana Purdy has been a productive running back for an HPA team that has dominated the league's D-II competition so far.
Keaau (2-2, 2-1) at Hilo (3-3, 2-1) -- The Cougars pulled out a nail-biter against Honokaa last week. Hilo also managed to get past Honokaa, but lost big at Kealakehe last week.
Kohala (2-3, 2-2) at Honokaa (0-5, 0-4) -- The Cowboys are making strides, especially after last week's notable win at Konawaena. Honokaa has lost its last three league games by a total of nine points. The teams are in different divisions -- Honokaa is in D-I -- but this rivalry goes back to the early days of the sugar plantations.