HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL
Kahuku drops to No. 8 after OIA playoff loss
The mighty have fallen, but they do get back up.
The Mililani Trojans saw their vision of a championship fade with a 27-21 overtime loss to Leilehua on Friday night. Even the Trojans' astute coach, Darnell Arceneaux, is literally getting back on his feet. The first-year head coach was whisked away by ambulance after Friday's game due to a stomach ailment.
Mililani, the top seed in the Oahu Interscholastic Association Red West, was not the only giant to fall. Defending league and state champion Kahuku also saw its season end in quarterfinal play, a 14-7 loss to Kapolei.
The two upsets put the Star-Bulletin/KITV-4 Football Top 10 into major volatility. Kahuku sank to No. 8, while the Trojans fell all the way out of the poll.
Saint Louis, coming off a 55-10 win over Pac-Five, collected all 19 first-place votes to retain its No. 1 ranking.
The turbulent waters of the OIA were expected because of parity across the Red Conference. Losses by the top two seeds, however, were still stunning.
Leilehua's stalwart defense carried the way and gave first-time starting quarterback Andrew Manley a chance to win.
Kapolei's heralded defense hit some tough patches during regular-season play, but lived up to its potential by shutting down Kahuku's potent ground attack.
Coach Darren Hernandez was high on his defense from Day 1. Kahuku managed 192 total yards and did not score an offensive touchdown. Surprising, perhaps, to the Red Raider nation, but not so much to Hernandez. The 'Canes defense is loaded with size and speed in the secondary and at linebacker. Up front, it's a different story.
"You're not gonna match up man for man with Kahuku. In every scenario, matchup-wise, they've got an edge. Their fullback (A.J. Atuaia) is 230, and our nose tackle, Trent Nakata, is 230. Our D-line is 235, 230 and 238," Hernandez said.
"The obvious thing is we're not going to be able to line up straight on. We had to take angles. We always had a lot of high hopes for our defense. Individually we have a lot of talent and we showed it in spurts," he said.
Star-Bulletin/KITV4 Football Poll
| 1. Saint Louis, 9-0 (19)
| 2. Punahou, 6-2
| 3. Baldwin, 7-1
||vs. King Kekaulike
| 4. Waianae, 7-2
| 5. Kamehameha, 4-3-1
||vs. Saint Louis
| 6. (tie) Kapolei, 7-3
| 6. (tie) Leilehua, 6-4
| 8. Kahuku, 6-3
||lost to Kapolei
| 9. Lahainaluna, 7-1
|10. Farrington, 5-2-2
» Voted on by coaches and media from around the state
» First-place votes in parentheses
» 10 points for first-place vote, 9 for second, 8 for third; etc.
» Also received votes: Mililani 21, Kaimuki 5, Kauai 2
» No longer in top 10 (previous rank): Mililani (No. 4)