Saint Louis still state’s top team
STORY SUMMARY »
Three teams ranked in the Star-Bulletin's prep football poll are finished for the season:
» No. 2 Punahou: Finished 7-2 overall and 5-2 in the ILH
» No. 6 Kamehameha: Finished 4-4-1 overall and 3-4 in the ILH
» No. 9 Kahuku: Went 6-3 overall, but lost to Kapolei in the OIA Red quarterfinals
The road to a state title is getting a little easier for the top-ranked Saint Louis Crusaders each week as their greatest challengers packed up and called it a season.
No. 2 Punahou beat Iolani on Friday but will be off for the rest of the season since the ILH gets only a single berth into the state tournament.
FULL STORY »
Punahou. Kamehameha. Kahuku. Mililani.
The list of teams that have packed up their pads and helmets and called it a season is growing longer by the week.
Saint Louis, with a win over Kamehameha, collected all 19 first-place votes and remained atop the Star-Bulletin/KITV-4 Football Top 10 today. Unlike last week's extreme volatility, today's poll is relatively unchanged.
The list of teams that are out of postseason play, however, is intriguing. Waipahu, the defending White Conference champion in the Oahu Interscholastic Association, is the latest team to be ousted from the playoffs. Perhaps the most astounding scenario, however, happened on Friday in Kona.
Waiakea upset Kealakehe, 28-27, to claim the second-round title on the Big Island. Waiakea finished in a tie with Keaau, but got the nod because of a head-to-head tiebreaker. Keaau was the only team this season to beat first-round champ Kealakehe. In fact, Keaau also gave Kealakehe a scare in a 17-13 loss at the Waveriders' field.
The reason why the Waiakea win has raised a red alert around the league and the state is simple. Key observers are pointing to elements in and around Friday's game and wondering if Kealakehe played the game not to win, but to maneuver Keaau out of the postseason.
The bottom line, though, is that Waiakea did beat Keaau head to head. With the league championship games for Division I and II scheduled for this weekend, any kind of investigation would require more time and would probably be moot.
Talk of the town
Andrew Manley knew, in the back of his mind, that he would play in the postseason. The quarterback had no idea, though, that he wouldn't be part of the Leilehua junior varsity team as he took snaps in crucial playoff games.
Manley is only a sophomore, but he's drawing attention for guiding Leilehua's varsity offense through tough competition in the OIA playoffs to a state-tournament berth. Of course, Friday's 7-3 win over Farrington said more about the Mules' defense and special teams.
Leilehua had five sacks and three turnovers against Farrington's West Coast offense, including two sacks on a key Farrington series late in the game.
"I think these guys are relentless," Leilehua coach Nolan Tokuda said, noting that the defensive unit is peerless when it comes to quick-change situations.
"They want to get back on the field and hit somebody. That's their train of thought," he said, crediting defensive coordinator Mark Kurisu.
The defensive heroes are many, like linebackers Art Laurel and Robert Siavii. Lineman Kaumu Delos Santos has filled in nicely for injured teammate Josh Cruz. Bradley Iaulualo and sophomore Kalua Ellis have been solid up front. Ellis, a transfer from Saint Louis, was almost destined to play with Manley.
A year ago, Saint Louis and Leilehua met in a JV game at Aloha Stadium. Ellis sacked Manley and broke his left, non-throwing wrist. Manley didn't return until the final game, essentially losing his freshman season. That brought back some memories for Tokuda during Friday's win.
"(Alefesio) Iu was scrambling around and I said to Andrew, 'You remember that?' He said, 'Coach, I have the scars to remember,' " Tokuda said.
"That's why we didn't bring him up to start the year," the coach said. "He had almost no JV experience."
| 1. Saint Louis, 10-0 (19)
||does not play
| 2. Punahou, 7-2
| 3. Baldwin, 8-1
||def. KIng Kekaulike
||does not play
| 4. Waianae, 8-2
| 5. Leilehua, 7-4
| 6. Kamehameha, 4-4-1
||lost to Saint Louis
| 7. Kapolei, 7-4
||lost to Waianae
| 8. Lahainaluna, 8-1
||does not play
| 9t. Farrington, 5-3-2
||lost to Leilehua
| 9t. Kahuku, 6-3
||Did not play
» 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 16, Kaimuki 9, Kauai 4