HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL
Others lurk behind Buffs
Between elections and football polls, we are a nation of numbers.
If this week's tally is any indication, the darkhorses are gaining ground. Punahou collected 23 of 40 possible first-place votes in today's Star-Bulletin Football Top 10. However, No. 2 Leilehua remained a solid second, and Saint Louis and Kamehameha picked up more support after victories last weekend.
Punahou had 62 percent of the first-place ballots last week, but only 57 percent of the top votes today. Even after a solid 37-21 win over Waianae, some voters jumped ship on the Buffanblu.
Saint Louis' 48-20 win at Mililani was televised statewide on OC 16, which probably had a direct effect on panelists. After getting just one first-place vote a week ago, the Crusaders collected four today -- 10 percent of the No. 1 slots.
Kamehameha also gained a new believer after rallying past Kapolei.
FOOTBALL TOP 10
The Top 10 high school football teams in Hawaii as voted on by coaches and media from around the state. First-place votes in parentheses. Ten points for first-place votes, nine for second, eight for third, etc.
| 1. Punahou (23), 1-0
| 2. Leilehua (10), 2-0
| 3. Saint Louis (4), 1-0
| 4. Kamehameha (2), 2-0
||vs. St. John Bosco
| 5. Farrington (1), 2-0
||vs. Saint Louis
| 6. Baldwin, 1-0
||does not play
| 7. Kapolei, 1-1
||lost to Kamehameha
| 8. Castle, 2-0
| 9. Kahuku, 1-1
|10. Iolani, 1-1
||lost to Leilehua
» Also receiving votes:
Kaimuki 12, Kalaheo 11, Waianae 10, Waipahu 8, Konawaena 6, Campbell 3, Mililani 3, Kauai 1, Pac-Five 1.
Jason Hussey has learned quite a few tricks of the trade in his years as Waianae's defensive coordinator. Preparing for Punahou last weekend, though, was a major dilemma.
"We tried to control their running game and keep (Dalton) Hilliard in check. That kid is such a great running back," Hussey said.
Waianae limited Punahou to 23 rushing yards, but couldn't overcome a multi-faceted passing game.
"We blitzed a lot more than I wanted to. I was impressed with their offensive line. Their slide protection canceled a lot of our stunts," Hussey added. "I was more impressed with the athleticism of their wide receivers."
The Seariders are off to an 0-2 start -- they lost to No. 5 Farrington in the opener -- but have more than enough time to develop a cast of first-year starters.
"We're a bit inexperienced at some positions, but we have good athletes," Hussey said. "Time will only tell if we can learn to play up to our reputation."
After the storm
There's no word yet on the status of Kapolei linebacker Chad Lopati, who suffered a knee injury against Kamehameha.
Even with the loss of Lopati, one of the state's top players, the Hurricanes have a wealth of talent remaining, including Simione Vehikite, who finished the game with 11 tackles, including two sacks, and a fumble recovery.