HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL
Up-and-coming Kealakehe gets a visit from powerful Kahuku
Drama is unfolding in this third week of the prep football season.
Perennial power Kahuku, with new cast members and a new offense and defense, is on the road.
The ninth-ranked Red Raiders will lock horns with another young, somewhat inexperienced squad in Kealakehe.
The Waveriders have almost made a mockery of the rest of the Big Island Interscholastic Federation for several seasons.
They rack up 500 to 600 points in league play on a regular basis, and yet, have come up short in the state tourney consistently. With a stunning loss to Division II Konawaena recently, the Waveriders are a proud bunch ready to prove their mettle.
This weekend's other matchups:
No. 1 Punahou at No. 8 Castle
Over the years, nobody has known how to slay giants like Castle does. Coach Nelson Maeda downplayed his optimism early in preseason, but the Knights showed a lot of moxie in a scrimmage with Kapolei, then with wins over Mililani and Kaimuki.
Punahou should outmuscle Castle -- on paper -- but ran for just 23 yards in a win over Waianae last week. Castle's team speed makes this an interesting matchup.
St. John Bosco at No. 4 Kamehameha
Horror-flick fans, take note. The visiting Braves rolled up 65 points in a win last season. Fear not, though. The Braves were 3-6 overall and 2-2 in the Southern Section of the California Interscholastic Federation a year ago. Fourth-ranked Kamehameha has been hard-nosed and sometimes resembles an aerial juggernaut in coach David Stant's passing scheme.
King Kekaulike at Bay
Na Alii head to the Florida Panhandle for a battle with the speedy Tornadoes. Five thousand miles is a ways to go to play football, but Na Alii will also take in Saturday's Hawaii-Florida game. King K is coming off a loss to Kealakehe, powerhouse of the BIIF, and should have a size advantage over Bay.
Damien at Kailua
Hold onto your hats, Monarchs devotees. Your team is unbeaten and could be 3-0 with a win over Kailua. That won't be so easy, though. Kailua's had a few weeks now to adjust to life after Kenny Ellis (knee injury).
Pac-Five at Roosevelt
Which Wolfpack squad will show up: the one that trounced Waialua 50-7 or the unit that fell at Waipahu 42-7? That's life with 39 sophomores: anything can happen. Roosevelt has 16 returning starters, but has mustered 13 points in two losses.
Mission Viejo vs. No. 6 Baldwin
The visiting Diablos were 3-1-1 in the CIF and 6-4-1 overall. The Bears, meanwhile, are working St. Anthony transfer Buta Wilhelm-Ioane into the offense. A 20-13 win over Kamehameha-Hawaii was closer than expected.
No. 7 Kapolei at Waianae
With many young first-year starters, Waianae has plenty of room to ascend. Kapolei, meanwhile, must overcome the loss of linebacker Chad Lopati.
Radford at Moanalua
The Rams and quarterback Doug Brown (215 passing yards) may have turned the corner in last week's lopsided win over Aiea. Na Menehune, meanwhile, bent but didn't break in a win over Word of Life.
Campbell at Aiea
The teacher (Wendell Say) awaits the pupil (Amosa Amosa) in this matchup. Amosa brought the run-and-shoot offense back to his alma mater. Na Alii, meanwhile, altered their offense and will need to learn fast to make a run in the OIA White.
Kalaheo at Kaiser
This is an Ironman Bowl of sorts, with both rosters combining for less than 50 players. The Mustangs routed Kalani last week, but Kaiser is a different animal.
Konawaena at Waiakea
The Wildcats are coming off wins over Kealakehe and Waimea -- teams that tormented them over the years -- but a 115-mile ride across the Big Island is always tough at the end of a school day.
Maui at Waimea
Back in the 1990s, this would've been a title game in the Neighbor Island Classic. Now, both programs are dark-horse material for their league titles.
Kaimuki at No. 10 Iolani
Their campuses are just a stone's throw apart, but they don't meet on the field much. The Raiders lost at Leilehua last week. Kaimuki, on the cusp of the Top 10, fell to Castle. Iolani's no-huddle, run-and-shoot offense could wear down the bigger Bulldogs.
No. 5 Farrington vs. No. 3 Saint Louis
This will be the first matchup of Top 10 teams on the new turf at Ticky Vasconcellos Stadium. Farrington has a stellar defense that will be tested by Saint Louis' "throwback" run-and-shoot.
Mililani at No. 2 Leilehua
These arch rivals rarely let down, but if the second-ranked Mules overlook the winless Trojans, a big surprise could be in store.
Pearl City at Waipahu
The Marauders have outscored two opponents 80-14 so far. Bulldozer Troy Matautia ran for 125 yards against Pac-Five last week.
Anuenue at Waialua
Two weeks have passed since the Bulldogs lost to Pac-Five. Anuenue's new Double-Wing offense is under construction, but tallied 21 points last week.
Word of Life at KS-Maui
The Firebrands cooled off in last week's loss at Moanalua, but could heat up with this trip to the Valley Isle.
Keaau at Lahainaluna
The Cougars aren't quite the same since last season, when they upset Kealakehe and nearly won the BIIF crown. The Lunas have a rare home game -- on campus.
Kohala vs. St. Anthony
The Cowboys haven't played since rallying past Anuenue two weeks ago. They may have more depth than the Trojans.