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OIA moves White football playoffs due to traffic worries


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POSTED: Thursday, October 23, 2008

Expected parking congestion in Ewa because of a Sunset on the Beach event prompted the Oahu Interscholastic Association to move its White semifinal football game between Kalaheo and Campbell from Saturday to tomorrow.

Along the way, the league bumped Aiea-Radford to tomorrow as well.

The necessities are one thing. Traffic will be less congested in Ewa, but there will be a logjam for OIA officials.

“;We've already lost a lot of officials to attrition and injuries,”; league officials honcho Jim Beavers said. “;This weekend is hard. Six games in one day.”;

With seven members on a crew, the numbers didn't add up.

“;Forty-two's hard, you know. We'll have a couple of our friends from Maui coming over to help,”; Beavers said.

One advantage, at least in the eyes of coaches, to seeing Beavers and his crews is that they'll work together when certain situations arise.

“;One of our unwritten rules is to send a kid out of a game to get talked to by the coach. They know I'm not going to do it unless there's a bona fide reason,”; Beavers said. “;We call it a generic conversation. Outside leagues make fun of us, but the coaches want that. Our job is to be there and be as positive as we can.”;

There may be quite a few of those generic conversations tomorrow night. While the Division II White teams are in their semifinals and can still qualify for the state tourney by finishing third, the D-I Red teams are in full-tilt playoff mode.

The Red Conference is in its quarterfinal round, which means tomorrow's losing teams are done for the year. In a regular season of parity - only Kahuku went unbeaten - another Cinderella team could emerge. Last year, it was Leilehua that was 3-3 in Red West play before soaring to the OIA and state crowns.

Even Kahuku had its share of close games in the Red East and was, by no means, a terribly dominant force. With a potent ground attack and solid defense, however, the Red Raiders may be on a collision course with the mighty Mules.

Here's a look at tomorrow's matchups:

No. 9 Kapolei vs. No. 6 Farrington

The Governors (6-2, 5-1 OIA Red East), seeded second in the Red East, have been relatively consistent thanks to a ball-control West Coast offense and one of the state's top defensive units. Apelu So'oalo has rushed for 588 yards (5.2 per attempt) and six touchdowns, but his load has been light lately - 29 carries for 115 yards in the last three games.

Kapolei (5-3, 4-2 OIA Red West) has turned extremely old school of late, eschewing the pass to hand the ball to 210-pound Cyril Ontai, 243-pound Simione Vehikite and 260-pound Onosai Faumuina. Chad Lopati and Luke Spencer anchor a talented defense.

The Govs are the home team at Roosevelt's Ticky Vasconcellos Stadium, but Kapolei has a history of playoff surprises, including last year's win at Kahuku.

Kaimuki at No. 3 Leilehua

It's a meeting of green-and-gold squads. Leilehua (7-1, 5-1 OIA Red West) has Mr. Versatile in Rico Newman and play-making receivers in Edieson Dumlao and Cheves Aberilla-Ramento. Kaimuki (5-4, 4-3 OIA Red East) has thunder and lighting in running backs Tevita Aholelei and Justin Paderes.

A low-scoring game is in the works because both teams have rock-solid defenses, but Leilehua quarterback Andrew Manley, 12-1 as a starter, is a proven, clutch performer for the defending state champs. A golden opportunity for Kaimuki scrambler Nainoa Hiapo to show more of his postseason grit.

Mililani at No. 4 Kahuku

The Trojans (5-4, 5-2 OIA Red West) beat Kailua in a mud bog last week. Now, they'll have to contain Kahuku's corps of running backs. One key aspect will be the strength of Mililani's special teams against Kahuku's elite kick returners. The Trojans' Iosua Manuma was a major weapon as a punter last week. His skills will stack up against Kahuku speedster Jray Galeai.

Kahuku (7-1, 6-0 OIA Red East) was idle last week.

Castle at No. 10 Waianae

The mystique of Waianae's home turf has been tarnished this season. Waianae (4-4, 4-2) lost three games at Raymond Torii Field, including its last two Red West games. Still, Castle (4-4, 3-3 OIA Red East) has a monumental task with quarterback Blake Rapozo out (collarbone). Castle receiver/returner Shaydon Kehano is worth the price of admission, as is Waianae running back Danny Kekoanui.

No. 1 Punahou vs. Pac-Five

The Wolfpack (3-6, 1-5 Interscholastic League of Honolulu) would love to surprise the Buffanblu (7-1, 4-1 ILH), but Punahou's defense has been stingy in recent weeks. P.J. Minaya presents a potential problem. He passed for 275 yards against Kamehameha last week, but was picked off three times. Punahou's 3-3-5 defense figures to come at him from all angles.

No. 2 Saint Louis vs. Damien

The Monarchs (5-4, 2-4 ILH) haven't been the same since losing running back Brenan Furtado (690 rushing yards in six games) to injury. Damien's stellar defensive back, Anthony Tuitele, and his comrades will have their hands full with Saint Louis gunslinger Jeremy HIggins. The Crusaders (6-1, 4-1 ILH) lost slotback Lucas Gonsalves to injury two weeks ago, but haven't missed a beat. Mana Greig leads one of the top offensive lines in the state.

Keaau at Hilo

The defense-minded Cougars (4-4, 4-2 Big Island Interscholastic Federation) are 2-0 in Division I second-round play after last week's 20-8 win over Honokaa. Hilo (1-6, 1-5) is 1-1 in the second round and could stay in the race with an upset win at Wong Stadium.

Kohala at Kamehameha-Hawaii

The Cowboys (6-3, 3-3 BIIF) dropped to 0-2 in the league's Division I second round. A win over KS-Hawaii (1-7, 1-4 BIIF) won't be easy. Kohala got past the Warriors 19-16 when they met in Kohala a month ago.

Kapaa at Waimea

The Warriors (1-5, 0-4 Kauai Interscholastic Federation) lost a 14-13 heartbreaker to the Menehunes three weeks ago. The long trip to rustic Hanapepe Stadium will be a big test for a team under construction by first-year coach Kelii Morgado. Waimea (2-3, 2-2), which lost to Kauai last week, needs a win to keep its faint title hopes alive.

Maui vs. King Kekaulike

The Sabers (0-6, 0-4 Maui Interscholastic League) are improving, but Na Alii (2-4, 1-3 MIL) are banged up and a bit testy after losing to Kamehameha-Hawaii 23-19 last week.

St. Anthony at KS-Maui

The Trojans (1-5, 1-3 MIL) are recovering from last week's one-sided loss to Baldwin. Kamehameha-Maui (2-4, 2-2) is still in the hunt for an MIL D-II title. The Warriors won the first-round matchup, 56-14.