Keaau takes another shot at Big Island football rival Kealakehe


POSTED: Friday, October 31, 2008

For all the old and new rivalries in prep football, none may be fresher or stranger - and cover more turf - than the one between Kealakehe and Keaau.

Kealakehe, the Big Island's dynasty for the decade, has stepped to the throne occupied by Konawaena in the 1980s and Waiakea in the '90s. Last year, though, brought some East side rebellion via Keaau.

The Cougars contended for the league title, beating Kealakehe 27-21 in overtime last October to shake up the Big Island Interscholastic Federation's second-round standings. However, an earlier loss to Waiakea put Keaau's hopes in peril. Later, first-round winner Kealakehe was more than happy to play reserves heavily in a 28-27 loss to Waiakea, a team the Waveriders had beaten early in the season 54-35.

Why was that pivotal? The win by Waiakea earned the Warriors a second-round title and nudged Keaau out of the playoffs. Waiakea then lost the title game at Kealakehe 50-13 and the Waveriders were champs once again.

Were the Cougars steamed? Does Halema'uma'u crater vent?

Fast-forward to this season and the Cougars took all pains to knock down the perennial champions, canceling an exhibition game with Hawaii Prep to have a week off for extra prep time. It didn't exactly work. Kealakehe won on the Cougars' field 27-12 to seal a first-round title.

Tomorrow, Keaau (5-4, 5-2 BIIF D-I) gets a second shot against Kealakehe (7-2, 6-0). Again, a playoff berth and a potential first-ever trip to the state tournament are on the horizon for the Cougars. They're 3-0 in the second round, as are the Waveriders.

Keaau's defense has allowed just 14 points in second-round wins over Waiakea, Honokaa and Hilo.

Kealakehe's experiment with converted wide receiver Jordan Ursua at quarterback is, apparently, a success. The Waveriders scored 101 points in recent wins over Hilo and Waiakea.

Here's a look at tomorrow's other games:


Hawaii Prep at Konawaena

This season, the most-heated Division II battles have been in the Oahu Interscholastic Association and the BIIF. While OIA teams shuffle up and down between the Red and White conferences every two years, the fight for supremacy between HPA and Konawaena goes back 60 years, just about every single fall.

Konawaena (9-1, 5-1 BIIF D-II) was riding high before losing its first game of the year at Hawaii Prep last month. HPA's sterling offensive line, coached by former St. Louis Rams center Bern Brostek, is worthy of a salute. Konawaena, though, was slightly hampered during that 12-0 loss. Several Wildcats took their SATs that day and didn't arrive in Waimea until the second quarter.

For HPA (5-1, 4-1), which still lost the first-round title to Konawaena because of a tiebreaker formula, tomorrow's game at Julian Yates Field offers another chance to prove who is king of the West side.

For all intents and purposes, the game may as well serve as an unofficial league title game regardless of classification. HPA and Konawaena are a combined 4-0 against the BIIF's D-I teams, including the Wildcats' early-season win over Kealakehe.


Lahainaluna vs. KS-Maui

The aerial show on the slopes of Haleakala - Kamehameha-Maui's passing attack - has come a long way since Week 1. The Warriors pushed heavy Maui Interscholastic League D-II favorite Lahainaluna against the ropes before losing 28-21 a month ago.

Three weeks ago, KS-Maui (3-4, 3-2 MIL) came within a whisker of shocking Baldwin in a 27-26 loss.

By tomorrow, Lahainaluna (5-2, 4-1) should be over last week's heartbreaking 29-28 loss to Baldwin.