Punahou-Mililani highlights today's prep football schedule


POSTED: Friday, August 28, 2009

Welcome to Leeward and Central Oahu, hotbed of prep football.

This weekend spotlights some of the top teams statewide in games from Wahiawa to Waianae. Here's a look.

Today's Games
No. 4 Punahou at No. 5 Mililani

The lab session continues for the Buffanblu (0-1), who have new faces in the starting lineup. The defense was resilient against Kahuku last week, but fatigue had to be a factor as the offense struggled to move the chains in a 24-14 loss. It only gets better, though.

Quarterbacks Kaiana Eldredge and Liloa Travis offer different strengths. As Eldredge gets familiar with the offense, he'll learn to find his receivers more quickly—or use his speed to make a play. Travis clearly has a better understanding of the offense and showed his familiarity with the run-and-shoot by making quick decisions.

Mililani's defense continued to play well in last week's 21-18 win over Leilehua. The Trojans (2-0) kept All-State quarterback Andrew Manley down to 53 percent accuracy. Big plays are with the Trojans this year thanks to Dalaunte “;Taz”; Stevenson, their two-way threat, and transfer quarterback Trent McKinney, as well as 6-foot-4 receiver Hassan Richardson.

No. 7 Farrington at Roosevelt

The Governors (1-0) are antsy after a layoff of nearly two weeks. Coach Randall Okimoto was not happy about Word of Life's cancellation last week and it's easy to see why. New starters dot the Farrington offense and reps are needed, but with the “;Bamboolas”; up front and returnee Harry Tuimaseve running hard between the tackles, it's a matter of execution, not experimentation.

Roosevelt (1-1) bounced back with a 27-13 win over Damien last week, giving first-year coach Pat Silva his first win with the Rough Riders. Their three touchdowns in the first quarter were a big step forward. The week before, they didn't score a touchdown against Aiea.

Kaimuki at No. 9 Castle

Shaydon Kehano has picked up where he left off, making big plays for the Knights. He scored twice on touchdown catches against 'Iolani and can be a threat on special teams, too.

Kaimuki's roster is back to normal after half the team was academically ineligible to play in the nonconference opener two weeks ago.

Damien at Campbell

The Monarchs have a tough test, traveling west to face the Sabers' run-and-shoot attack. Damien (0-1) has seen the run-and-shoot for years in the Interscholastic League of Honolulu, and first-year head coach Punahou Aina might opt to have his defense shadow Campbell's prolific playmaker, Samson Anguay.

The Sabers (1-1) saw Mike Ulufale return to the field last week for a 21-0 win over Waipahu. Coach Amosa Amosa is one of Ulufale's fans, and so is Anguay, who says Ulufale is at the same level as last year's quarterback, Lalo Respicio.

Word of Life at Waipahu

It's already the third game of the season for Waipahu (1-1), while Word of Life hasn't played yet. Both teams love to grind it out on the ground, classic 3-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust style. Waipahu has a talent in Victor Moananu, who rushed for 147 yards last week against Campbell. The visiting Firebrands will have more offensive balance this year, but are also coming off a number of injuries suffered in scrimmages.

Kalaheo vs. Kaiser, Kailua field

The Mustangs are finally back home, so to speak, after playing at King Kekaulike and Moanalua. Phil Tauai tossed two touchdown passes in the 26-22 loss at Moanalua.

Kaiser's 35-26 win at Waialua was a key first step in Oahu Interscholastic Association White Conference play.

Moanalua at Radford

Na Menehune (1-1) rallied for a win over Kalaheo last week, getting a big game from Tahje Canyon (145 rushing yards, winning touchdown catch).

Radford has already given a Top 10 team (Leilehua) a tough game. The Rams (1-1) ran well against Anuenue last week with Phil Hogan leading the way.

Anuenue vs. Waialua, Kaiser Stadium

Na Koa have been up (win at Kamehameha-Maui) and down (loss at Radford) already, but are feeling optimistic. They lost at Waialua last year 7-6.

Kapaa at Waiakea

The Kapaa Warriors (1-0) take on the Waiakea Warriors (1-0) in a battle at Wong Stadium in Hilo. Kapaa is in its second year under former Kauai coach Kelii Morgado. Both teams scored shutout nonconference wins to start the year.

Tomorrow: A look at Saturday's big matchups, including Saint Louis-Leilehua and Kamehameha-Waianae.