Castle out to prove itself


POSTED: Saturday, October 10, 2009

One team has risen to No. 1 in the state.

The other, unranked, may be off the radar for some fans.

That's one reason why tonight's Kahuku-Castle matchup has the potential for a major upset. Kahuku, at 5-0 in the Oahu Interscholastic Association Red East (7-0 overall) has already clinched the division title. Even a loss to Castle wouldn't change the Red Raiders' status as the top seed in the Red East.

Castle (5-2, 3-2) has a playoff berth and first-round bye sewn up, too. But a win over Kahuku would give the Knights their third victory in a row and provide a rocket-fueled boost into the postseason. At more than 32 points per game (including nonconference), the Knights have outscored every OIA Red team with one exception: Kahuku.

Here's a look at today's matchups:

No. 1 Kahuku at Castle

The Knights have a strong following, especially at home, and the Red East's top passing attack (227 yards per game). Jaymason Lee, with 17 touchdown passes and 224 yards per game, has playmakers in Shaydon Kehano, Lowen Rogers and Garrett Paredes.

Kahuku has the Red East's top rushing attack (209 yards per game), but junior quarterback Evan Moe is averaging a robust 8.7 passing yards per attempt. The Red Raiders beat the Knights at home last season, 35-20.

No. 3 Farrington vs. Kaimuki, Ticky Vasconcellos Stadium

The Bulldogs (2-5, 2-3 OIA Red) are coming off a win over McKinley, and the week before were down just 14-0 at the half against Kahuku. Farrington has second place in the Red East sealed, but would like to close out regular-season play with a win, too. Running back Harry Tuimaseve trails Kailua's Clinton Aina by 81 yards in the division rushing statistics.

Kalaheo at Pearl City

With quarterback Doug Brown sidelined, the Rams (4-3, 4-2 OIA White) eked out a key win at Kaiser last week. Pearl City (3-4, 3-3) has battled back into playoff contention and is one of three teams with three losses in the division, all fighting for the fourth and final playoff spot.

King Kekaulike at Kamehameha-Maui

Na Alii (4-2, 3-1 Maui Interscholastic League) remain in the hunt for the D-I league title. King K running back Charles Spencer leads the MIL in rushing. Neighborhood rival KS-Maui (1-4, 1-3) is second in the league in passing.

Waiakea at Keaau

The Warriors (4-2, 2-2 BIIF) and Cougars (1-4, 1-3) start fresh with the new round. The first-round game between these two teams was a shootout: Waiakea won 40-39.

Kamehameha-Hawaii at Ka'u

The Warriors (3-3, 3-1 Big Island Interscholastic Federation) get a fresh start with the second round after finishing second to Hawaii Prep in round one. Ka'u (0-4, 0-4) is making steady improvement. Last week's 15-6 loss to Kohala was its closest game in recent memory.