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Star-Bulletin Sports

Thursday, November 9, 2000

H A W A I I _P R E P _ S P O R T S

Tradition reigns: It’s
Waianae-Kahuku time

By Ben Henry
Special to the Star-Bulletin

A tradition resumes tomorrow evening at Aloha Stadium, when Kahuku takes on Waianae for the Oahu Interscholastic Association football championship for the first time in two years.

Either the Red Raiders or the Seariders have won every OIA title for the last 15 years, with the exception of Farrington's championship in 1990.

No team has more OIA titles than either of these two teams, with Waianae accumulating 18 and Kahuku 13, going back to the first title game in 1940.

"It just happens to be that at the end of the regular season we are the two teams that survive the battles," said Waianae defensive coordinator Larry Ginoza, who led Waianae to nine OIA titles as a head coach between 1966 and 1982.

Ginoza says a game against Kahuku has always been big. Before the league was reorganized a few years ago, the two teams were in different divisions, so they only played each other in the playoffs.

"It's special because if we're playing Kahuku, we're probably playing for the championship," he said. "I haven't seen a bad Kahuku-Waianae football game."

Both current head coaches have respect for the other program.

"It's not a dirty rivalry," Waianae head coach Danny Matsumoto said. "You expect Kahuku to always be there, they always have size and talent. It's always good playing them. The coaches and players are always up for the game."

Said Kahuku head coach Siuaki Livai: "They have proven and established themselves as a great program. There's a lot of respect for Waianae, they've got their tradition, they're a good team. They know what it takes, and I respect that."

Waianae eked out an early season 12-7 win over Kahuku.

Waianae features the running-back duo of Lono Manners and Peter Sarono, who have combined for 1,471 yards rushing in the regular and post seasons this year. Manners is fourth in the OIA Red in rushing, with 518 yards in the regular season, and Sarono is sixth, with 470 yards.

Against the Red Raiders, the two backs managed just 66 yards.

"They may be running wild against other teams, but they ain't doing anything (against) Kahuku," he said. "We're going to keep doing what we're doing defensively. We studied the film and we know what's best to run against what they give us."

But Matsumoto says the performance of his run-heavy offense against Kahuku means nothing, as he has since made personnel changes to his offensive line.

Both coaches say the key to this game is limiting turnovers.

"Us being able to control the ball, that's one (key)," Matsumoto said. "Two, our defense in the red zone needs to be sharp."

In the regular season game between the two, Kahuku had seven turnovers, including a fumble at its own 5-yard line, resulting in the winning touchdown.

"There ain't no secret -- don't fumble the ball, don't throw interceptions," Livai said.

In the first meeting, Kahuku outgained Waianae, 326-73.

Ginoza has tweaked the secondary in anticipation of Kahuku's offensive adjustments.

Livai doesn't overestimate his offense's chances. "Waianae's got a great defense," he said. "So I'm not looking for a lot of points, just any points ... more importantly we don't want to give up points."

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