OIA forfeits scramble
playoff race

The playoff picture in Oahu Interscholastic Association football has changed drastically after the league ruled that two teams trying desperately to get into the postseason must forfeit one game each.

Castle used an ineligible player in its 40-32 victory over Kailua on Sept. 19 and Leilehua did the same in its 8-6 win over Waipahu on the same day. Both of those wins are now losses.

The Knights drop from 5-2 overall and 4-2 in the OIA Red East to 4-3 and 3-3. Fortunately for the Knights, their playoff scenario remains the same: They must beat McKinley (4-3, 3-3) tomorrow at Roosevelt to keep their season going. The Tigers also need a victory to get in.

"It's been a topsy-turvy week with great emotion," Castle coach Nelson Maeda said. "But we have no choice but to look ahead. We always tell the boys to not worry about what they can't control anyway. This situation really destroys the things that we're trying to build, but we're still anxiously looking forward to the McKinley game."

The Knights' forfeit affected the Red East race in two other ways. Tonight's Kailua vs. Kahuku game takes on extra importance. The Surfriders (now 6-0-1, 5-0-1) have new life at winning the conference title. The Red Raiders (7-0, 6-0) thought they had clinched after last week's victory over Castle, but now must beat Kailua to take it.

Also, Farrington (3-3, 3-2-1) qualified for the playoffs by virtue of Castle's forfeit.

Leilehua's road to the postseason got a bit tougher after its forfeit. Previously, the Mules (3-4, 2-4) needed a win over rival Mililani tonight to secure a Red West berth, but now they also need Waianae (3-4, 3-3) to lose to Campbell tonight.

"The boys realize it's do or die," Leilehua athletic director Richard Townsend said. "They also know there's at least a slight chance Campbell can beat Waianae. Campbell has been playing good ball lately. But most importantly, they know they have to win first."

Nanakuli (5-3, 4-3) was a beneficiary of the Mules' forfeit, earning the third of the Red West's four postseason berths.


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