Kekua Sua and the Kailua Surfriders take on No. 2 Mililani.

OIA teams playing
for state berths

Seven games with state-tournament implications will flood Oahu this weekend.

That doesn't even include Iolani's matchup with Damien, which has bearing on the Raiders' opportunity to win the Interscholastic League of Honolulu title.

In the Oahu Interscholastic Association, dormant teams awake for the quarterfinals.

Mililani, unbeaten in the West, must defeat Kailua tomorrow to stay in the hunt for a state-tourney berth. Like Mililani, Kahuku had a bye last week.

The Red Raiders are a prohibitive favorite against Aiea, last year's Division II state champion.

In the ILH, the Division I title is at stake when Saint Louis meets Kamehameha on Saturday night.

Iolani, which leads ILH Division II with a 4-1 record, needs to win its final two games to have a championship matchup with the league's D-I winner.

Here's a look at this weekend's OIA Red matchups.


Kailua vs. No. 2 Mililani

When: Tomorrow, 4:30 p.m. at Aloha Stadium

Records: Kailua (4-4-1, 3-3-1 OIA), Mililani (8-0, 6-0 OIA Red West)

On paper: The Surfriders had a tumultuous regular season, but still breathed new life with the playoffs.

Kailua's ability to run was undercut by its inability to stop the pass during conference play. The Surfriders were second in the Red East in rushing and total offense, but ranked second-to-last in pass defense.

Last week's 14-12 win over Nanakuli on a muddy home field was nearly overshadowed by a postgame fracas involving spectators.

Can the Surfriders put the wacky postgame incident behind? They'll have to. Mililani has a balanced offense guided by Maka Kahoano, one of the most deceptive quarterbacks in the state.

Kahoano won't run the ball a lot, but as Nanakuli quarterback Jaycee Alapai showed, the Surfriders are susceptible to the option. Alapai rushed for 110 yards on 26 carries.

Mililani's offense averaged 346 yards per game, including 225 on the ground. Led by 365-pound guard Sene Ma'afala, the Trojans enjoy smash-mouth football.

Kekoa Perbera led a committee of running backs with 77 yards per game (6.9 per attempt).

What makes the Trojan offense dangerous is Kahoano's ability to execute play-action. Wide receiver Jon Santos (6-foot-1, 180) had just 22 receptions, but averaged 22.3 yards per catch and scored six touchdowns. His reliability is accentuated by his ability to break tackles after the catch.

He is one of the premier receivers in the state, period.

The skinny: If Kailua closes in with eight defenders in the box, Santos could have another big game. The Surfriders didn't see a lot of I-slot formations in the East.

Mililani surrendered only 68 rushing yards per game in the run-oriented Red West. The returns of linebacker/defensive end Michael Suan and safety Justin Morris are big boosts for the Trojan defense.

Damien Torres led Kailua with 893 rushing yards (8.7 per carry), but strong defenses cornered him more often than not.

The Surfriders don't usually deviate from their I sets, but Torres would overmatch most linebackers in pass coverage. At this point, the Surfriders need to be creative.

X factor: The Trojans are highly disciplined, while the Surfriders have had problems with penalties this season, with as many as 19 in one contest. A difference in 75 yards due to yellow flags would easily swing a close game into a rout.

Aiea vs. No. 1 Kahuku

When: Tomorrow, 7 p.m., Aloha Stadium

Records: Aiea (5-4, 4-3 OIA), Kahuku (7-1, 6-0 OIA Red East)

On paper: No team in the state has gotten within 20 points of Kahuku, re: Kahuku 37, Saint Louis 17, Aug. 28.

No team in the OIA has been within 33 points of the Red Raiders. So what gives Aiea any kind of chance to win?

Na Alii have two key elements that give teams a chance to win a title: a running game and a solid defense.

Problem is, Kahuku has plenty of both, too.

Donny Mapusaga rushed for 109 yards on 21 carries in Aiea's 16-0 win over Roosevelt last week.

Na Alii shut out a team that was second in the Red East in passing. Roosevelt, however, ranked sixth out of seven East teams in rushing.

Therein lies the difference. Kahuku, with a posse of bullish runners, averaged 335 yards per game on the ground.

The skinny: Any team that can somehow slow Kahuku's ground attack has a legitimate chance to win. The Red Raiders have not been a strong passing team, partly because of an injury to quarterback Bronson Ponciano-Ahue.

Even if Aiea plays flawlessly against the run, Spencer Hafoka could do major damage. The senior averaged 21.9 yards per catch.

X factor: Many teams choose to run opposite of Aiea defensive tackle Rocky Savaiigaea (6-3, 290). Kahuku will probably run wherever it wants to. Can Aiea step up to the challenge?

Turnovers will be the difference. When Kahuku lost at Skyline (Utah) in August, it fumbled eight times.

Kapolei vs. No. 8 Castle

When: Saturday, 6 p.m.

Records: Kapolei (4-4, 4-2 OIA Red West), Castle (6-2, 5-1)

On paper: The M*A*S*H unit also known as Castle has managed to keep winning. Coach Nelson Maeda says middle linebacker Blaze Soares will return this week.

That will give the Knights a big boost defensively against Kapolei's option attack.

It's a classic matchup of two teams with similar offensive formations, but different strengths. Although Kapolei began working on a hybrid option/run-and-shoot offense last year, the Hurricanes rely heavily on the legs of quarterback Jon Medeiros and running back Radford Raquedan (69 yards per game).

The skinny: Kapolei's secondary has shown a tendency to give up big plays, though opponents haven't always capitalized.

Castle is not the kind of team that turns opportunity away. If the Knights avoid turnovers -- quarterback Jordan Nakayama threw just two picks in 82 attempts -- they can exploit Kapolei's defense.

Soares is a swarming linebacker who loves to pursue. If Medeiros makes good decisions, the Hurricanes can move the chains against a quick, but smallish defense.

X factor: Medeiros and backup Brad Padayao are effective scramblers, but Soares will likely crowd their space. Sooner or later, Kapolei's passing game must respond.

The Knights already know about slotback Ikaika Tan. The Hurricanes will need big contributions across the board.

Farrington at No. 9 Leilehua

When: Saturday, 7 p.m.

Records: Farrington (4-4, 4-2 OIA Red East), Leilehua (7-1, 5-1)

On paper: Farrington ranked first in the Red East against the pass (105 yards per game). Leilehua led the Red West with 263 passing yards per game.

Something will have to give.

The skinny: Farrington's best performance was arguably a 25-13 win over Kailua, a team that depends heavily on the run.

That won't be the case with the Mules, who love myriad formations. Coach Nolan Tokuda's offense is a hybrid of formations and passing plays from UH, Florida State, San Francisco and Leilehua.

In other words, Farrington hasn't seen an offense quite like this all season.

Bryant Moniz threw for 1,526 yards in conference play, completing 58 percent of his attempts. The 6-1 sophomore fired 15 touchdown passes with just six interceptions.

His favorite targets, Chustin Senas and Anthony Palomares, ranked first and third in receiving yardage in the Red West. Even running back Justin Lawelawe was a factor in the passing game with 27 receptions for 243 yards (fifth in the West).

Farrington's best chances are probably with its running and short passing games. Eti Atonio completed just 46 percent of his attempts, but threw for 13 touchdowns and a mere four interceptions.

X factor: Leilehua's defense tends to bend without breaking often, but in the run-oriented West, the Mules didn't see a lot of West Coast offenses.

Farrington could make this a very close game if Leilehua's passing attack is off key.



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