Kaimuki, Waipahu leave OIA White playoff battle in the past


POSTED: Thursday, October 16, 2008

A year ago, it was Kaimuki's ground attack that ruled the day when the Waipahu Marauders came calling.

Both football teams were title contenders in the Oahu Interscholastic Association White Conference, but Kaimuki was dominant in a 33-6 victory.

“;They jumped on us early and we had a bunch of turnovers. If you turn it over against a running team, you might never get the ball back,”; Waipahu coach Sean Saturnio recalled.

The two teams meet again tomorrow, this time in the Division I, OIA Red playoffs. It will be a meeting of the minds for Saturnio and Kaimuki guru Darren Johnson.

“;Darren's had success in every program he's been to. It'll be an interesting game, I think,”; Saturnio said.

The Bulldogs have followed last year's 11-2 season, which included a trip to the D-II state semifinals, with a bittersweet regular season. They've had their share of last-minute losses in league play (Castle, Kahuku) and nonconference action ('Iolani). Kaimuki, 4-4 overall and 3-3 in the Red East, could easily be 7-1 and 5-1.

Waipahu, meanwhile, has logged quite a resume in its return to the OIA Red West. A win at Waianae two weeks ago shook up the West standings. Last week, the Marauders (5-3, 3-3) were in position to create more chaos in the West, but fell behind 27-7 to Leilehua and eventually lost, 27-21.

Kaimuki had problems in last week's 41-0 loss to Farrington—a far cry from the effort that nearly upset Kahuku. Still, if the Bulldogs can regroup and execute, they could be the dark horse of all dark horses in the OIA playoffs. The health of defensive end/wide receiver Desmond Tautofi, who was injured in the McKinley game, is key.

Last week, Waipahu surrendered 422 passing yards by Andrew Manley, who had 13 completions to Edieson Dumlao. Kaimuki has tall targets in Chris Fiamate (21 receptions, 373 yards, four touchdowns) and Tautofi (eight catches, 106 yards, one score).

“;We had a couple of issues where a couple of starters didn't play for various reasons,”; Saturnio said of his defense.

He doesn't expect Kaimuki to start airing the ball out tomorrow.

“;I think when you come to this time of the year, you might throw in some wrinkles, but everyone does what they did that got them there in the first place,”; Saturnio said.

The Marauders defense allowed only 15 points in the win at Waianae. Seniors Caleb Puletasi and Haven Tuisamatele have anchored what Saturnio calls a “;no-name defense.”;

Waipahu's best defense, though, may be its spread offense. Bulldozing Troy Matautia (5-6, 205) has amassed 1,129 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns this season, including 100-plus yards in three straight games. Kapolei, Waianae and Leilehua all knew the Marauders would hand the ball to the shifty back, but he still racked up 128, 174 and 160 yards against them.

Matautia's endurance will be tested by a gang-tackling Kaimuki defense. Victor Moananu has complemented the offense with 251 rushing yards (6.1 per attempt) in the last four games, including a personal high of 99 yards against Kapolei.

Waipahu quarterback Joshua Lacar has thrown the ball a total of four times in his last four games. In that same span, Matautia has tossed the pigskin seven times. For the season, Matautia has two touchdown passes, which is one more than Lacar.

The Marauders are run-oriented yet unpredictable because coach Sean Saturnio has been quite a student.

“;All my time with Coach (Paul) Johnson, I learned it's how you run because we run a whole bunch of different options from different formations. That adds some sense of unpredictability,”; Saturnio said.

Here's a look at more of tomorrow's games.


No. 7 'Iolani at No. 1 Punahou

There is no love lost between these longtime arch rivals. Even in years when one or both schools aren't in the running for ILH titles, students and alumni alike mark this game on their calendars.

For Punahou (6-1, 3-1 Interscholastic League of Honolulu), ranked No. 1 in the preseason, it's been an uphill climb since losing to Saint Louis a month ago. Now that the Crusaders have a loss on their resume, Punahou is running back at the front of the chase again.

Iolani (7-2, 5-1) stunned Saint Louis two weeks ago, but struggled to move the ball in a 9-0 loss at Kamehameha last weekend.


Kalani vs. Anuenue

The Falcons (0-8, 0-8 OIA White) make their return to the field after four consecutive losses by forfeit. With the JV season now over, Kalani has called up at least 20 sophomores.

Anuenue (0-8, 0-7) won last year's matchup 35-0.


Radford at Waialua

The Rams (6-2, 6-1) can seal the top seed in the OIA White playoffs with a win. Shawn Putman Curry leads a deep receiver corps with 36 catches for 422 yards and five touchdowns.

Waialua (2-6, 2-5) has been held scoreless in its last four games.


Moanalua at Aiea

Aiea (5-3, 4-3 OIA White) could sneak into the playoffs with a win over Na Menehune (6-2, 5-2). Since a 7-2 loss to Kalaheo five weeks ago, Aiea has won four in a row. Moanalua is hot, too, winning four straight, including a key victory over Kalaheo three weeks ago.


Kohala at Konawaena

The Cowboys (6-2, 3-2) are off to an 0-1 start in the second round of Big Island Interscholastic Federation Division II play and could see their postseason hopes end unless they pull of a win in South Kona. Konawaena (8-1, 4-1) won the first-round matchup 40-6.


Hilo at Kealakehe

The Vikings (1-5, 1-4 BIIF) finally broke their winless drought with a 20-0 win at Honokaa last weekend. That gave the Hilo a 1-0 start in the second round of BIIF D-I action.

Kealakehe (5-2, 4-0) won the first-round meeting in a thriller, 27-23.


Kapaa at Kauai

The Red Raiders (5-0, 3-0) have dominated the KIF this season and are the last unbeaten team in the state. Kauai won its first matchup with Kapaa 44-10. The Warriors (1-4, 0-3) lost a squeaker at home two weeks ago to Waimea, 14-13.