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Oct. 14—No. 1 Kamehameha vs. No. 2 Saint Louis Aloha Stadium, Friday, 7 :30 p.m.
While the OIA season gets underway, the ILH Open Division is nearing the end of its regular season. First place and a bye in the first round of the playoffs are at stake in this final week of the ILH regular season. Kamehameha (2-1, 2-1 ILH ) upset then-No. 1 Saint Louis, 23-21, in their first matchup on Sept. 24.
Kamehameha's front seven has been superb, as has a dynamic scheme that is often unpredictable for opposing quarterbacks. The offensive line has also established control in the trenches. Senior Noah Bartley has rushed for 349 yards and four touchdowns, while hauling in nine passes for 144 yards and a TD. Junior quarterback Kealii Ah Yat has passed for 517 yards (36 for 65 ) with five TDs and just two picks for an efficient passer rating of 141.4.
Saint Louis (2-2, 2-1 ILH ) has flexed its ground-and-pound muscles a bit of late with a committee of Keola Apduhan and Keoni Catrett, with a sprinkling of elusive receiver Trech Kekahuna in the backfield. QB AJ Bianco has become sharper with each game as a first-year starter and has passed for 1, 148 yards and seven TDs with five picks. Bianco's QB rating is 137.5.
Waianae at No. 3 Mililani Friday, 7 :30 p.m.
The Trojans are defending OIA Open Division champions (2019 ), but with no 2020 season, there are plenty of question marks for every team. Wide receiver Gavin Hunter, a junior, drew attention in the summer at the Polynesian Bowl Combine. He ran an electronically-timed 4.4 40-yard dash and was named co-MVP.
"It's fall break, so for this week, it's tunnel vision, focus on the game, " Hunter said. "Waianae is a good team. They've got some boys with heart. They're coming to play, so we have to do the same thing, come to play and play with heart. I know it's going to be a good game."
Mililani's QBs competition has whittled down to two : Kili McMillan and Mana Tarape.
"They're A-plus quarterbacks. Whoever is the guy, I'm confident, no matter which one it is, " Hunter said.
The Seariders changed coaches in the offseason after Mike Fanoga stepped down. Matt Murakawa, a math teacher, is a former Waianae player. He has Bobby George as offensive coordinator, which means the Seariders will spread the field and have opportunities to be explosive.
Kolu Quisquirin-Sabagala had an impressive sophomore season in 2019 and is a stabilizing force at running back.
"He's a great kid, a super good kid. Hard worker, disciplined and a real positive attitude, " Murakawa said. "He makes all the people around him better and leads by example."
Two years ago, Quisquirin-Sabagala rushed for a school-record 247 yards and two TDs in a 20-15 loss to Kamehameha. He finished the'19 season with 1, 009 yards (5.2 yards per carry ) and six TDs on the ground. He also had 12 receptions for 106 yards and one TD.
"The good thing is the kids have practiced hard and played hard. The buy-in is good, " Murakawa said.
No. 4 Kahuku at No. 8 Kapolei Friday, 7 :30 p.m.
The Red Raiders make the journey to West Oahu with a roster of 60 players. The defensive unit has, as always, athleticism and depth. Linebacker Liona Lefau is one of the top prospects in the state with scholarship offers from across the country, including Wisconsin.
Defensive lineman Braydon Bailey, and linebackers Braydon Bailey and Kruze Keanu also lead the front seven. Safety Brock Cravens Fonoimoana, a 6-foot-2, 190-pound junior, has an offer from BYU. Senior Malosi Lefau, and juniors Chansen Nicodemus-Garcia and Viliamu Toilolo Jr. are key playmakers in the secondary.
Quarterbacks Jason Mariteragi and Waika Carvalho played efficiently during a scrimmage last week with Kamehameha. Mariteragi, offensive lineman Judah Kaio and Sione Heimuli, wide receivers Kainoa Carvalho and Daniel Kaio, and running back Lalio Kaluna are also effective.
Because of ongoing renovation at Carleton Weimer Track and Field, all of Kahuku's games this fall are away. There is a remote possibility of a home game late in the regular season, which ends in December.
"A home game would be an unexpected surprise. At this point, it does not matter where we play, " Carvalho said. "We just want to play. Living in the country, we are used to traveling to town for shopping and activities. The bus ride gives us time to rest and prepare mentally for each game."
Farrington at No. 6 Campbell Friday, 7 :30 p.m.
As the Governors await the status of players who filed exemptions, the same goes for the Sabers and practically every football program. Campbell has endured as talented players like Titus Mokiao-Atimalala (UCF ) graduated without playing a senior year.
"Our kids love being at the school, they love being at the field and locker room, we are like a family, " Sabers coach DJ Johnson said. "We have to remind them, to go straight home after practice and that they cannot visit and hang out, we are in, we work out, we practice, we clean up and we leave. No potlucks, no leis, no fanfare. It's OK. What's, most important is that we are all safe and healthy."
Standout QB Blaine Hipa moved to Arizona in the spring and now plays at Chandler High School.
"I've also lost amazing and talented athletes to mainland schools, and gave them my very best wishes and blessings as I know that we were immersed in a state of absolute uncertainty here in Hawaii. It makes me happy when I hear that those athletes that left us are thriving where they are, we cheer in their success both at home and away. Campbell will never have a shortage of outstanding student athletes and though we lose some great ones, we quickly prime the next athlete in line, " Johnson said.
Nazareth Satele is a key returner on the offensive line, while the defense is boosted by linebackers Diego Betancourt and Blesyng Alualu-Tuimolutu, defensive lineman Ieremia Lemaota Jr. and defensive back Carson Murakami.
Kalaheo at Pearl City Friday, 7 :30 p.m.
The Chargers have a home game at Bino Neves Stadium for the first time in two years. Coach Robin Kami is counting on defensive lineman Sefo Feesago (6-0, 160 ) and linebacker Joe-Xiah Rapoza (5-9, 170 ) to lead the front seven.
Defensive backs Josiah Calderon (5-9, 160 ), Mark Moreno (6-0, 165 ) and Jake Ginoza (5-6, 150 ) lead the secondary.
Sophomore Trey Dacoscos (5-9, 160 ) is in his first year as a varsity quarterback. Seniors Silepahaturi (6-0, 220 ) and Sebastian Buell-Galo (6-2, 240 ) help lead the O-line, while two-way ironman Tiandrew Taimanao (6-2, 230 ) is a staple in the trenches. Senior receiver Joshua Gleason (6-1, 160 ) was named a co-MVP at the Polynesian Bowl Combine in July.
Meanwhile, coach Nelson Maeda has 40 players ready to go for the Mustangs. Defensive ends Isaiah Akiu and Bobo Amasiu, quarterback Riis Weber, linebacker Damien Ruano are the lone returnees from the'19 squad.
"The lost season of 2020-21 has left Kalaheo and many other schools with a depleted pool of players, " Maeda said. "Most of the players have not played (varsity ) football before."
Kalani at Kaiser (Varsity only ) Saturday, 6 p.m.
The Cougars are hungry, and a rivalry game with their neighbors from Kalani adds to the pot.
"Our kids have continued to work hard and put forth great effort despite whatever obstacles arise, " Kaiser coach Tim Seaman said. "They are looking forward to getting on the field and competing against a very tough schedule of opponents."
Two-way linemen Nick Wild and Kaiakea Pedro-Hale are essential to Kaiser's success in the trenches. Linebackers Take Debina and Nalu Nuuhiwa-Santos play key roles, as does running back /defensive back Blaze Kodama.
Easton Yoshino showed tremendous potential two years ago as a sophomore. Now a senior, the quarterback has Kamakana Makino and Justin Kanekoa as playmaking wide receivers. Payton Perry and Makani Sua are also key for the offensive line.
Kalani's defense includes lineman Ryan Bethke, linebacker JT Richards and DBs Josh Okamoto, Kuahiwi Cummings and Donovan Reis.
Waialua vs. McKinley (Varsity only ) Ticky Vasconcellos Stadium, Saturday, 6 p.m.
The Bulldogs saw Lincoln Barit retire from coaching after 35 seasons. Gary Wirtz was promoted from assistant coach to guide the program.
Waialua has some standout athletes in quarterback Tyson Apau, running back /linebacker Jonah Baker, wide receiver /defensive back Blazen Benz, James Zara (RB /DB ), two-way linemen Shayden McCandless and Sebastian Stone and running back /free safety Ezekiel Sheridan.
At McKinley, Kale Ane is in his first season coaching the black and gold.
"I'm excited and looking forward to the season, " the former Punahou coach said. "I'm looking forward to having to decide on going for it on fourth down or punting."