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West Football Teams Face Their East Rivals This Weekend

Geographically speaking, East meets West is the theme in the local prep football scene this weekend, especially in the Oahu Interscholastic Association, as Aiea, Campbell, Pearl City and Waipahu all meet teams from the East. (Kapolei also will travel to the North Shore to play Kahuku.) Previews of this weekend’s games follow:

Campbell at Castle, 6 p.m. Friday

Under the OIA’s new format, and with both now in Division I, the teams will meet in the regular season periodically. That is good news for fans of both, as any Castle-Campbell matchup is sure to be high-scoring, especially now that both are running the spread offense.

Campbell has high hopes once again to be in the mix for an OIA title, with several key players back in the fold from last year’s 9-4 team.

Castle was the OIA East’s “hard luck” team in 2013, losing its share of close games en route to a 3-6 finish for the season.

Roosevelt at Pearl City, 8:30 p.m. Friday

The Chargers play their home opener against OIA White Conference foe Roosevelt.

Games with Waialua, Kaimuki and Anuenue follow before the schedule begins to stiffen for Pearl City, most notably with its Sept. 26 trip to Radford.

Pearl City won last year’s meeting with Roosevelt 37-0, as the Chargers’ defense limited Roosevelt to just 24 total yards, including 6 on the ground.

Aiea at Kaiser, 6 p.m. Friday

Kaiser’s return to the high-rent district was solidified last fall, as the Cougars won both the OIA and First Hawaiian Bank Division II State

Titles. That meant a promotion to Division I for the Cougars, who also have a new coach in former Kaiser offensive coordinator Cameron Higgins.

Aiea was just 1-5 last year, so a win here would serve as a huge confidence-builder for Na Alii. Aiea’s forte has been its defense in recent years, while Kaiser likes to control the game with its spread offense. With that in mind, a low-scoring game would likely favor Aiea.

Na Alii will follow up this game with another key road date with Kailua and a game versus Farrington on a neutral site the following week, before hitting a stretch that will finish up with three home games in four weeks.

Kapolei at Kahuku, 8:30 p.m. Friday

Among the biggest wins of Kapolei head coach Darren Hernandez’s coaching career are a pair of road wins at Kahuku — one as the Hurricanes’ head coach and another during his tenure as Campbell’s head coach.

A win here for Hernandez and Kapolei would be equally huge for their 2014 prospects, since road wins figure to be hard to come by in the newly formed OIA Red Conference. The Hurricanes went 3-3 in the old OIA Red West last year.

This matchup also will mark a homecoming of sorts for new Kapolei offensive coordinator Darren Johnson, who is a former Red Raider quarterback. In addition to serving as head coach at both Kailua and Kaimuki, Johnson was a Kahuku assistant coach off and on through the years, including last season, when he served on Reggie Torres’ staff.

Farrington v. Waipahu, 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Aloha Stadium

A win over Farrington at Aloha Stadium would be a perfect early season statement for the Marauders, who hope to improve on last year’s 3-6 mark. Indeed, Waipahu was only a few plays away from boasting a much better record last season, dropping their share of close games.

The Marauders were to play Kailua last weekend, while Farrington traveled to Maui for a much-anticipated game with Baldwin. (Note: These games may have been cancelled after press time.)

For Waipahu, this game also marks the start of a brutal stretch on the Marauder slate that includes trips to Kahuku (Aug. 22) and Kaiser (Sept. 5) and home games with Castle (Sept. 5) and Leilehua (Sept. 12).

jackster.1969@yahoo.com

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