Anticipating OIA Central Football Action

In the world of prep football, there’s always a season within the season – the critical games that make or break a team’s year.

For Leilehua and Mililani, the 2013 OIA Red West race figures once again to be among the most balanced in the state from top to bottom.

With the recent release of the schedule, a breakdown of both teams’ respective schedules follows. (Division II Waialua’s schedule will follow in a later issue.)

Leilehua High School

2012 record: 7-4 overall (4-2 in OIA Red West; second place)

2013 schedule: at Iolani Aug. 17 (inter-league), Campbell Aug. 23, Vincent Massey of Canada Aug. 30 (preseason), Waianae Sept. 6, Kapolei Sept. 13, at Aiea Sept. 20, at Mililani Sept. 27, at Waipahu Oct. 4

Key stretch: Kapolei, Aiea, Mililani

Must-see game: Mililani Must-see game II: Waianae

Game to be on upset-alert for: Waipahu

Breakdown of Mule schedule: On the plus side, with four straight home games starting Aug. 23, there’s an opportunity for a nice run out of the gate for Leilehua, which opens with a tough test at Iolani. The key game in the mix is plainly the meeting with Waianae, as the other three encounters in this stretch (Campbell, Vincent Massey and Kapolei) are games the Mules figure to be favored in. The by-product of this lop-sided schedule is a run of three road games in a row versus Aiea, rival Mililani and Waipahu to close out their Red West schedule.

Mililani High School

2012 record: 10-3 overall (5-1 in OIA Red West; first place)

2013 schedule: at Moanalua Aug. 9, Punahou Aug. 15, at Kapolei Aug. 23, at Waianae Sept. 30, at Waipahu Sept. 6, bye Sept. 13, Campbell Sept. 21, Leilehua Sept. 27, Aiea Oct. 4

Key stretch: Kapolei, Waianae, Waipahu. This is a brutal three weeks, which could make or break Mililani’s regular season.

Must-see game: Leilehua. As in past years, the Red West regular-season title could be on the line when these two rivals meet.

Must-see game II: Waianae. The Seariders always play their best football in October and November, so catching Waianae the last week of August is good timing from a Trojan perspective.

Game to be on upset-alert for: Campbell. As this game comes off of bye week, there’s always the possibility of a letdown.

Breakdown of Trojan schedule: With four of their first five games all on the road, the Trojans will plainly be tested early. Even the lone home date in this stretch, which comes versus Division I state tournament runner-up Punahou, will be a demanding encounter.

It all adds up to perhaps the toughest schedule in the entire OIA. A bright patch comes on the back end, with three straight at home versus Campbell, rival Leilehua and Aiea to close out the Red West slate. That the bye week comes prior to this stretch is also a positive.