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Area Teams Gearing Up For Big Games In OIA Red West

In the world of college football, rivalry games are often reserved for the final week of the season. Not so in the OIA Red West Conference, where every league game is akin to a rivalry. With the Aiea-Campbell matchup topping the bill, MidWeek‘s West Oahu Islander looks at this weekend’s top games.

Campbell High at Aiea: 7 p.m. Friday

To say that Aiea forced Campbell to go the long hard route in the Sabers’ 7-0 win last year would be the understatement of the year, given that the victors were held to a mere 43 total yards. For its part, Aiea piled up 223 total yards in the 2012 contest, but couldn’t find the end zone.

Aiea’s offensive prospects are much more solid this year, as Na Ali’i topped the 30-point plateau in their first two outings of 2013 with impressive wins over Kailua (35-0) and Pac-Five (33-8). As in past years, the Aiea defense also looks to be one of the tougher in the OIA, as it is relinquishing only 48 yards per game on the ground two weeks into the season.

Like Aiea, Campbell also was stellar in its first two games, posting dominating wins over both Kaiser (21-7) and Kailua (49-12). Balance has been Campbell’s trademark so far, offensively, behind quarterback Isaac Hurd, who is averaging 6.4 yards per rushing attempt to go with five touchdown passes and no interceptions.

Waipahu High at Kapolei: 7 p.m. Friday

Kapolei has followed the same script en route to wins over Pearl City and McKinley, using stifling run defense on one side of the ball and a ground attack out of its spread sets, offensively. The MVP for the Hurricanes to date has been their offensive line, which has allowed backs Tristan Pebria (6.4 on team-high 35 carries), Aizon Kahana (8.4) and Kazden Reis (7.3) to all average better than six yards per attempt.

The task of running the ball figures to be much tougher this week against a Waipahu team, which yielded just 40 yards on the ground to a good Kaimuki team Aug. 16 in the Marauders’ public unveiling and workmanlike 19-14 victory. Like the Hurricanes, Waipahu used its own run game to kick start its season with 223 rushing yards. Should both teams continue to shut down the run, whichever team makes more plays in the passing game could have the edge here. Waipahu won last year’s meeting 28-7.

Waialua High at Pearl City: 7 p.m. Friday

After facing a run-happy Division I Kapolei team in preseason (Aug. 10), the Chargers had a bye week to work out the kinks in defending the rush before last weekend’s game with Kalani. This week, Pearl City faces a much-improved Waialua team, which also operates out of the spread formation. Unlike Kapolei, which ground out the yardage, the Bulldogs are one of the more balanced teams in the OIA White, as they average as many yards on the ground as in the air.

Waialua also had a tough schedule so far against Kaimuki (28-7 loss) and Nanakuli (22-19 loss). This is the first in a brutal three-game stretch for Waialua, which will next face Kaiser and Radford. Pearl City also will be looking to get untracked, offensively, after finding the yardage hard to come by against Kapolei. To that end, the Chargers will look to playmakers Travis Joe, Jordan Taamu and Timothy Rivera. Pearl City won last year’s game 47-8.