Friday Night Lights On Four Windward Prep Football Games

With Kahuku on a collision course with Farrington in what will likely be billed as the “Game of the Year” in the East, their Sept. 29 meeting looms large on the Hawaii prep football scene.

Butforittoliveupto the hype, the Red Raiders will have to handle their business in the weeks leading up to that game.

Among Kahuku’s challenges is this weekend’s visit from a good Kailua team. A preview of that matchup as well as Castle’s and Kalaheo’s games follows.

Kailua at Kahuku — 7 p.m. Friday (also on OC16) The conventional wisdom says it’s better to play Kahuku earlier than later, and the Surfriders hope that’s the case as they travel up the coast this weekend for their OIA Red East opener. Despite their 13-7 loss to Campbell in week two, there was much to build on, since they were enjoying their first game with a full roster. Kailua hung in with the Sabers, which is one of the better offensive teams in the state.

Two keys loom this week: Can Kailua get its timing down offensively to score? And will its run-defense show up? The team was riddled for 241 yards on the ground against Campbell. The task is no easier for this one, as Kahuku’s Aofaga Wily is already in mid-season form, as evidenced by his 225- yard, 3-TD effort versus a stellar Punahou defense back Aug. 18.

For Kahuku’s part, playing turnover-free will be the key. Its run defense has picked up where it left off from last year’s state championship season, as they limited Punahou to minus-5 yards on the ground.

Castle at Moanalua — 7 p.m. Friday Despite its 0-2 start, Moanalua still looks like the real deal, as both losses came to OIA Red West powers Mililani and Waianae. Na Menehune were in position to win both games, which bodes well for them as they move into league play.

The Knights game marks their second against a

Windward opponent, as they were to visit Kailua last weekend. Castle’s first task here is to slow Moanalua running back Ishmil Scott, who has aver- aged 6.1 yards per carry to date versus some solid run defenses. Quarterbacks Micah Kaneshiro and Maxwell Fiatoa have bal- anced out Moanalua’s attack.

For Castle, possessing the ball and moving the chains will be a key, as the Knights’ defense has been on the field too long in the early-going of 2012. Their defense is yielding 132 yards on the ground per game, which gives them a chance to win if they can come up with some third- down stops to get off of the field. Offensively, the

Knights hope to finish off their drives, as they have been hard-pressed so far to find the end zone. Castle quarterback Kela Shea and wide receivers Cullen Shiroma-Fernandez and Kyle Urasaki are off to good starts.

Waialua versus Kalaheo — 6 p.m. Saturday at Kailua High School After a tough first week and a loss to surging Damien, the Mustangs re- bounded big-time with a resounding 21-20 win over Kaiser in week two. Their greater chore now is to resist the temptation to look ahead to the next two weeks of back-to-back road games versus Radford and Pearl City. The outcome of those will likely make or break its bid for a title in the OIA White. But to stay in the discussion in the league race, the Mustangs can’t blow the lay-up here.

The Waialua offense is averaging only 159 total yards (and just 32 per game on the ground). Those numbers don’t bode well for this matchup, as the Bulldogs will need to hold on to the ball long enough to keep Kalaheo’s powerful offense off the field. The Mustangs have been a model unit of a balanced offense to date and currently average 197 yards passing and a whopping 209 via the ground. Quarterback Chase Hana wahine, running back Cristian Johnston and tight end Nainoa Frank have been doing much of the damage offensively.