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Knights, Surfriders Battle Power Teams From ‘Other Side’

While Kalaheo and Kahuku have open dates, it will be business as usual for Castle and Kailua this weekend as both prepare for huge tests on the road.

Castle at Leilehua, 8 p.m. Friday

Can anyone slow down the Leilehua offense? Two games into 2014, the Mules’ offense already looks to be in mid-season form, having rolled up an average of 414 total yards in decisive wins over McKinley and Kailua. Quarterback Kalanimoku Pauole has been the catalyst so far, with eight touchdown passes already to his credit against just two interceptions. Toma Savea (21.5 yards per reception, four TDs) and Tyrook Keough (16.4 yards per carry) have been among his favorite targets.

This is the second straight road game for the Knights, who met Waipahu over the weekend following their bye week. The slate will stay tough in ensuing weeks with a home game against Kahuku next week and a trip to Waianae Sept. 19.

Containing the quick-striking Mule offense will be Castle’s top priority Friday night. The Knights’ defense gave up huge yardage in the run game in their opening-night loss to Campbell, but their pass defense was a bright spot, which could bode well against Leilehua, whose run game is its short passing game.

On the offensive side of the ball, dual-threat quarterback Stephen Lee is the Knights’ leader. He threw for 174 yards against Campbell and averaged 4.9 yards per rushing attempt.

Kailua at Campbell, 8 p.m. Friday

Nothing could serve the Surfriders better on Friday than a nice, prolonged scoring drive to begin the game. Indeed, if underdog Kailua is to stay in the mix in this one, it needs to possess the ball for long periods to keep Campbell’s own explosive offense off the field. Senior running back Paepaeiva Silifaiva-Kaeha gives Kailua a chance to do just that, having averaged 4.3 yards per carry against two of the better defenses in the state (Leilehua and Mililani). Scoring has been hard to come by for Kailua so far, with only a single score in each of its first two games.

Defensively, it will look to shore up a pass defense, after giving up better than 650 yards through the air in the first two weeks.

In convincing wins over Castle and Moanalua, Campbell used its offense to control both games. The Sabers are averaging 322 yards per game passing and another 181 on the ground. Defensively, their strength has been in stopping the run, as they are yielding only 57 yards per outing on the ground.