Prep Football: Windward Weekend Warriors Working Hard

Week three will be among the busiest in high school football, as all four Windward teams are in action this weekend. A look at the matchups for Castle, Kailua, Kahuku and Kalaheo is below.

Kahuku versus McKinley, 8:30 p.m. Friday at Roosevelt

After two straight home games, the Red Raiders will now be “Road Warriors” for the next few weeks. Following this game on a neutral field, Kahuku will take a bye to reload for a pair of critical road games against Castle Sept. 12 and Kaiser Sept. 19. The Lee Leslie era got off to a good start for Kahuku 10 days ago, when it recorded a workmanlike 33-19 win over Kapolei. Offensively, Kahuku rolled up 372 total yards against the Hurricanes, including 221 on the ground. On the defensive side, it limited Kapolei to 3.4 yards per carry on the ground and 221 total yards. The Kahuku defense also recorded a touchdown off of a fumble recovery by Manaia Atuaia.

The front end of the Tigers’ schedule may very well be the most difficult in Division I, as they were to face Mililani, Leilehua, Kahuku and Waianae as their first four opponents. Because of low numbers, McKinley forfeited its game with Mililani Aug. 16, so its public unveiling was to be last weekend against Leilehua.

Castle at Waipahu, 8:30 p.m.Friday

For the Knights, this game with Waipahu will kick off a challenging stretch on their schedule, which includes games with Leilehua (away), Kahuku (home) and Waianae (away) over the next three weeks.

As Castle’s bye week was last weekend, it will come into this one well-rested, having not played since their season-opening loss to Campbell. Among the bright spots was a run game that produced 4.1 yards per carry versus Campbell’s seasoned front seven. Rushing yards could be easier this week against a Waipahu defense that yielded 13.2 yards per attempt in their loss to Farrington in week one. The Marauders trailed 35-0 in the second quarter of that game before forfeiting.

Waialua versus Kalaheo, 8:30 p.m. Friday at Kailua High

Offense was hard to come by for both teams in week one. The Bulldogs were shut out on the road by Kalani, while Kalaheo was routed 39-6 by host Nanakuli in its 2014 opener. Last weekend, both schools faced additional tests against solid competition, as Kalaheo was to play Kalani and Waialua was to host defending OIA White runner-up Pearl City.

If the Mustangs are looking for any added motivation this week, they may recall last year’s meeting between the teams, when Waialua dominated in a 32-0 victory. Kalaheo will be looking to shore up defense after giving up 529 yards to Nanakuli in its opening-night loss.

Waialua’s struggles in week one were due in large part to its offensive woes, as the Bulldogs produced just 53 total yards, including minus-26 yards rushing.

Aiea at Kailua, 6:30 p.m. Saturday

Following a tough two-week stretch that saw the Surfriders play Leilehua on a neutral field and on the road at Mililani, Kailua will finally get to play a home game. Added to the festivities will be the attendance of former football coach (and athletic director) Alex Kane, who will be honored by having the stadium officially named after him.

Whether Kane’s presence can add a little incentive to the cause remains to be seen. Kailua was limited to 88 total yards in its week-one loss to Leilehua, so it will look for an improved offensive showing here.

Aiea also will be looking to get untracked offensively, after gaining only 111 yards against Kaiser in its own season-opener.

Aiea’s Wendell Say is currently in his 35th season at the school, making him one of few head coaches to have competed against Kane during his long tenure at Kailua.