Schedule Growing Tougher For Central Football Teams

There is still much to be decided in prep football for Central Oahu teams. A preview of this weekend’s games is below.

Leilehua at Kahuku, 7:30 p.m. Friday

You know you’re having a special season when the biggest game to date comes after a bye week. Such is the scenario for the Mules, who had two weeks to prepare for Kahuku. (The Mules last played Sept. 12, beating Waipahu 45-0 on the road.)

Both teams still were unbeaten heading into the weekend, so the outcome could very well decide the Red champion, pending the results of week eight. Leilehua finishes its league slate with Kaiser, while Kahuku faces Waianae.

For the Mules, it may come down to how well they can contain the Red Raider run game. Kahuku is averaging 199 yards a game on the ground, while Leilehua’s defense yields only 68 rushing yards per game.

Offensively, the Mules will look to assert their balance behind quarterback Kalanimoku Pauole (21 touchdown passes), running back Ikaika Piceno (7.6 yards per rush) and receivers Lauriano Lucas, Toma Savea and Tyreek Keough.

Leilehua has thrived on fast starts, having outscored its opponents 74-0 in the first quarter.

Kaimuki at Waialua, 7:30 p.m. Friday

The Bulldogs had last week off following a riveting win over Roosevelt Sept. 12. As such, Waialua’s season now will center on three games, beginning with this one. Games with Anuenue (Oct. 4 at Kaiser High) and Radford (Oct. 10 at Aiea High) follow.

The Bulldogs still were alive in the race for a White Conference playoff berth as of last weekend, but may need some help, having already lost to Pearl City and Nanakuli.

Look for Waialua to try to establish the run against a Kaimuki team that is giving up 201 rushing yards per game. Kaimuki’s lone win came against Anuenue (26-6) in week two, before three straight losses to some of the league’s upper tier — Pearl City (46-13), Radford (41-9) and Nanakuli (21-14).

Farrington at Mililani, 7:30 p.m. Saturday

It was only last November that the Trojans and Governors met for the OIA Red title, with Mililani winning 37-6. With the OIA’s restructuring of the conferences during the off-season, Farrington and Mililani now find themselves in the Blue group. Both teams were unbeaten entering last weekend, and the winner of this game will have a leg up heading into the final week. (Mililani plays Moanalua in week eight; Farrington closes with Campbell.)

For Mililani, the Milton McKenzie-led offense has been clicking on all cylinders, as the team averages 321 passing yards and 221 rushing yards per game. Running back Vavae Malepeai (nine rushing touchdowns, seven yards per carry) and wide receiver Kalakaua Timoteo both have emerged as top playmakers. It was the Trojan defense that set the pace in last year’s win over the Governors, limiting Farrington to just 2.6 rushing yards per carry. Farrington’s strength to date has been its run defense, which yields only 44 yards on the ground per outing.

This is the second epic matchup in as many weeks for the Trojans, who were to meet fellow Blue leader Campbell on the road over the weekend.