Weekend Games Impact West Teams’ Entrance To Playoffs
While one football game doesn’t make a season for any team, this weekend’s encounters involving Aiea, Campbell, Kapolei, Pearl City and Waipahu surely will impact the fate of each team — especially with the OIA playoffs quickly approaching. Below is look at the West’s matchups.
Mililani at Campbell, 7:30 p.m. Friday
As both teams still have to face Farrington in the next few weeks, the loser of this game could be on the outside looking in, regarding the OIA Blue Division crown.
You can bet that the Sabers made this matchup a “red letter” game on their schedule long before the start of fall camp, given that the defending OIA champion Trojans defeated Campbell twice last season (41-7 in state tournament semifinals, 42-21 during the regular season).
The Sabers entered September with no shortage of momentum, having routed Castle, Moanalua and Kailua prior to last weekend’s game with rival Kapolei.
Containing Mililani quarterback McKenzie Milton is a top priority. The Sabers will counter with an explosive offense of their own that’s averaging 37 points per game.
Kailua at Kapolei, 7:30 p.m. Friday
The Hurricanes entered last weekend’s game with Campbell tied with Moanalua for the last Blue Division playoff spot, making this a “must win” for Kapolei. The Surfriders, who were still winless at press time, were a game back of both Moanalua and Kapolei. After a challenging stretch, which included tough losses to Mililani, Farrington and Kahuku, the Hurricanes broke through with an impressive 25-14 road win at Moanalua. Kapolei’s defense led the way, limiting Na Menehune to only 50 yards rushing (an average of 1.6 yards per carry). Kapolei’s bye week follows this game, and its final game is at Aiea Oct. 4.
Aiea at Moanalua, 7:30 p.m. Friday
Although Aiea lost its game with Kaiser on the field, the Cougars have since forfeited that contest to Na Ali’i because of the use of a player on academic probation. In the big picture, the turn of events strengthened Aiea’s playoff prospects, as it entered last weekend a game ahead of both Kapolei and Moanalua for the last slot in the Blue.
Points have been hard to come by to date for Aiea, which has averaged just nine per game, but its passing game has shown signs of life. Aiea will finish its season with home games against both Campbell and Kapolei.
Waipahu versus McKinley at Roosevelt, 5:30 p.m. Saturday
Both teams entered last weekend still winless and in a battle for the last playoff spot out of the Red Division. The winner of this game will hold the tie-breaker, should they finish the regular season tied. Both the Marauders and Tigers have struggled to find the end zone, so whichever team can best get its offense untracked figures to have the upper hand here.
Waipahu closes out its season Sept. 26 against Waianae at home.
Pearl City versus Radford at Aiea, 5:30 p.m. Saturday
With Anuenue forced to forfeit its game with Pearl City Sept. 5, and a bye the following week, the Chargers found themselves with a long layoff between games. Indeed, 22 days will have passed since their last game by the time the Radford contest kicks off. The break could prove to be a good thing, as Pearl City will face its stiffest challenge to date against the Rams, who also were undefeated entering last weekend.
Radford’s offense is as balanced as any in the state, averaging 145 yards passing and 153 yards rushing per game.
For its part, the Charger defense has been stellar, giving up just 6.3 points per game. Pearl City won last year’s game between the teams 7-6.