West Oahu Teams Vie For State Football Playoff Berths
The clock is ticking away on the prep football season, but there is still much to be decided for the Aiea, Campbell, Kapolei, Pearl City and Waipahu high school teams.
A preview of this weekend’s games is below. (Note: Kapolei has the week off).
Pearl City at Nanakuli, 7:30 p.m. Friday
This is the final road test for the Pearl City Chargers, which will finish out its OIA White slate with home dates versus the Kalani Falcons and Kalaheo.
Above all, this game could help decide the league champion, as both Chargers and Golden Hawks still were undefeated and tied with Radford going into last weekend.
Pearl City has relied on a stellar defense to date, giving up just 104 total yards per game, including just 29 yards a game on the ground.
That kind of defensive play is needed this weekend as Nanakuli presents Pearl City with the best offense it has yet to face.
The Golden Hawks are averaging 438 yards per game (220 through the air and 218 rushing) and 38 points per game.
Defensively, they have been just as efficient, giving up only an average of 86 total yards a game.
Pearl City’s offense, led by senior quarterback Jordan Taamu, will need to possess the ball to help keep Nanakuli’s own offense off of the field.
Pearl City won last year’s game between the two 35-12.
Waianae at Waipahu, 7:30 p.m. Friday
While Waianae entered last weekend two games back of Red Division leaders Leilehua and Kahuku, the Seariders are still in contention for the second seed for the OIA playoffs.
This is a game they must win to make that happen.
Lest anyone forget, Waianae closes its season Oct. 4 against Kahuku at Aloha Stadium, the outcome of which will have a huge impact on final standings and pairings.
Although the Marauders entered last weekend still winless, their playoff hopes were still alive since their opponent was McKinley, which also was 0-5 at press time.
The outcome of the Tigers game, as well as this one, which is Waipahu’s season finale, will determine whether Waipahu moves on.
The Marauders must upgrade their offense to have a chance here, as Waipahu’s high-point total for the season was the 10 scored against Kahuku in week two.
How well the Waipahu defense can contain the Waianae run game will be a key question. The Seariders averaged 4.3 yards per carry against Waipahu in last year’s game, which the Seariders won 39-0.
Campbell at Aiea, 6 p.m. Saturday
Campbell will want to be on “upset-alert” for this matchup with longtime rival Aiea.
It has the look of the perfect trap game for the Sabers since it comes sandwiched between last weekend’s game versus Mililani and next weekend’s epic contest against Farrington’s Governors at Aloha Stadium.
Campbell, Mililani and Farrington all entered last weekend tied atop the Blue Conference and will battle it out the next two weeks for the season crown as well as the top two seeds (and first-round byes) for the OIA playoffs.
After three blowout wins, the Sabers finally were put to the test by Kapolei, but rallied late for a riveting 14-13 win Sept. 12 to gain momentum for last weekend’s Mililani game.
The Sabers have relied on their offensive balance to date, as they currently average 215 yards passing and 215 yards rushing per game.
On the other side of the ball, Campbell is giving up just eight points per game.
For Aiea’s part, its offense will have to be its best defense this weekend to have a chance here, as it needs to control the ball and the clock to keep Campbell’s efficient offense off of the field.
The OIA Red Tournament takes place Oct. 10-31 with the State Tournament following Nov. 7-21.