West Teams Gear Up For Crucial Contests This Weekend
Although only two weeks into the OIA Red West Conference season, much will be decided by the end of this weekend. Both the Campbell-Waipahu and Kapolei-Waianae contests figure to have a huge impact as far as who goes on to win the regular-season title. A preview of those games follows, as well as Pearl City’s critical home date with Nanakuli.
Campbell at Waipahu — 7 p.m. Friday: This is the third of five straight home games for Waipahu, which opened with a pair of heartbreaking defeats to ILH teams Pac-Five (26- 13) and defending Division II state champion Iolani (35-34). Most encouraging despite the defeats, however, has been the Marauders’ ability to run the ball with three players (Kaimi Paredes, Matapua Tulafala and Isaiah Alama) averaging better than four yards per attempt. In Paredes, the team’s quarterback, the Marauders also have a dual-threat playmaker. A big key for Waipahu this week will be its pass defense, having given up 299 yards to Iolani in the air.
Campbell brings a formidable passing attack to the party, led by quarterback Justin Tago-Sue, wide-out Brannon Bantolina and versatile back Paul-Andrew Rhoden. The Sabers’ defense is giving up just 31 yards per game on the road.
Nanakuli at Pearl City— 7 p.m. Friday: Pearl City visited Kaiser last weekend and will now have three of its next four games at home, beginning with this one. The Chargers mustered only a single touchdown each in weeks one and two. Wide receivers Daicorri Briscoe, Isaac Amorin and Tanner Tokunaga have been big for the team to date, having combined for 24 catches and 313 yards between them. How well the Chargers’ run-defense fares could go a long way in determining the outcome this week.
After being idle on the prep season’s first weekend, Nanakuli’s opening day effort in week two was a rousing success, as the Golden Hawks outlasted Anuenue 30-26 behind 271 rushing yards. Quarterback Chazz Troutman did much of the damage, gaining 114 yards on just eight carries to go with a pair of touch- down passes through the air.
Waianae at Kapolei — 6 p.m. Saturday: Few teams, if any, have been better defensively this season than Kapolei, which yielded a mere 30 yards per game on the ground through the first two weeks. Kapolei’s defensive efforts have been buoyed by their offense’s ability to possess the ball, namely a solid running game. Four Hurricane running backs — Jacob Kukahiko (three TDs), Mana Reis (two TDs), Dylan Keomaka and Mitchell Moses — are averaging better than four yards per attempt. Quarterback Aizon Kahana has balanced out the attack.
After a hard-fought loss to Farrington in week one, Waianae posted a work- manlike win over Moanalua in week two. Unlike most years, Waianae is actually averaging more yards in the air (152) than on the ground (104). The Seariders’ playmakers include quarterback Kekoa Kaluhiokalani (304 passing yards, three TDs) and running backs Lexus Kamealoha (6.9 yards per carry) and Alakai Keoloha (4.3 ypc).