Warriors, Crusaders in ILH showdown
By Wes Nakama
Advertiser Staff Writer
By Wes Nakama
The so-called "preseason" for the Kamehameha Schools and Saint Louis football teams more resembled a postseason playoff tournament as far as quality of performance, competition and atmosphere.
Which made it ideal preparation for the two perennial juggernauts entering tonight's Interscholastic League of Honolulu opener for both teams.
Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. at Aloha Stadium, following the Division II game between Damien (1-2-1, 0-0-1 ILH) and Pac-Five (2-1, 0-0) at 4:45.
Saint Louis, 3-0 and ranked No. 3 in The Advertiser's statewide Top 10 poll of coaches and media, looked strong in its first two wins over McKinley, 42-7, and Leilehua, 20-0, before rallying from a 13-3 deficit to beat Castle, 17-13.
No. 4 Kamehameha (4-0) opened with a 27-12 victory over Nanakuli followed by a 35-20 win over 'Aiea, then held off No. 5 Farrington, 7-6, and squeaked past Redlands (Calif.) East Valley, 9-7.
Redlands East Valley is a two-time defending league champion, California Interscholastic Federation Southern Section quarterfinalist in 2005 and was ranked No. 16 in the metropolitan area by the Los Angeles Times.
"Those were quality opponents, and it was experience we really needed," Kamehameha coach Kanani Souza said. "We were in every situation: two-minute offense, goal-line stand, prevent defense ..."
Saint Louis coach Delbert Tengan said the Crusaders' games provided his team with the same opportunity.
"We were in a position where we had to execute late in the game," Tengan said. "I think it really prepared us."
Though Kamehameha and Saint Louis have substituted freely so far and stayed relatively conservative on offense, both coaches say they haven't been saving anything.
Here is a look at two key O'ahu Interscholastic Association games tomorrow:
FARRINGTON VS. KAILUA
Where: Roosevelt Stadium
Advertiser Top 10 ranking: Farrington No. 5; Kailua unranked
Records: Farrington 2-1 overall, 1-0 OIA Red East; Kailua 2-2, 1-0
Last week: Kailua defeated McKinley, 19-8; Farrington was idle
Notable: Farrington's big, quick, aggressive defense has allowed just 14 points in three games (4.7 ppg). Quarterback Elijah Filifili can sling it and running back Hercules Sula slashes through the line quickly and can catch passes out of the backfield. ... Kailua played tough in losses to Leilehua, 27-20, and Kahuku, 26-10. The Surfriders showed a balanced attack last week, rushing for 166 yards and passing for 150. Keelen Gonda ran for 130 yards and one touchdown on 18 carries.
WAI'ANAE AT LEILEHUA
Where: Hugh Yoshida Stadium
Advertiser Top 10 ranking: Leilehua No. 7; Wai'anae unranked
Records: Leilehua 3-1 overall, 2-0 OIA Red West; Wai'anae 2-2, 2-0
Last week: Leilehua defeated Mililani, 23-14; Wai'anae defeated Campbell, 16-14
Notable: Leilehua quarterback Bryant Moniz started out 2 for 8 — with a couple of dropped passes — last week but then completed 10 of his next 17, finishing with 223 yards and three touchdowns through the air without an interception. ... Wai'anae won last week despite only 166 yards of offense. Defensive back Preston Ayala's 42-yard interception return and Willie Duseigneur's 35-yard field goal helped make the difference.
NOTE: 'Anuenue's game at Kaiser tomorrow will start at 4 p.m., two hours earlier than scheduled.
Reach Wes Nakama at email@example.com.