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The reality of 2 tiers: 208-20

By Billy Hull on August 20, 2017

The OIA football regular season began last week providing some exciting moments for schools struggling to field competitive football teams under the current two-tier alignment. Radford, coming off a winless season in which it managed only one offensive touchdown, nearly pulled off a fourth-quarter comeback against Castle, finishing with more points in the game than it had scored the entire previous season in an entertaining 33-28 loss. Nanakuli, which also went winless in 2016, picked up its first victory under new head coach Kili Watson, holding off an Aiea program, 12-7, that hasn’t been able to keep a junior varsity team intact for an entire season in recent years. Two games that came down to the final minutes in the […]

Damien nearly knocks off California champs

By Billy Hull on August 18, 2017

Villa Park’s week-long trip to Hawaii culminated in its season opener against Damien on Friday night at Skippa Diaz Stadium. With a roster of over 90 players, the seven-time defending Crestview League 3A champions in Orange County, ranked No. 11 in the region, had the look of a vastly superior team to the Division II Monarchs. That was hardly the case as Damien, which suited roughly 1/3 the number of players as Villa Park, hung tight with Spartans the entire game and trailed by one in the fourth quarter. Two miscues in the passing game and a 90-yard touchdown pass from 6-foot-5 quarterback Paul Piferi to Dylan Bonilla was the difference in the Spartans’ tougher-than-expected 14-6 win. Monarchs coach Eddie […]

Waianae FINALLY gets Kahuku at home

By Billy Hull on August 17, 2017

Last year before the regular season game between then-No. 1 Kahuku and Waianae, we wrote about the long rivalry between the two schools. Kahuku vs. Waianae: The Crunch Bowl? Since then, Kahuku went on to win its 25th OIA championship, extending its lead over Waianae, which has 18. Kahuku also beat Waianae in the OIA playoffs, making it 17 straight wins against the Seariders. Maybe even more impressive is the four straight shutouts Kahuku has logged against Waianae. You have to go back to the final play of a 2014 game when Kekoa Kaluhiokalani threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to Jurick Valdez as time expired to find the last Searider score in the series. It’s not looking good for a […]

HAWAII GROWN: Milton winning QB job at UCF

By Billy Hull on August 16, 2017

Central Florida’s McKenzie Milton, a 2016 Mililani alumnus who has been competing with two freshmen for the starting quarterback job in camp, appears to have won it. UCF coach Scott Frost held a press conference after practice on Wednesday and while he stopped short of saying Milton would definitely start the first game of the season against FIU on Aug. 31, he made it pretty clear Milton is the leader moving forward. “Through the course of practice, McKenzie has clearly been the best guy,” Frost said. “He’s earned the right to be our guy at this point in camp. … At this point, he’s running with the 1’s and looking forward, I think if he keeps doing what he’s doing […]

Saint Louis is unanimous No. 1

By Billy Hull on August 14, 2017

The final voter to keep Saint Louis out of the top spot has finally been swayed. Wins over two teams that qualified for the state tournament last year by a combined score of 110-7 will do that as the Crusaders have opened the 2017 season looking vastly superior to the rest of the field in the state. Saint Louis earned all 10 first-place votes and is the unanimous No. 1 team in this week’s Honolulu Star-Advertiser football top 10 released on Monday. Kahuku (1-0), which had held the other first-place vote over the first two weeks, is ranked second. The Red Raiders were picked second on eight of 10 ballots with one voter placing Kahuku third behind Kapolei and another […]

First OT game of the year goes Pearl City’s way

By Billy Hull on August 12, 2017

Makoa Cooper‘s absence last week in a 20-7 loss to Lahainaluna was felt by everyone on Pearl City. Defensive back Kasey Kikuyama, who filled in at running back for Cooper against the Lunas, might have been the happiest to see his good friend back on the field Saturday night at Ticky Vasconcellos Stadium for the Chargers’ OIA Division II opener against Kalani. Kikuyama broke up a fourth-down pass in the end zone to hold Kalani scoreless on its first offensive possession in overtime, and then watched Cooper score the game-winning 15-yard touchdown run to give the Chargers a 22-16 victory over the Falcons. “I felt proud because (Cooper) has been my boy since elementary (school) and I always count on […]

McLeod sets receiving mark in St. Francis win

By Billy Hull on August 12, 2017

Over the first four years of varsity football at St. Francis, the Saints have tried to keep it simple on offense. Establishing a downhill running game has helped St. Francis go from a 1-8 season in 2013 to a 5-3 record in ’16 in which the Saints contended for the ILH Division II crown before losing to Damien. To take that next step, which they hope happens this season, the Saints are opening things up on offense, meaning the ball is in the air a lot more often. Prior to Saturday’s 42-0 shutout of Kauai at Alexander Field, the Saints’ had only had one 100-yard receiving game in school history (Kelii Macalino, 100 yards, 2013). Senior Scott McLeod surpassed that […]