It’s a lock: Kahuku opens OIA season

PJ Liua and the Red Raiders take on Kaimuki in their 2013 OIA opener. (Jamm Aquino / Star-Advertiser)
PJ Liua and the Red Raiders take on Kaimuki in their 2013 OIA opener. (Jamm Aquino / Star-Advertiser)
Maybe it is a good thing that newspapers don’t print point spreads for high school football games any more, because no number would be too high when Kahuku opens league play.

The Red Raiders are undefeated in OIA openers since the state championship era began in 1999, and they haven’t even been challenged.

Only once in that span has a team finished within a touchdown of the Red Raiders, when Kalaheo challenged Kahuku but came up short 33-26 in 2007. Otherwise, it has been a string of blowouts with Kahuku shutting out its opponent five times and the Red Raiders scoring more than 30 points 10 times.

Kaimuki drew the short straw and visits Kahuku on Friday night, and to make matters worse, the Red Raiders are coming off a loss to Saint Louis. Kahuku is 5-1 in the week after a loss under Reggie Torres, the only blemish in 2007 when Bingham (Utah) shut it out 27-0 following a preseason loss to Saint Louis. That season was the last time Kahuku started 0-2.

To make the imaginary number even more lopsided, Kaimuki hasn’t beaten Kahuku since 1988 and has won 15 in a row in the series, scoring more than 40 points 12 times and shutting the Bulldogs out seven times.

Kahuku’s OIA openers in the state championship era.

2012: beat Kailua, 56-7
2011: beat Kailua, 23-7
2010: beat Kailua, 54-25
2009: beat Kailua, 36-0
2008: beat Kailua, 28-14
2007: beat Kalaheo, 33-26
2006: beat Kailua, 29-16
2005: beat McKinley, 37-0
2004: beat Kaimuki, 42-6
2003: beat Waianae, 36-0
2002: beat Waianae, 25-14
2001: beat Kaimuki, 41-13
2000: beat Leilehua, 62-0
1999: beat Castle, 42-0

You have to go back to 1996 to find the last time Kahuku opened with a loss, when current Campbell athletic director Sam Delos Reyes took his Waipahu crew to Aloha Stadium and stared the Red Raiders down. Waipahu beat them 17-6 behind Kaiser Seumalu’s 160 yards passing and 41 yards rushing to start a rare down year for Kahuku.

Kahuku went 1-5 that year and lost four straight OIA games. It has not lost successive league games since. But this year might have more in common with that year than Kahuku fans might care to admit. The Red Raiders were fresh off a Prep Bowl appearance but lost leading passer Kolo Funaki and top rushers Ken Faave, Jason Keo and Isaac Aalona. The offense seems similarly gutted this year, with Lasi Livai and Aofaga Wily gone, but we will find out on Friday night.

Here, thanks to a fan on YouTube, is a peek at the last time Kaimuki visited Kahuku, a 28-0 win for the Red Raiders:

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