Leilehua looks to bounce back this week

by Jason Kaneshiro on September 12, 2013

Leilehua's Ikaika Piceno put a stiff arm on Waianae defender Joshua Searle last week. HSA photo by Bruce Asato

Leilehua’s Ikaika Piceno put a stiff arm on Waianae defender Joshua Searle last week. HSA photo by Bruce Asato

Losing streaks don’t come often at Leilehua.

Coming into this season, the Mules are 15-6 in games following a loss during Nolan Tokuda’s eight years as Leilehua’s head coach (not counting 2011, when Mark Kurisu served as interim head coach).

Last year, Leilehua rebounded from a loss to Aiea with a 47-0 win at Kapolei. The Mules later narrowly avoided dropping consecutive games when they followed an overtime loss to Campbell with an overtime win over Waipahu.

Leilehua’s resilience will be tested again on Friday when the seventh-ranked Mules (3-1, 1-1 OIA Red West) host Kapolei (4-1, 2-1) in their final home game of the regular season.

The Mules took their first loss of 2013 last week, when Waianae claimed a 39-21 win at Hugh Yoshida Stadium. So Kapolei will be working against at least two trends in Friday’s matchup.

Along with being tough to beat after a loss, Leilehua has won each of the last five meetings with Kapolei and holds a 7-2 lead in the series since the Hurricanes joined the OIA Red in 2004.

For its part, Kapolei bounced back from its lone defeat of the season to date — a 35-0 loss to Mililani on Aug. 23 — with consecutive wins over Waipahu and Aiea.

Friday’s game will be the Hurricanes’ first of the season away from home. After five consecutive games at Kapolei, the remainder of the Hurricanes’ regular-season schedule consists of this week’s trip to Leilehua, a bye, then road games at Waianae (Sept. 27) and at Campbell (Oct. 4).

After its home finale this week, Leilehua closes with games at Aiea, Mililani and Waipahu.

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