The road to Ewa Beach has become quite familiar for the Waianae football team.
The sixth-ranked Seariders will board the bus again on Friday for an OIA Red West game at No. 8 Campbell, the third straight meeting in the series to be played on the Sabers’ home field.
Waianae (4-1, 2-1 OIA Red West) played all of its games on the road last year while the school’s bleachers were renovated, though the Seariders were the designated home team in a 28-14 win at Campbell (3-1, 1-1). The Sabers pulled out an overtime win in 2011.
Last year, Waianae’s ground game and quarterback Kekoa Kaluhiokalani’s efficiency (6-for-7) extended the Seariders’ drives in the second half as they ralied from a 14-7 halftime deficit. Waianae maintained possession for 37 plays (35 rush attempts) after the break while limiting Campbell to 13 plays and 29 yards.
Keeping the ball away from Campbell quarterback Isaac Hurd figures to be a priority for Waianae in their upcoming meeting. Hurd has thrown for more than 200 yards and led the Sabers in rushing each of the last three games. He’s thrown for seven touchdowns while running for three over that stretch. Justin Tago-Sue was Campbell’s top passer and rusher twice last year.
Waianae is coming off an impressive win at Leilehua and will have just two regular-season games left after Friday’s contest; home games against Waipahu (Sept. 20) and Kapolei (Sept. 27).
Campbell had a bye last week and will have games against Mililani (Sept. 20), Waipahu (Sept. 27) and Kapolei (Oct. 4) remaining.
The Sabers and Seariders have split their four meetings since Campbell returned to the OIA Red in 2009, with the last three closely contested.
Here’s a recap of those meetings as they head into a big swing game in the OIA Red West race:
2012: Waianae 28, Campbell 14
At Campbell >> Waianae overcomes four first-half turnovers by grinding out 21 unanswered points led by a ground game powered by Jemery Willes (31 carries, 140 yards, three touchdowns) and Alakai Kealoha (19 carries, 118 yards).
2011: Campbell 21, Waianae 14 (OT)
At Campbell >> Justin Tago-Sue’s 8-yard touchdown pass to Keoni Piceno in overtime gave the Sabers the win. Kaluhiokalani’s 233 passing yards remains his career high.
2010: Campbell 13, Waianae 6
At Waianae >> Tago-Sue completed 24 of 29 pass attempts for 165 yards and two touchdowns in the Sabers’ win. The Seariders ultimately recovered from a 1-4 start to reach the Division I state championship game.
2009: Waianae 27, Campbell 0
At Waianae >> Eleu Wilson had a modest line — two carries for 4 yards — but both went for touchdowns in the Seariders’ win. Puletua Wilson rushed for 80 yards, 40 coming on a touchdown run.
The teams had just one on-field meeting in the previous five years, a 16-14 Waianae win in 2006. They were separated in 2004, ‘05 and ‘08, when Campbell was in the OIA White. Campbell forfeited its scheduled meeting with Waianae in 2007 in the aftermath of a fight with Aiea.