Campbell’s opening round game in the OIA Division I playoffs was all but decided in the first quarter.
If recent history holds, the Sabers’ quarterfinal matchup with Leilehua could come down to the final possession.
Campbell advanced in the bracket with a 56-0 first-round win over Waipahu on Friday to set up a meeting with Leilehua, the second seed out of the OIA Red, next week in Wahiawa.
“It’s going to be a big game for us, a big challenge for us,” Campbell coach Amosa Amosa said.
“Every time we play those guys it’s a tough game, especially going to their home.”
The Sabers and Mules split their meetings the last two years, with the home team pulling out dramatic wins both times.
In 2012, Leilehua rallied from a 28-6 third-quarter deficit to force overtime and took the lead in the extra period but missed the extra point. Campbell answered with an 18-yard touchdown pass from Justin Tago-Sue to Amosa Amosa Jr., and the PAT gave the Sabers a 35-34 homecoming win.
The Mules got payback last year by holding off the Sabers 28-21 at Hugh Yoshida Stadium. Tristin Kamaka and Ikaika Piceno both returned kickoffs for touchdowns for Leilehua, but Campbell battled back and took the lead in the fourth quarter on Jayce Bantolina‘s second touchdown reception from Isaac Hurd.
Leilehua reclaimed the lead on Mack Eberhardt‘s 10-yard TD pass to Toma Savea and held on when Anthony Johnson came down with an interception in the final moments.
In 2011, Leilehua clinched the OIA’s final state tournament berth and ended Campbell’s season with a 34-14 win in the OIA Red third-place game.
Leilehua had a bye this week while Campbell, the OIA Blue’s third seed, rolled to a 28-0 lead in the first quarter on its way to a rout of a short-handed Waipahu team.
The winner of next week’s matchup between the seventh-ranked Mules and No. 8 Campbell will have two chances to qualify for the Division I state tournament. The loser turns in their pads.
“It’s another championship week,” Amosa said. “We know it’s a new season, you win you move on, you lose you’re done. Our seniors really hone in on that.”