Kahuku enters Friday night’s Division I title game in the First Hawaiian Bank/HHSAA Football State Championships as the No. 1 overall seed with a perfect 12-0 record.
Saint Louis enters the game as the No. 2 seed with one loss this year.
Yet, according to the latest Honolulu Star-Advertiser Top 10 football rankings released Monday, the Crusaders are the clear favorite.
Saint Louis received 13 of 14 first-place votes in the final poll before the season ends this week. Kahuku, which received six first-place votes after beating Mililani for the OIA title and then four a week later, is down to only one top vote despite remaining undefeated with a 13-0 win over Waianae in last Friday’s state semifinals.
The Red Raiders are second in the poll but were listed third on three different ballots that ranked Punahou ahead of Kahuku.
Punahou suffered its only two losses of the season to the Crusaders while handing Saint Louis its only loss of the year in double overtime.
The Buffanblu moved back into third in the rankings with a comfortable lead over Mililani, which dropped to No. 4 after getting pounded by the Crusaders, 56-30.
The rest of the rankings remained the same with Kamehameha, Waianae, Farrington, Kapa’a, Radford and Baldwin rounding out the top 10.
Konawaena, Kailua, Kapolei and Moanalua also received votes.
Eighth-ranked Kapaa faces No. 9 Radford in a battle of undefeated teams in the Division II state final Friday at 4:30 p.m. The Crusaders/Red Raiders tilt will be the third time this season the No. 1 and No. 2 teams square off. Saint Louis was No. 1 when it lost in double overtime to Punahou, which took over as the No. 1 team for three weeks until Saint Louis won the rematch to reclaim the No. 1 spot.
Since the first HSA poll in 2010, the top two teams have faced off 14 times with the No. 1-ranked team going 8-5. Earlier this year, we posted a story showcasing every game between No. 1 and No. 2. It does not include the two Punahou-Saint Louis matchups.
Kahuku has been involved in seven of the meetings and is 6-1 in No. 1 vs. No. 2 games, losing only to Farrington, 14-13, on Oct. 1, 2011.
Saint Louis is 3-1 in those meetings. Its only loss came to Kahuku in an early-season game in 2010, when Marcus Mariota suffered his only loss as the Crusaders’ starting quarterback.
Kahuku has won 11 of the 17 meetings against Saint Louis dating back to 1987, but the Crusaders have won six of the last eight.
|Updated: Mar. 16|