Damien has a chance to make a stand

Edwin Aumua leads Damien with four rushing touchdowns. Honolulu Star-Advertiser photo by Cindy Ellen Russell
Edwin Aumua leads Damien with four rushing touchdowns. (Cindy Ellen Russell / Star-Advertiser)

Damien has been here too many times before.

The Monarchs go into Saturday night’s main event at Aloha Stadium leading Division II rival ‘Iolani by a game in the standings and can take a big step toward earning a bye for the playoffs with a win.

But if history is any judge, don’t count on it.

Damien has lost to ‘Iolani 12 times in a row and has not finished a game within three touchdowns of the Raiders since 2008, when they lost 27-21 to open the ILH season.

Trevor Caspillo leads Damien in rushing yards. Honolulu Star-Advertiser photo by Cindy Ellen Russell
Trevor Caspillo leads the Monarchs in rushing yards with 154.

(Cindy Ellen Russell / Star-Advertiser)

But at least this time they are playing for something. The Monarchs were 0-3 when they met the Raiders last year, and the second game of their annual meeting has involved a Raiders team preparing for states and a Monarchs bunch proudly playing out the string.

The last time Damien met ‘Iolani in a meaningful game this late in the season was 2006, when the Monarchs and Raiders were 1-1-1 after tying in the season opener. Damien stepped up in the big game and won that contest 14-10 — behind Kama Bailey’s 220 rushing yards — to go over .500 but lost their last four games, including a defeat against ‘Iolani to close the season.

The Monarchs have not had a winning season since 2008, when they went 7-5 and won more than they lost for only the second time since the Prep Bowl era began in 1973. They were 7-5-2 in 1988.

Even if the Monarchs surprise ‘Iolani on Saturday, it would take a win in the state tournament for Damien to finish with an overall record above .500. Assuming losses to Kamehameha and Saint Louis, Damien would enter the ILH playoffs with a 4-4 record and would presumably get the bye because of its win over fellow 3-3 ‘Iolani. If it wins the rematch to get into states, Damien would have to win a first-round game at states to finish with more wins than losses.

But the Monarchs are almost certainly not thinking that far ahead. Before dreaming big, they might want to make a statement on Saturday.

ILH Division II remaining schedules

Damien (2-1): vs. Iol, vs. Saint Louis, vs. Kamehameha
‘Iolani (1-2): vs. Damien, vs. Punahou, vs. Pac-Five
Pac-Five (0-2): vs. Kamehameha, vs. St. Francis, vs. Iolani, vs. Punahou
St. Francis (0-2): vs. Punahou, vs. Pac-Five, vs. Kamehameha, vs. Saint Louis


  1. JD Allen September 20, 2013 11:57 pm

    The only way Damien can beat Iolani is if they recruit as much as they. The fact that this may not be the first time Damien and Iolani meet this year is a travesty. Has Iolani had the kind of low numbers Damien has had this year (because of injuries)? Around 25 Damien players are available this week. Are the number of available Iolani players that low? I can’t imagine that.

  2. JD Allen September 21, 2013 5:11 am

    I meant to say this may not be the LAST time Damien and Iolani meet. Plus, whoever wins the ILH D2 doesn’t earn a bye.

    October 19, 2013
    1 vs. 4
    2 vs. 3

    October 25, 2013
    1 vs. 4 winner vs. 2 vs. 3 winner

    The top seed would have to lose TWICE to be eliminated.

  3. hossana September 21, 2013 11:35 pm

    Does the players at Damien have the same academic classload as the Iolani players every year? I don’t think so!!! The admission requirements at Iolani are so strict and rigid and the type of players they have must take the same academic load as the regular students so please don’t say that Iolani recruits because my son is one of the talented players on a public school team and had straight A’s when he applied for Iolani in the 9th grade but still was denied admission despite recommendations from his middle school teachers. Damien is a soft school and when I looked at their curriculum, I ended up laughing comparing it to Iolani’s and Punahou’s…..

  4. Aguiar September 24, 2013 6:58 am

    So, Hossana is your son now at Punahou? My son garduated from Damien after attending Damien for 7 years. He is now in collage and doing very well. I feel that he got a very good education at Damien at a resonable cost compared to a major debt sending him to Punahou or Iolani.

  5. tahiti September 24, 2013 12:45 pm

    hosanna – are making fun of our Damien – my son graduated from Damien and he is a smart boy. He went on to a good college and now has a job!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! For public school it depends what school and where. My son got into Iolani and Punahou and Kamehameha. He then decided to attend Damien. What school does your son go to???????????????

  6. Branzo September 24, 2013 2:59 pm

    Iolani doesn’t recruit? Lol Every school that tries to uphold an athletic reputation tries to recruit kids. Damien is soft? As opposed to who. … Iolani? Lol get a grip Hossana

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