When No. 8 Kapolei meets No. 6 Waianae on Friday night at Raymond Torii Field, there won’t be any kind of special trophy on the line.
That doesn’t mean the two schools haven’t developed a little bit of a rivalry.
Waianae is 8-4 against Kapolei since the Hurricanes fielded their first football team in 2002. Playing in the OIA White Division its first two seasons, Kapolei took on Waianae in the preseason both years, splitting the two meetings.
In fact, Kapolei earned its first win over an OIA Red school when it shut out the Seariders, 21-0, to open the 2003 season. Quarterback Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada, who went on to play football as the starting QB at Navy, threw for 190 yards in the win.
Kapolei won three of the first five meetings before the Seariders seized control of the series in 2007.
Waianae beat Kapolei 28-7 in the regular season but the two teams would meet again that year. It took place in the OIA semifinals, a week after Kapolei pulled off one of the biggest upsets in Hawaii high school football history, beating No. 1 seed Kahuku, 14-7, at Carleton Weimer Field.
Waianae edged Kapolei, 14-13, in the semis after racing out to a 14-0 first-quarter lead. The Hurricanes pulled within a point in the third quarter on a 35-yard touchdown pass by Mason Koa, but missed the extra point after a penalty moved the kick back.
The Hurricanes then lost in the third-place game to Farrington, missing out on its best chance to make the Division I state tournament.
Waianae ran its winning streak to six against the Hurricanes before Kapolei’s 17-2 win last season. Running back Jacob Kukahiko recorded one of his three 100-yard rushing games in 2012, finishing with 102 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries. Kapolei held Waianae’s running game to only 86 yards for the entire game with Jemery Willes leading the way with 36.
A quick look at the OIA Red West statistics shows that five of the top nine rushers in league play are from either Kapolei or Waianae. The Seariders’ Mahvan Tau trails only Mililani’s Vavae Malepeai in rushing with 377 yards and four touchdowns on 57 carries. Willes is third in rush yards with 265 in four games. Kapolei’s Triston Pebria is sixth overall with 221 rushing yards but has only played in three league games. If you take his 73.7 yards per game average, he trails only Malepeai (153.3) and Tau (75.4).
Tau and Kapolei’s Mana Reis (39 carries, 199 yards) are tied for second with four rushing touchdowns behind Malepeai (6) and Campbell quarterback Isaac Hurd (6). Kapolei quarterback Aizon Kahana is ninth in rushing with 173 yards.
The race for a bye in the OIA Red West is tricky, but know this. The loser of this game is pretty screwed. The Seariders are playing their regular-season finale, and a loss would drop them to 3-3 in league play, eliminating them from the race for a bye and possibly dropping them as low as fifth when it’s all said and done.
Kapolei is 3-1 right now, but a loss to Waianae would allow the Seariders to finish no worse than tied for second while the Hurricanes would fall to 3-2. Even if Kapolei beat Campbell next week, it would still finish tied with the Seariders, who would own the tiebreaker. The only possible way the Hurricanes could still get a bye is if Leilehua won out, which would have to include a win at undefeated Mililani on Friday night, to force a three-way tie for second at 4-2.
In other words, both teams need a win Friday — badly — if they want to spend the opening week of the OIA Red playoffs resting.