Last weekend’s 5-0 bonanza leaves Hawaii teams 7-4 vs. non-Hawaii teams

Liberty needed three defenders to bring down Mililani linebacker Bam Amina, who got a few carries on offense. Photo by Bruce Asato/Star-Advertiser.

It may never sound as glorious as those Turkey Day contests in Hawaii back in the day, when all of Oahu, it seemed, was off to Honolulu Stadium to watch intense football rivalries.

But last weekend will go down as a historic time in high school football for the islands.

As fans know by now, No. 1 Saint Louis beat Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) 31-19 and then this week climbed the national ladder to No. 8 in the MaxPreps Xcellent 25 and No. 9 in the USA Today Super 25.

No. 2 Mililani and No. 3 Punahou also got mega wins. The Trojans roared back from a 16-point deficit to subdue Liberty (Henderson, Nev.) 34-22, and the Buffanblu flattened Long Beach Poly 35-0.

Remember now, when you are talking about schools like Bishop Gorman and Long Beach Poly, you’re talking the elite of the elite nationally.

There were three other Hawaii teams getting the job done against mainland opponents — No. 8 Damien, then-No. 10 Moanalua and unranked Kapolei.

“I think that there are a lot of (non-Hawaii) teams who want to come here and contest the waters in Hawaii,” Damien coach Eddie Klaneski said Thursday via cell phone. “They know we have a lot of good football here and they are intrigued with the success of people like Marcus (Mariota) and Tua (Tagovailoa), and not just the quarterbacks, but all those kids who are getting recruited to colleges. They want to come here and see what it’s all about and experience games against successful teams who are getting national recognition like Kahuku, St. Louis, Punahou and Mililani. Those teams have represented us really well in the past 10 years.”

Klaneski’s Monarchs are coming off a 56-14 victory over St. Thomas More Collegiate of Burnaby, British Columbia.

“We didn’t know where we’d be after four games,” he added about his 4-0 squad. “We’ve played two state champions from last year (Waipahu in D-I and Lahainaluna in D-II), but that was last year. That was our goal — to be here (at 4-0). We as coaches know that there’s a lot of great teams coming down the pike. No cupcakes.”

Last weekend’s 5-0 showing by Hawaii teams leaves the state at 7-4 so far in 2019 with five games (listed below) remaining.

>> O’Connor (Phoenix) at Campbell, 6 p.m.

>> Moanalua at Sierra Vista (Las Vegas), 4 p.m. Hawaii time

>> Kahuku at Timpview (Provo, Utah), 3 p.m. Hawaii time

>> Buckeye Union (Buckeye, Ariz.) at Kailua, 6 p.m.

>> St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.) at Mililani, 6 p.m.

Here’s the 11 results so far:

>> No. 3 Punahou 45, Long Beach Poly (Long Beach, Calif.) 0, at Moorpark (Moorpark, Calif.) field
>> Damien 56, St. Thomas More Collegiate (Burnaby British Columbia) 14, at Skippa Diaz Stadium

>> No. 1 Saint Louis 31, Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) 19, at Aloha Stadium
>> At No. 2 Mililani 34, Liberty (Henderson, Nev.) 22
>> At Kapolei 31, Downey (Downey, Calif.) 28

>> At No. 7 Kamehameha 29, Fagaitua (Samoa) 8
>> At Waialua 43, Vincent Massey (Canada) 27
>> Mission Viejo (Mission Viejo, Calif.) 38, at Konawaena 14
>> Orange Glen (Escondido, Calif.) 41, Waimea 16, at Hanapepe Stadium

>> Kwansei Gakuin (Nishinomiya, Japan) 37, at King Kekaulike 20

>> Edison (Huntington Beach, Calif.) 52, Baldwin 0, at War Memorial Stadium

There is a seriousness displayed by the Hawaii teams in representing the state. Moanalua coach Savaii Eselu said on Wednesday that he didn’t want to be the first Hawaii team to “drop the ball” after that 5-0 sweep last weekend.

Since beating Campbell 35-7 last Saturday, Kahuku coach Sterling Carvalho — not once, but twice — mentioned that “mainland teams have not been kind” to the Red Raiders in recent years. And it’s true. They’re 0-4 against mainland teams since 2007.

Carvalho also pointed out that the iron schedule of the OIA Open this season and last has boosted the strength of Hawaii teams. By playing those difficult games week in and week out, he said, it allows Hawaii teams to be prepared for the grind and the speed of playing against mainland teams.

Listed below are where teams mentioned above stand in terms of national rank:

>> USA Today Super 25: No. 3
>> MaxPreps Xcellent 25: No. 3
>> Football America Top 100: No. 2

>> USA Today Super 25: No. 9
>> MaxPreps Xcellent 25: No. 8
>> Football America Top 100: No. 26

>> USA Today Super 25: No. 22
>> Football America Top 100: No. 46

>> Football America Top 100: No. 58


  1. "UNITY=STRENGTH" September 5, 2019 5:22 pm

    It’s all about the progression not digression of Hawaii high school football and I agree that going with the old format this would not be possible it would mean serious moonwalking HeHe!!!:)

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