The plan was simple: ask for quick thoughts from head coaches Cal Lee and Kale Ane so Hawaii Prep World can let people know what’s on their minds as No. 1 Saint Louis and No. 2 Punahou prepare to engage each other for the first time this season.
If trophies were given for brevity, Lee (sorry Kale) would have added another to his case.
Lee’s answer by text: “They (the Buffanblu) are undefeated. That says it all.”
The answer was so unimpeachable that we didn’t want him to add to it. Imagine that, a reporter basically saying, “I’m forgoing this opportunity to glean more information from the coach of the No 1-ranked team in the state.”
He didn’t need to say more. Crystal can only get so clear.
Ane’s thoughts were longer, but in his defense, he is easier to reach by phone than by text, so words can flow a lot freer with speech than by banging your fingers on a smart phone keyboard.
“It’s a big game,” he said. “They’ve earned the right to be No. 1. They’ve got an outstanding quarterback and future Division I college players on both sides of the ball. We will need to keep our poise and stay the course, not for one or two quarters, but for the whole game.”
Punahou has won seven in a row against Saint Louis, whose last win over the Buffanblu came in 2010.
Last season, Punahou fended off Saint Louis’ rally in the ILH playoffs to clinch the league title with a 35-28 win.
Crusaders quarterback Tua Tagovailoa will start after recovering from a calf sprain and missing last week’s 28-17 win over ‘Iolani. For Punahou, it appears that Nick Kapule will get his second straight start at QB with Ephraim Tuliloa still rehabbing a shoulder injury. Kapule led the Buffanblu past No. 5 Kamehameha 28-17 last Friday.
Both teams spread the wealth to many receivers, among them are Cal commit Drew Kobayashi of the Crusaders and Ethan Takeyama (five TDs) of the Buffanbu. If it comes down to a bruising running game, Punahou may have the edge with three-year starter Wayne Taulapapa (558 yards, eight TDs rushing), but Saint Louis can get tough rushing mileage from running backs Jimmy Gonsalves and Jahred Silofau as well as Tagovailoa.
Linebackers La‘akea Look of Punahou (5-0, 2-0) and Isaac Slade-Matautia of Saint Louis (4-0, 2-0) are two of the many defensive stalwarts on both sides of the ball.
Punahou place-kicker Jet Toner gives the special teams edge to the Buffanblu. On field goals, he is accurate and can make the long ones under pressure.
Game time is 8 p.m. Friday night at Aloha Stadium, and first place in the Interscholastic League of Honolulu is on the line. The losing team will have a chance to avenge the loss when they meet again Oct. 17.