It’s a mantra shared by all coaches still competing as the OIA enters its semifinals. Thinking like that is a big reason why they have made it this far.
But they may be wise to look at the big picture and realize that all they have to do is win one game in two chances to make it to the state tournament.
The OIA semifinals pit Campbell vs. Mililani and Kahuku vs. Farrington on Thursday at Aloha Stadium. Winners play for the OIA championship, losers face each other for the OIA’s final state berth and probably what is annually the most emotional game on Oahu before the state tournament.
So, all those teams have to do is avoid losing twice. It sounds easy until you look at the pedigree of those remaining and realize how rare a losing streak is for them. Each OIA Division I team’s last losing streak:
Campbell: Hasn’t lost successive games since 2012, when the Sabers fell to Mililani 45-26 in week five and 28-14 to Waianae in week six.
Farrington: The Governors started last season 0-2 after losses to Waianae (33-16) and Kamehameha (38-3). That was preseason, though, the last time they lost successive important games was the end of 2011 when they fell to Kahuku 23-0 and Baldwin 28-24.
Kahuku: Before last year, the Red Raiders hardly ever had a losing streak. They lost to Mililani (37-22) and Campbell (28-7) in the OIA playoffs to miss out on states last year, but before that they hadn’t lost successive games since 2007 when they fell to Saint Louis and Bingham (Utah). They had not lost to successive OIA teams since 1996.
Mililani: The Trojans lost back-to-back games in the 2011 preseason when they fell to Radford 14-7 and Saint Louis 55-20. Mililani beat Waianae to stop that streak then lost consecutive games to Campbell (32-12) and Aiea (7-6).
So obviously something has to give.
ILH boss Punahou is in a similar position, knowing it can get to states by winning one of two games against Saint Louis. The Buffanblu have not had a losing streak since the 2009 preseason, when it fell to Kahuku and Mililani. Before that, you have to go all the way back to 2004 with Brett Kan at the helm to find a Punahou losing streak.