Below is the THIRD of Hawaii Prep World’s four-part quick look at the first round of the Oahu Interscholastic Association Division I football playoffs Friday and Saturday.
This year, things are quite a bit different. In years past, teams playing in the first round faced elimination and also had a chance to move on.
Now, the first-round losers are still eliminated, but the first-round winners gain a spot in the state tournament. The following week, the quarterfinal winners lock up a spot in the inaugural state Open division and the quarterfinal losers head to the state Division I tourney.
Kaiser vs. Farrington
Site: Ticky Vasconcellos Stadium
Kickoff: Friday, 7 p.m.
>> Farrington is the OIA Red No. 3 seed
>> Kaiser is the OIA Blue No. 6 seed
>> Farrington (5-2, 5-2)
>> Kaiser (2-6, 1-6)
>> Farrington: Randall Okimoto (15th season)
>> Kaiser: Arnold Martinez (first season)
Prize for winning: A quarterfinal matchup against Campbell (5-3, 5-2 OIA Blue) and a spot in the either the Open or D-I state tournament. These schools are well versed in state tournament football, Farrington last made it in 2014 and Kaiser took the Division II title in 2013. The Cougars have never made it to the Division I tournament.
Prize for losing: Elimination from OIA playoffs. Season over.
Governors assistant coach Daniel Sanchez on playing against the Cougars:
“It’s definitely a big game for us. We definitely need to focus and play four quarters of football. Kaiser is a scrappy team and they’re going to come out and play. We’ve gotta be ready to go full speed. This week is the biggest week this seaosn. The loser goes home and we definitely want to continue the season. The win gets us in one of the state tournaments at least. They (the players) understand what our fate is and will come to play.” Note: Head coach Randall Okimoto is taking care of a family commitment and will be back to coach next week if the Governors win this week.
Coach Martinez on playing against the Governors:
“It’s always a blessing to continue playing and our kids have fought hard all year. They’ve obviously been competing and should be commended for taking the field every game. We’ve always had enough to field a team and have averaged just 25 players. We don’t make excuses though and come out and play. Unfortunately, we’re playing a big, powerful team like Farrington and that makes five teams out of the Top 10 in the state we’ve have played. I love our players for their resilience and fortitude and how they … get better and get out on there on game day and compete. We’ll try our best to really encourage these kids. They have an opportunity in front of them. You never know.”