OIA D-I Quarterfinals
Kahuku’s offensive statisticsUpdated: Nov. 20, 2016
|Jean Paul Kefu||6||18||102||1|
Leilehua’s offensive statisticsUpdated: Nov. 12, 2016
|Kaleo Aloha Piceno||13||64-118-5||820||9|
|Kaleo Aloha Piceno||13||113||482||5|
|Jay Jay Antolin||10||6||28||0|
|Akoni Tom Makue||2||2||-22||0|
|Kaleo Aloha Piceno||13||46||504||5|
|Jay Jay Antolin||10||23||231||1|
The OIA quarterfinal game at Carlton Weimer Field on the North Shore is a rematch of No. 1 Kahuku’s season opener, a 49-15 win over Leilehua at Hugh Yoshida Stadium.
As it turns out, Leilehua’s opening schedule was every bit as rough as it seemed. The Mules’ gauntlet of games against Punahou, Kahuku and Kapolei over a 15-day span in mid-August came against three of the top four ranked teams in the state heading into the playoffs.
Leilehua has managed to pick up some wins against unranked teams, going 4-0, including a 42-27 victory over Aiea in the first round of the OIA playoffs last week to clinch a state tournament berth.
Unfortunately, the Mules are 0-5 against ranked teams and face the No. 1 team in the state in Kahuku, which hasn’t lost a home OIA quarterfinal game since 2007 against Kapolei.
In fact, Kahuku hasn’t lost at all to a team from Hawaii since 2014. Head coach Vavae Tata is a perfect 20-0 against Hawaii competition since taking over prior to the start of last season.
The Red Raiders should be a healthy and rested bunch. Kahuku didn’t play last week and rested a lot of its starters in a 56-6 win over Kaiser two weeks ago. Kahuku hasn’t really been tested at all by a Hawaii team this season, outscoring its seven foes by a combined score of 352-28. Leilehua’s 15 points put up in the opener is more than the other six Hawaii teams Kahuku has played combined and the most a Tata-coached Kahuku team has given up to a Hawaii team.
Looking back at that opening game, the Mules used their up-tempo offense to keep Kahuku off balance early. Leilehua drove fairly easy deep into Kahuku territory on its first drive before an 82-yard fumble return by Kesi Ah-Hoy changed the momentum. Leilehua fought back with a strong performance from quarterback Kona Andres, who was a solid 26-for-38 passing for 208 yards and two touchdowns (one rushing).
The game was 14-7 halfway through the second quarter when Kahuku answered Leilehua’s TD drive with a quick one of its own following a 71-yard kickoff return by Stokes Botelho. Botelho also had a 94-yard kick return for a TD as special teams killed the Mules all night.
Leilehua coach Nolan Tokuda has won a state title in the past and after playing the state’s best teams early in the season, won’t shy away from anything on Friday night. Leilehua has to go to the North Shore, where the field won’t be as nice to run on as Hugh Yoshida Stadium.
Andres currently has 1,620 passing yards and 14 touchdowns completing 127 of 227 attempts. Senior Charles Watson, who had 113 receiving yards and a touchdown last week, has played off and on on offense, but did show some skills beating Kahuku DB Kekaula Kaniho a couple of times for big receptions, including a TD, in the first meeting. Tokuda was trying to keep Watson healthy and fresh playing occasionally on offense back in August, but it’s all hands on deck now.
If you’re a Leilehua fan, you look at the first meeting and say if you can avoid the turnovers and avoid the special teams miscues, you can hang with the state’s No. 1 team. If you’re a Kahuku fan, you haven’t been threatened once by a Hawaii team this season, so why now? The Mules are heavy underdogs, but Tokuda has pulled off miracles in the past. It’ll take his biggest one yet to get past the defending state champs.