[Note: This is the extended version of the story that ran in Friday’s Star-Advertiser]
Breaking down Saturday’s prep football games:
Saturday, Aug. 24 games
Kealakehe (0-0) at No. 4 Kamehameha (2-0) — Waveriders Coach Sam Papalii has often gone after the biggest fish available when it comes to preseason trips — even with massive losses to their starting lineup because of graduation.
The Warriors are finding their footing under Doug Cosbie. A swarming, gang-tackling defense led in part by Mike Tafua hasn’t allowed a touchdown in two games. The offense has grown despite an early injury to running back Kaulana Apelu. Senior Brandon Kahookele has rushed for 338 yards and a touchdown, and another senior, Kainoa Simao, has stepped up as a breakaway threat.
No. 5 Waianae (2-0) at Aiea (2-0) — The Seariders haven’t lost a beat defensively despite the graduation of all-state defensive tackle Kennedy Tulimasealii. Jemery Willes has racked up 237 yards and four touchdowns on the ground, and quarterback Kekoa Kaluhiokalani has been effective as a dual threat (208 passing yards, two touchdowns with 140 rushing yards and two more scores).
Na Alii will miss quarterback Jordan Liilii (foot injury), but a sturdy defense led by linebackers Glen Igafo and Benjamin Taliulu was dominant in wins over Kailua and Pac-Five.
Kamehameha-Hawaii (1-0) at No. 9 ‘Iolani (1-1) — The Warriors are a strong contender for the BIIF Division II crown with Ina Teofilo back for another season at running back. But BIIF teams have historically struggled against elite passing offenses.
‘Iolani quarterbacks Easton Tsubata and Austin Jim On have combined for 505 yards passing, seven touchdowns and just two interceptions. Super soph Jordan Ross had limited success in last week’s loss to Leilehua, but still has 176 yards and three touchdowns. Receivers Keoni-Kordell Makekau and Chad Hanaoka, with 10 catches each, have combined for seven touchdown receptions.
Mt. Douglas (Canada) (0-0) vs. No. 10 Lahainaluna (1-0), War Memorial Stadium — The Rams, out of British Columbia, won the AAA provincial championship last year. It was their second straight “Subway Bowl” crown. They lost only 12 seniors from the 2012 squad.
The Lunas also return several key players, including defensive lineman Hercules Mata‘afa. They’re off to a solid start after a 28-13 win over Kapaa. They sacked Kapaa quarterback Fresno Masaniai nine times in the win.
With their modified wing-T offense, the MIL favorites — regardless of classification — are one of the top contenders for the state D-II title.
Kalaheo (1-1, 1-0 OIA White) vs. Anuenue (0-2, 0-1), Kaiser Stadium — Running back Makena Johnston has racked up 202 yards and four touchdowns on the ground to lead the Mustangs.
Na Koa are struggling early after big losses to Waimea and Radford. A double-wing, heavy run team in recent years, they’ve adapted to personnel this fall. Kaimalino Borges is the leading rusher so far (99 yards) as they’ve taken to the air (31 attempts in two games).
Drumheller (Canada) (0-0) vs. St. Francis (0-1), Waipahu High School field — The visiting Titans went 9-3 last year, winning the Provincial championship game against Ardrossan 42-21. This will be their season opener for 2013.
St. Francis is in its first year of varsity football. The Saints had last week off after traveling to Maui and losing 51-0 on Aug. 9.
Honokaa (0-0) at Waiakea (0-2), Wong Stadium — After some issues with player turnout during the summer, the Dragons are hitting the road to play the Warriors in this nonleague matchup. (Honokaa plays in D-II.) The Warriors got a solid performance from Devin Preston last week in a 36-6 loss to Hilo. Preston rushed for 120 yards.
Woodbridge (Calif.) (0-0) at Waimea (1-1), Hanapepe Ballpark — The Warriors, of Irvine, open their season on the Garden Island. They were 7-6 last season, including 3-3 in the CIF’s Pacific Coast League.
The Menehune have been busy, beating Anuenue 42-0 and losing on the road to Hawaii Prep 13-8.
King Kekaulike (0-0) at Kamehameha-Maui (0-1) — The Warriors are in their first season under Cody Nakamura, the former standout Baldwin wide receiver and assistant coach. A number of Bears assistants followed Nakamura upcountry.